Casa Cocktails began as a happy hour over Zoom with friends during the pandemic and has grown into a company that ships cocktail kits across America.
Darren Palmer, owner and CEO of Casa Cocktails, said the business began in 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak shut everything down and forced people to stay home. Palmer’s business partner, Ryan McGinnis, and his wife Louisa needed help with a virtual get-together with friends and reached out to Palmer.
“She asked me to do a virtual happy hour for her and her friends because they couldn’t get together, obviously,” Palmer said. “She asked if I could make some little cocktail box and send it out and it just kind of birthed the idea. We did it and did the little happy hour and then I kind of looked at Ryan and I was like, ‘Why can’t these be in stores or something like that?'”
Mix up happy hour with Casa Cocktail kits
Palmer started Casa Cocktails shortly after and the company has been teaching the people how to make unique, delicious, craft cocktails in the comfort of their own home. They sell Cocktail Boxes that provide the ingredients and tools needed to make tasty drinks. The boxes come in vodka, rum, gin, tequila and whiskey and come with recipe cards and a QR code that will bring you to how-to videos you can follow along with.
“The way we’re doing it, I think is different,” Palmer said. “I think it’s it’s unique and I think it gives you everything you need. It’s a one-stop shop thing for for making drinks at home.”
Palmer was bartending at Tomasita’s when the pandemic hit and decided to make a change.
“So I bartended through the pandemic there and bartended outside, like serving outside during the winter and it was just it was really taxing,” Palmer said. “I was really getting tired of it and I wanted to transition to something more for the future for myself.”
That future is bright as Casa Cocktails continues to grow. Palmer ships throughout the country and recently added mobile bartending options that serve Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and New Mexico.
Casa Cocktails also likes to give back to the community and has partnered with Meals on Wheels of New Mexico to donate a portion of each sale to help feed the seniors of Albuquerque. They can also bartend for weddings, graduations and any special event you have.
“Our aim is to take the pretentiousness out of bartending,” Palmer said. “We want people to feel that they’re accessible to it, to try it and see that it’s not as intimidating as some people think. Some people stick to the basic drinks because they don’t know what they’ll like or they’re afraid to spend $15 on a drink at the bar, so we want people to know what some certain classic cocktails taste like and get a feel for how things are made and make it not so scary.”