Peanut butter. Whiskey. Peanut butter whiskey. No matter how many times you say it, it sounds like an oddball combination. But don’t let a little thing like preconceived notions fool you.
With a warm and welcoming aroma and a deliciously smooth palate, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey isn’t your average flavored liquor. In fact, it might just be the next big thing on the San Diego spirit scene. Made by a local husband and wife duo with American whiskey and peanut butter flavor, the end result is savory and creamy, with a touch of sweetness, and without the lingering, heavy finish you might expect. Destined to live in a variety of cocktails, this surprisingly clean whiskey can easily be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
Inspired by a wildly popular shot invented by co-founder Steven Yeng, and served at his popular restaurant OB Noodle House + Bar 1502, Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey has been refined into an award-winning spirit that captured Double Gold at the August 2018 eighth annual New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. Entering among 340 contestants and going toe-to-toe against other flavors such as hot cinnamon, ginger, blackberry, and apple, Skrewball was the only winner to nab the esteemed Double Gold designation in the Flavored Whiskey category.
PACIFIC caught up with Brittany Merrill Yeng, co-founder and managing member of Skrewball to find out the lowdown on this local award-winning whiskey.
PACIFIC: So, how did you make your shots originally?
BRITTANY MERRILL YENG: With real peanut butter. It was a rather messy cocktail, that people mostly drank as a shot. It got some publicity, and we were on a reality TV show. And I heard people from all over talking about it. I asked (husband) Steven (Yeng), “Is this a thing?” So, many people have tried to replicate it around San Diego and even around the country, but it’s hard to replicate the exact flavor.
How much peanut butter goes in a batch?
The thing about peanut butter is it’s oily, so it's not that simple because oil and water don’t mix, and it can separate. So we created natural peanut flavors, it’s not scoops of peanut butter. It’s a clear liquid, and by doing that it’s a higher proof. It tastes like a peanut butter cup!
What’s the best way to drink Skrewball?
We designed this to be a bartender's best friend. You don’t need to chill it; you can drink it straight or in a shot — we recommend with a sea salt rim. It’s also fun all of the cocktails out there, even a piña colada with Skrewball is surprisingly delicious.
I like it over a little bit of ice, my husband likes it neat with a smoked salt rim.
Your imagery definitely reads SoCal bohemian. What is your target market?
Frankly Skrewball appeals to everyone young and old. The word Skrewball refers to someone who is eccentric and nutty. We say the party hasn’t started until the skrewball shows up. It's about being yourself, and you have way more fun when you are just yourself.
What does “We are the black sheep” slogan found on your website mean?
I think we can all relate to feeling ostracized or like you don’t fit in. It’s about accepting others and accepting yourself. Skrewball is definitely looked down on by whiskey connoisseurs, but we are proud of our roots in California, and we aren’t going to try to hide it. So we ask that you try it first. We've changed peoples’ minds.
Congrats on your Double Gold Medal for Best Flavored Whiskey in the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition. How does that feel?
This competition was open to big brands. Everyone else in the flavored category got bronze and we jumped to the double gold. We were very proud.
What are the reactions you are hearing to Skrewball?
It’s been remarkable and a great response. We were told the flavored whiskey market is a tough market. People are telling us about Skrewball who don’t know it’s us. We feel like we have created a new category for the market.
Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey is featured at bars around the county, and retails for $21.99-$24.99. For a list of locations, visit skrewballwhiskey.com.
Follow Skrewball on Instagram at @skrewballwhiskey and when you partake in a shot or a glass, use the hashtag #getskrewed.
Make it at home
As Classic as PB& J (A Peanut Butter & Jelly Old Fashioned)
1.5 oz. Skrewball Whiskey
.75 oz. Rye Whiskey
4 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 Luxardo Cherry
Combine all these familiar ingredients over ice in a cocktail glass. Stir and allow these old friends to mingle until chilled. Garnish with Luxardo Cherry and an orange peel.