Jul 26, 2022
There were a few chuckles when Morgan McLachlan launched her first spirit brand, a vodka crafted from California clementines. Yet, while its novelty may have amused some in the beverage alcohol industry, the product represented a foundation for her now acclaimed distilling philosophy, which is focused on botanical-based spirits.
The co-founder, chief product officer and master distiller of Los Angeles-based brand AMASS, Morgan describes the company as born out of “a desire for quotidian pleasures made better by plants.” Launched in 2018, AMASS produces a variety of spirits, including its flagship dry gin, and in recent years extended into hard seltzers as well as personal care and beauty products, such as liquid soap, hand sanitizer and candles.
Earlier this year, McLachlan introduced De Soi, a line of sparkling ready-to-drink non-alcoholic apéritifs. Co-founded by global pop star Katy Perry, De Soi was designed as a brand for mindful, yet also refined, consumption. The line includes three expressions each made with botanicals like blackcurrant, birch and yuzu and functional ingredients, including reishi mushroom, ashwagandha and maca.
In an interview featured in this episode, McLachlan spoke about her transition from a career in the film industry to the spirits business and how the former guided her focus on creative distilling methods. She also discussed how AMASS developed its distinctive branding and positioning, the company’s decision to incorporate lifestyle products into its portfolio, how De Soi is an expression of a new phase in her life and the origins of her partnership with Katy Perry.
0:42: Interview: Morgan McLachlan, Co-Founder/Master Distiller, AMASS and Co-Founder, De Soi – McLachlan and Taste Radio editor Ray Latif riffed on the latter’s pronunciation skills before discussing an industry honor bestowed upon the entrepreneur, exploring Los Angeles’ micro-climates and why she decided to distill citrus for her first spirit. She also discussed how she applied her experience growing up in an artistic family into distilling, how blurring beverage categories has impacted drinking culture, how she joined AMASS as a co-founder and helped establish its positioning as both luxury and accessible. Later, she discussed the expansion of the AMASS portfolio, the launch of and roadmap for the distillery’s RTD cocktails, why De Soi was established as an independent brand, the formulation of products and how Katy Perry is involved in planning and operations for the upstart company.