1.P&H Soda Co
This soda company based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, produces homemade syrups for at-home (or behind the bar) sodas and cocktail flavoring. The all-natural mixers with no additives or coloring come in flavors that include hibiscus, ginger and sarsaparilla. Cocktail creations range from a boozy margarita and cream soda (using hibiscus syrup) to Dark and Stormys (with ginger syrup) and Negronis and Bloody Marys (using lovage, a syrup featuring the celery-like herb).
2. Fever Tree
If there’s such a thing as a premium mixer, Fever Tree is it. It’s all there: the handsome packaging and quality ingredients without preservatives or added coloring, resulting in mixers that deserve to be drunk on their own. The price tag is worth the sourcing alone; tonic water is made with quinine from the Congo, the ginger is sourced from the Ivory Coast and Southwest India, and the thyme and rosemary come from the Mediterranean (yes, there’s an herbaceous Mediterranean version of the tonic water).
3. Owl’s Brew
Billed as the first tea ever crafted for cocktails and founded by a pair of tea experts, Owl’s Brew is shaking up the cocktail market with its handcrafted ready-to-pour mixers. There are three signature flavors (sweet, robust and tart) and the suggested cocktails range from Sangria to Margaritas. But given how little competition there is on the market, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Prices start at $10 at theowlsbrew.com
RIPE bar juices are handmade and handcrafted—and made by bartenders for bartenders. The company’s owners created the juice out of necessity: After seeing a lack of fresh juices for cocktail mixers, they decided to make their own, and a company was born. The Connecticut-based business forgoes corn syrup and preservatives for pure ingredients that are cold-pressed and not processed, and varieties range from juices designed for punches, Mojitos and Margaritas to Bloody Mary bases.
5. Powell & Mahoney
Handcrafted in Vermont, this batch of mixers is classic, both in the way the mixers are made (using recipes that date back generations) and for the cocktails they find their way into (think Old Ballycastle Ginger in Moscow Mules). Variations include basics like simple syrup, grenadine and chipotle Bloody Mary mix.
6. Bang Candy Company
Nashville’s Bang Candy began as a candy company, churning out artisanal marshmallows (naturally). It then veered into the cocktail syrups category. Its products now liven up Vodka Tonics and glasses of Prosecco. Flavors include celery, habanero lime, peach basil and strawberry rhubarb, and are all made in small batches free of preservatives.
7. Jack Rudy
Between the hand-crafted grenadine (used in classics like an El Presidente) made with pomegranate juice from a small family farm in Madera, CA and the elderflower tonic, made with wild elderberry grown in Kentucky, Jack Rudy is an all-American company. Based in the South (Charleston, SC and Lexington, KY), Jack Rudy is family-run and named for the two founders’ great grandfathers. The company’s mixers also include a small-batch tonic which they deem a quinine concentrate.
8. Hoosier Momma
An all-natural, low-sodium, premium Bloody Mary mix is tough to find. But Hoosier Momma is looking to change the way this classic is made. Made without high-fructose corn syrup and without GMOs, the original Bloody Mary Maker is still super-popular, but the newer spicy version (made with horseradish and aged cayenne) has a kick that customers pine for. The intent of the product, created by three female founders, is to pair premium mixers with spirits of the same caliber. That they did.
Addition has cornered the market on what’s been missing from cocktail mixers: a savory component. Similar to bitters, the tinctures come in an array of flavors from cumin to curry to garlic and turmeric, and clearly, the possibilities of flavoring cocktails are endless. Another unique creation from this Seattle-based company is its beer sauce, used to add heat and spice to your favorite suds. Original, Smoky and Extra Spicy beer sauces are all made by hand using fresh ingredients.
10. Liber & Co
Using fresh botanicals, organic agave nectar and South Asian herbs, Liber & Co.’s Spiced Tonic Syrup brings the heat as any good mixer made in Texas should. Heavy on the orange flavor, the batch is made by the three friends who started the company and still have hands in the production process. They make said tonic mixer along with a cold-pressed Texas Grapefruit Shrub (which livens up Gin and Tonics) and Pineapple Gum Syrup (which works great in Pisco Punch).
Stirrings has made it super easy for at-home drinkers to step up their cocktail doings. The company’s gourmet mixers are widely distributed and come in varieties from Piña Coladas to Bloody Marys to Margaritas: Only ice and booze are required. While some flavors are more basic and pared-down, it’s not everyday one whips up a Watermelon Martini or Peach Bellini, which is where pre-made concoctions come in. To boot, Stirrings also offers a line of affordable basic bar ingredients—like simple syrup, lime juice and bitters.
More stories about the craft of today’s cocktail movers and shakers right this way.
Cindy Augustine is a lifestyle writer and editor living in downtown New York City. See her pictures on Instagram and follow her on Twitter.