"These pop-ups are the complete opposite of the big orchestrated concerts. They're loose and fun," he told PEOPLE exclusively Wednesday night

By Pam Grout
Updated July 28, 2016 05:00 PM
Advertisement
Fernando Leon/Getty

It was a blistering 90 degrees in Kansas City on Wednesday, but the crowd of fans lining up outside Whiskey Tango hoping to catch a glimpse of Blake Shelton was already a mile long by noon.

“These pop-ups are the complete opposite of the big orchestrated concerts. They’re loose. They’re fun. It’s just a big party,” Shelton told PEOPLE exclusively at Wednesday night’s surprise concert for 2,500 fans. “Ten people or 10,000, I just want to play some country music.”

And drink some vodka.

Earlier this year, the country star, 40, partnered up with Smithworks Vodka to develop an American-made vodka as a way to give back to what he calls “the heartland.”

“I grew up in Ada, Oklahoma and was raised to appreciate the simple things that make up a good life,” he said. “This vodka is made from corn grown by farmers in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri, and water from an Arkansas lake near my home state. “I feel really passionate about it. It creates revenues for the farmers where I grew up.”

RELATED VIDEO: Blake Shelton Says Gwen Stefani ‘Is All I Care About’

It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a huge fan of vodka, which he’s made very clear on social media. “My go-to drink is vodka with anything citrus,” he says.

Already shooting season 12 of The Voice (which returns to NBC in September), the “She’s Got a Way with Words” singer says the addition of Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys as coaches has added new life to the show. “They really brought it this season. They really schooled us,” he says.

The singer opened up about finding love with Gwen Stefani and healing from his divorce from Miranda Lambert in Billboard‘s latest cover story.

“It is my divorce record, but maybe even more than that, it’s my happy, falling-in-love record too,” he said about the inspiration behind his hit album, If I’m Honest.