Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s Jetway wine seltzer lands in LA
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
The Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. was at a bar in Italy when he discovered an amaretto spritz. He was so taken by the spirit that he subsequently founded Jetway, an ultra-premium wine seltzer.
“I like this so much that I want it to be successful so I can keep buying this,” Hammond Jr. said with a laugh. “I have a friend in Italy in Milan and we had a gathering of his friends at this local bar. I had an amaretto spritz and I loved the ability to have many of something to consume while interacting. We were buzzed, but everyone was chatting. I love the idea of that pairing. I wanted to make a version of that, but I wanted to take the stuff I didn’t like from it and make it uniquely my own.”
Unlike hard seltzers, Jetway does not contain cane sugar or artificial flavors. The first offerings — a sauvignon blanc and a rosé of syrah and cabernet sauvignon — are sourced from the McNary Vineyard, which overlooks the Columbia River in Washington state.
Both are blended with distinct and rare ingredients that enhance well-being — including elderflower, yerba mate, Fijian ginger and yuzu — all of which were handpicked by Hammond Jr. as they are inspired from his travels and childhood.
“Half the enjoyment of Jetway is its aroma,” he said. “It takes you on a journey and makes you want to keep going back for another smell and taste. The color is beautiful and the bubbles playful. I want Jetway to be the bridge to your next adventure, whatever that might be — hanging at home with friends, a night out or an exotic trip.”
Jetway has been available in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties since The Strokes debuted the beverage at their Forum show in October. Distribution will continue to expand into 2022. In Santa Monica, it’s available at The Bungalow Santa Monica, 101 Wilshire Boulevard.
At 100 calories per 8.4 fluid ounce can, Jetway wine seltzers are 5% alcohol by volume. Hammond Jr. came up with the idea long before the seltzer craze, he said — in 2017.
“I was trying to create a drink that could compete against beer,” he said. “I want this over a beer. You can drink it like a seltzer and enjoy it like a wine.”
When he pitched the idea, it was well received.
“The whole process of how I got here is as magical as when I started the Strokes,” he said. “It had that same feeling that the universe was guiding me.”
Jetway investors include Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Nick Hoult, Coran Capshaw, Robert Schwartzman and Zoey Grossman.
Hammond Jr. has tapped Ben Parsons as Jetway’s chief operating officer. A winemaker and brand builder, Parsons pioneered the canned wine category.
“Jetway is all about a sense of place,” Parsons said in a statement. “At its core, it’s a single vineyard designate wine blended with distinct and rare ingredients that actually complement the wine, coming together in unison to make something better. Wine has a healthy halo in its DNA since it’s made with grapes, so the added ingredients only enhance that.”