May 2012

Beach Date

Sarah Jean Klinger / photos by Erica Bartel

The latest addition to the ever-expanding Malibu Rum portfolio appeared on shelves last month in the form of Malibu Red, a new line extension that’s a party in a bottle, blending classic Malibu rum with silver tequila. This new innovation boasts a trendy packaging, a higher proof and, according to Malibu Brand Director Lisa McCann, “takes the smooth, sweet flavors of Malibu coconut and infuses it with the fiery spirit of Mexican tequila.”

At Watermans in Hermosa Beach, bartender Dawn Leffler creates
fun-in-the-sun style cocktails.

Staying relevant with hip and young LDA consumers has always been a priority with Barbados-produced Malibu, so it comes as no surprise that the Malibu Red team chose to collaborate with Grammy Award–winning singer/songwriter Ne-Yo.

“Ne-Yo has helped develop a very interesting communication plan, which is culturally relevant to consumers,” McCann noted. “He has brought a lot of passion and creative inspiration to the Malibu brand.” Not only was trendsetting Ne-Yo involved in the entire product development process, he also created an exclusive track and music video entitled Burnin’ Up, inspired by Malibu Red.

Watermans in Southern California’s historic Hermosa Beach is an ideal Malibu account and a great location to showcase the new product. This “safe house for surfers,” with its tiki-style host stand, surfboard-shaped menus and young, socially active clientele, epitomizes the fun-loving Malibu brand perfectly. “We want customers to feel like they’re on vacation when they come here,” bartender Dawn Leffler explains. “Malibu Red is a great twist on an old favorite, so I’ve been mixing it in classic ‘summer-time-kicking-it-at-the-beach’ drinks, like the Margarita and the Mai Tai.”

Up the coast in Malibu is another equally successful Malibu Rum account, quintessential California beach resort Paradise Cove. According to owner Bob Morris, “From high chairs to wheelchairs with bikinis in between, our beachfront paradise caters to everyone. Our younger guests enjoy Malibu, so we’re currently working on a ‘Red drink’ to feature on the menu. What better place to enjoy a Malibu cocktail than in Malibu itself?”

Even in its infancy, it appears that Malibu Red, with its innovative rum-tequila fusion, will prove just as popular as the other products currently available in the growing Malibu line. With a flair for fun and an eye on what their customers are drinking, we can’t help but wonder what new flavors and fusions the inspired Malibu team will come up with next. 

Watermans bartender Dawn Leffler plays with the new Malibu Red in two classically beachy cocktails.

Mexican Red Mai Tai
•  2 oz. Malibu Red
•  2 oz. pineapple juice
•  2 oz. orange juice
•  1 oz. Malibu Black float
•  Dash of lime juice

Red Margarita
•  2 oz. Malibu Red
•  ½ oz. Cointreau
•  ¾ oz. lime juice

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