Throughout his high school and college years, Jared McClain dreamed of the day when he would turn one of his ideas into reality and build a business around it. After graduation, he found himself working in downtown Chicago. Many of his college friends worked downtown and the city was a lot of fun, but the concrete jungle grew old after a couple years. Jared knew there was more to see and places to go, so he landed a job traveling the country.
In 2012, Jared was on the road 48 weeks out of the year traveling as a marketer and public speaker. One fateful evening, he found himself at a sushi restaurant in Colorado. Little did he know, this wasn't your ordinary sushi joint. This place happened to carry a flower, indigenous to Brazil, that has an insanely unique property to it. When consumed, the lips, tongue, and mouth are flooded with a tingling sensation that is impossible to forget. Jared asked the waitress to bring him a flower from the back so he could see what the hype was about. When told by the waitress to just give the flower a slight nibble, Jared chomped down on the whole thing in one big bite. The next three to four minutes were wild, as the active ingredients in the flower were released and ran across his tongue like a thousand packs of pop rocks. The experience would be seared into his brain for the rest of time.
Over the next couple years, Jared continued to travel and constantly thought about his encounter with the flower from Brazil. He kicked around the idea of coming up with a signature drink that would pair well with the tingle. As time went on, he shared his idea with a few of his friends, eventually being introduced to several bartenders and industry people from across the country. Countless months of trial and error of taste testing and developing the perfect production process finally led to what is found on the shelf today - a vodka shooter that delivers an experience like no other liquor on the market.
With The Lake of the Ozarks being the summer party capitol of the Midwest, Jared thought it would be the perfect place to launch a shooter brand. He has visited many times over the years and loved the lake dearly, so it was a perfect fit. The very first shipment of ZAMBU was sent to the Lake from St. Louis in May 2017. It took a few years and many hurdles were crossed, but the dream is now reality. ZAMBU has quickly spread from its birthplace in Lake of the Ozarks to the entire state of Missouri, with multiple surrounding states who will soon Taste the Tingle!