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Frankly Vodka Is the Organic Vodka You Want to Drink
The strawberries taste like strawberries
There’s a reason why vodka is the most popular spirit in the U.S: Its neutrality makes it extremely mixable. It’s also available at any price — from a bottle for under $20 that’s perfectly acceptable for parties to premium vodkas that can cost over $100.
So how does a relatively new brand make noise over the crowded vodka shelves at the local liquor store or bar?
Kristen Risk, co-founder of Frankly Vodka says that, frankly (pun, intended), it’s not easy for a small company to compete with the big brands, since they’re on the craft boutique side. “It’s extremely difficult to market a product in the spirits industry. We aren’t owned by a big company, so there are challenges.” Risk says. Frankly is owned by Kristen and her husband, Philip Risk, as well as Kent Croutcher.
Frankly launched in September 2018 and has grown fast in that it’s now available in 37 states. Risk says the company has a presence in Whole Foods and Total Wine and has “gained some respect from national chains like Safeway and Costco.”
Risk says that Frankly’s philosophy is to get out and have as many people try Frankly vodka for themselves. “It’s called lips to sips. As a new company, it’s important for consumers to taste the product and understand our authentic story.” The work is paying off. In 2021, Frankly produced about 33,000 cases of vodka and is poised to double that figure in 2022.
So, what makes Frankly different from other vodkas? First, says Risk, the vodka is organic and is flavored with real fruit and herbs. “We wanted to really stand by the word ‘frankly’,” says Risk. “To live frankly is to live honestly.”
She adds that Frankly starts with organic corn distilled at their facility in Austin, Texas. Then, fruits, roots, and herbs like ginger root, strawberries, and cayenne pepper are added. All ingredients are USDA-certified organic. “We wanted to make a vodka that’s better for you,” says Risk. The vodka has no artificial colors or flavors and is gluten-free.
Frankly also offers something familiar on most other consumables — but lacking in the spirits world — nutritional information. “The industry doesn’t mandate labeling, but we wanted to be transparent. You can find exactly what’s in your bottle on there.” A glimpse of the back of a bottle of Frankly’s strawberry vodka clearly states that a 1.5-ounce serving contains 96 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of fat or protein. Sugar grams clock in at 5 grams.
Peek into the clear bottle and you might also see some sediment. The strawberry vodka also has more of a rosy/tan hue than the usual “strawberry” red color one might associate with fruity libations. “Real ingredients look different and we wanted to showcase nature’s true colors. We’re not trying to hide anything,” says Risk.
The vodka, available in pomegranate, apple, grapefruit, strawberry, and unflavored, is smooth and delicious. The apple, spiced with a touch of ginger; and the strawberry with a hint of organic lemon for zest, are standouts.
If you need one more reason to try Frankly, then consider its “Frankly Fido” program that gives one percent of revenue to support animal causes. “It’s important to give back to the community and we feel that animal welfare is an area that needs help in our world,” says Risk, who adds that the money typically remains in the state in which the bottle was purchased.
If you want to try Frankly, the vodka — and Risk herself — will be at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting Village on Saturday, February 26 and Sunday, February 27. (Tickets cost $250 at can be purchased here.) Risk invites everyone to stop by for a vodka tasting and a cocktail. “There are a lot of big brands,” she says. “People love the experience of a formal vodka tasting.”