Perfect Pairings: KC Local Collaborations

By Katy Schamberger

Local brands are working tirelessly to put Kansas City on the map. And when those brands team up for a collaborative endeavor, well, the results are nothing short of magical. From a dairy-infused cocktail to a whiskey lover’s new favorite T-shirt, these product partnerships prove that two really is better than one.

Christopher Elbow Chocolate Blend Flavored Coffee

Chocolate and coffee go perfectly together, so it was only a matter of time before two favorite Kansas City brands, Christopher Elbow Chocolates and The Roasterie, teamed up to create a chocolate-flavored coffee that’s delightfully delicious. Air-roasted Central American coffee is combined with Christopher Elbow’s signature blend of dark chocolate to create what The Roasterie calls “the world’s greatest true dark chocolate coffee.”

Boulevard’s Tank 7 Ale Infused Sea Salt

On the Kansas City barbecue scene, the sauce gets most of the attention. Yet the seasonings and rubs are just as important when it comes to creating a deep, distinct flavor that elevates barbecue from “really good” to “unforgettable.” The brother and sister-owned business, Wood + Salt, creates rubs, brines, spices, smoked sea salts, finishing salts and more, all designed to help bring out exemplary flavors. And when it came time to experiment with a beer-infused sea salt, which better brew to try than Boulevard Brewing Company’s beloved Tank 7 Belgian farmhouse ale? The result is a complex flavor that blends the traditional yeastiness of beer with the bright citrus fragrance that’s such an integral part of the Tank 7 brew.

Shatto Blanc

What do a dairy farm and a basement speakeasy have in common? One incredible cocktail. In the cozily cavernous Manifesto, a carefully and thoughtfully crafted drink menu includes Shatto Blanc, a combination of Tito’s vodka, Shatto root beer milk and yellow chartreuse angostura bitters. The milk is one of several flavors farmed and processed by Shatto Milk Company, a family-owned and operated dairy that’s been processing and bottling milk since 2003. When you think of craft cocktail ingredients, we’re guessing root beer milk probably isn’t on the list. Trust us when we say that the Shatto Blanc will make you a believer. Cheers!

Little Freshie Margarita at Port Fonda

Port Fonda owner and chef Patrick Ryan is reinventing Mexican cuisine, creating food that showcases the rustic flavors of Mexican cantina cooking. It only makes sense that Port Fonda’s margarita selection is equally innovative, including the Little Freshie margarita, which features seasonal syrups created by Little Freshie owner Lindsay Laricks. Local soda shop Little Freshie is the brick and mortar extension of Laricks’ first business, Fresher Than Fresh Snow Cones, a handcrafted snow cone shop that operated out of a Shasta trailer. At her shop, Laricks creates deliciously unexpected flavor combinations like mango ginger and blackberry lavender, and applies that same knack for creative experimentation to the flavors she creates for Port Fonda. The selection changes regularly, which means you’ll have to stop back often so you don’t miss one.

Charlie Hustle J. Rieger T-shirts

With their signature KC heart designs printed on delightfully soft T-shirts, Charlie Hustle has quickly become a favorite local apparel brand. Charlie Hustle is also no stranger to partnerships, having previously teamed up with Colorado-based OG Sack to create a Kansas City-branded messenger bag. One of the company’s more recent partnerships celebrates J. Rieger Co. Whiskey, founded in 1887 in Kansas City’s West Bottoms. Nearly a century after Rieger whiskey became obsolete during Prohibition, Kansas City cocktail connoisseur Ryan Maybee partnered with Andy Reiger to revive the brand, now produced out of KC’s East Bottoms. Charlie Hustle created several T-shirts to celebrate J. Rieger and its products, making this the perfect way for whiskey lovers to support their local distillery.

KC Whiskey-Filled Chocolates

This might be J. Rieger Co.’s second time on the list, but trust us—it’s worth it. Andre’s Confiserie Suisse, a longtime favorite destination for all things chocolate, celebrated the return of Rieger whiskey with artisan chocolate shells filled with a mini shot of Rieger’s signature spirit. Instead of choosing between happy hour and dessert, why not enjoy both at one time?