The same cannot be said for celebrity endorsed nonalcoholic (NA) wine, beer, and spirits brands. This is in part due to the category’s relatively miniscule sample size. With only a handful of EGOT candidates having cosigned boozeless beer replicas, it’d be statistically irresponsible to declare famous founders incapable of producing a more palatable O’Douls.
Beyond statistical responsibility, you shouldn’t ignore celebrity-backed NA products because many of them are really, really good—especially Katy Perry’s . Decidedly bitter and bright, Katy’s sparkling, aperitif-inspired concoctions thread the needle between complex and refreshing, confident but malleable. For this reason—and because it’s sold approximately 10 feet from my front door—it didn’t take long for De Soi to cement itself in my drink rotation. Whether standing in for a cheeky pint or merely slowing the pace of a weekend cocktail streak, I’ve yet to find an occasion in which De Soi won’t prevail.Recently, we caught up with Katy to learn more about her journey into the nonalcoholic industry, her love of spritzes, and the future of De Soi.
The following interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Paul: What inspired you to work in the beverage space?Katy: I’ve always been interested in beverages and I think that probably comes from my mom. I'm a third generation Santa Barbarian. I'm a Californian—so I knew avocado toast like 30 years ago—but my mom was always giving me farmer's market organic (products) and—not that I loved it—but I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar since the time I was three years old. [My mom gave me] all kinds of different concoctions and she was always the originator of that.
Prior to De Soi, what was your experience with non alcoholic drinks?I really piqued my interest when I was on a flight. It was an international flight and I was newly pregnant and I got on the flight and I usually had a glass of champagne and I was like, well, I can't do that, so what am I going to do now? Then they brought me this bottle—it was called —and I was blown away because the bottle's the same, the way it poured was the same. I had it in a flute and it was the same experience and it was beautiful.
De Soi tastes similar to bitter aperitifs commonly used in spritzes. Why did you want your drink to have a more bitter flavor?Personally, I'm not a sweet tooth. I like my coffee burning off my taste buds. I mean, my brother-in-law's Danish, and I swear he serves me dirt when he makes me a cup of coffee. And it's just so strong and I have to really sip it and be careful. I will fly so high. But I think people my age, younger millennials, and Gen Z prefer bitter and they prefer stronger coffee and they prefer a tighter bubble.
Looking ahead, what’s in store for De Soi in 2024?We're taking the feedback from our customers while still staying very true to ourselves. And, I think we are going to be moving into a space where we might be the best nonalcoholic versions of your favorite cocktails.