Meghan Hanna and Linda Dow Cash are on a mission to help women connect… over cocktails! Canned cocktails from the duo’s company, Two Chicks, to be exact.
Where did the idea for Two Chicks come from?
Meghan Hanna: Two Chicks was born out of my passion for encouraging women to embrace one another and connect, rather than compete. I just felt like there wasn’t anything in the market that really embraced qualities of empowerment, inclusivity, and connection. And I decided to focus on cocktails, because women tend to connect over cocktails.
What made this goal of connecting and empowering women so meaningful to your personal lives?
Hanna: I was raised by two moms in a time when that wasn’t something that was spoken about on the level that it is today. So I was raised in a home that was obviously very women-centric with my moms’ friends and people in the LGBT+ community. It was an environment of connection, love, empowerment, and inclusivity, where being happy and authentic were really important. When I became an adult and a mom, I began to see that isn’t always what resonates across lines with women. Often, it’s the opposite—a competition—and I didn’t love that, so I wanted to create a brand that said it was okay to be you, because that is where we connect with one another.
Are cocktails a means to letting down your guard, in order to bond and support?
Hanna: Our cocktails actually have a pretty low alcohol content, so it’s not really about the mind-altering effects that alcohol can have on somebody. It’s more that when you’re breaking bread with somebody, or, in this case, having a cocktail with somebody, you feel more open, more casual, and that helps you let down your guard.
Linda, how did you become involved?
Linda Dow Cash: Meghan and I connected through a mutual friend who knew I was looking for a new business venture to be a part of. And I just loved the story of Meghan and her two moms. And her two daughters. I love two’s.
Did you two hit it off right away?
Cash: Yeah! It was almost like I’d known her forever. She walked into my house and it was like she belonged there. Maybe we knew each other in a past life.
Hanna: Absolutely. I believe that nothing is coincidental, and Linda coming into my life through a mutual friend was also a testament to the “why” behind the brand. It’s all about those connections.
What were you each doing professionally before you started working on Two Chicks?
Cash: My husband and I owned a craft and toy company, but we retired from that. I also like to design and build houses.
Hanna: I started my career as a school counselor, working with kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. I did that for about six years, and then transitioned over to commercial real estate.
So neither one of you had a background in the spirits industry at the beginning. Was that daunting?
Cash: The challenge for me has been working through all the different regulations from state to state.
Hanna: Yeah, there’s a definite learning curve when it comes to the actual intricacies of the industry.
Tell us about the R&D process. How did you develop these cocktails while remaining sober enough to make smart decisions about the product?
Cash: We have a great team of seasoned veterans, including our mixologist, who have been in the industry for years, but I did have to learn that when you’re tasting this stuff, you have to spit it out or you will be wasted all day!
How long have you two worked together?
Cash: Since July 2018.
Hanna: The other thing that Linda and I connected over was our efficiency and need for speed in life in general. We are both very much Energizer Bunnies.
You live on opposite sides of the country. [Meghan lives in Orange County, CA, and Linda is in Amagansett.] Was the distance an issue when you were first launching the brand?
Cash: I’m closer in the winters. I’m in Las Vegas for six months of the year, and then I come out to the Hamptons in the summers. The remote work is different for me. We could fit our whole staff in one office, but we know that this is the wave of the future. It’s difficult sometimes, but it’s been working for us.
Two Chicks’ drinks have a substantially lower alcohol content than most mixed drinks—around 5 percent [alcohol by volume], versus the usual range of 12 to 14 percent. What inspired that decision?
Cash: It’s a trend that started in Europe but has come to the U.S. People don’t want to lose control. The younger generations are more mindful and active. They have a lot to do in the day and can’t risk being hungover.
You’ve come up with some interesting flavors—vodka with pear and elderflower, or tequila and grapefruit. Why did you decide to offer creative combos right off the bat, as opposed to classic libations, like cosmopolitans or screwdrivers?
Cash: Tequila is a huge growing trend, because it’s lower in calories than whiskey, vodka, or gin. Even Oprah [Winfrey] was saying that she loves her tequila when she comes home. So that’s why we have two flavors of tequila, and then we branched out into vodka with the flowers, because of the aroma and the taste—for the person who doesn’t like tequila. The crazy thing is I don’t care for tequila myself, but I like our tequila drinks.
Cash: Because they’re balanced.
There are so many canned alcoholic beverages these days. Why do you think that’s the case?
Cash: It’s the fast food of alcohol. You don’t have to think about getting cranberry juice or fresh lemons or limes to make a drink when you get home.
How do you ensure that your drinks taste fresh? What’s the shelf life?
Cash: All the cans are lined, so you don’t get that metal-y taste, and they last about a year.
Megan: The cocktails are canned right after they’re made and the lining is BPA-free, so they keep tasting good.
The cans really do look lovely.
Cash: We went through a lot of designs and really wanted to push the botanical. From my old job too, I knew that you have to catch people’s eye. They’ll buy it once because it’s beautiful and buy it again because it tastes good.
You just launched this summer. What has the response been so far?
Cash: I see a lot of it resonate through the photos people are sending us. I love looking at our Instagram stories, because all of a sudden, there will be two girls with their two cans taking pictures. I love seeing that.
Hanna: I would echo that. It brings tears to my eyes to see someone who maybe I’m not super close with, like a friend of a friend, go out and buy Two Chicks as soon as it hits the shelves. Then they’re posting and it’s always in pairs; it’s a testament to the brand and to this idea of us all supporting one another. It’s something that we’ve really put our hearts and souls into and for people to connect with that is everything.
How do you see Two Chicks evolving as a brand?
Cash: We’ve talked about having a Two Chicks boutique hotel where people could come and connect through yoga, which would be amazing, but that’s not happening yet. I think we need to sell a couple more cans
Read the complete new issue of The Daily Summer below!