Holiday libations just got easier
I’ve been on a health kick the last few months, one that I expect to continue through the holidays. It’s been tough, but the silver lining is that I discovered mocktails, and they’re going to be one of the things I’ll keep enjoying through the new year.
My recent passion isn’t always easy for the bartenders I meet, but they’ve answered the challenge with innovative, beautiful concoctions. Now, Colorado mixologist-turned-businessman Tyler Goddard is piloting a new line of custom cocktail mixes in Boulder County that could help bartenders the next time a customer like me is in front of them. They’ll also make alcohol-fueled drinks easier and quicker to make, something especially needed when things get busy and people want something festive in their glass at the holidays.
Goddard knows that bartenders and restaurants can have trouble getting that flavor profile just right in a cocktail, especially during busy seasons when bar lines grow. Too much alcohol makes for a hot flavor profile, and too much sugar can be unpleasant. He created LeVita Beverages’ expertly blended mixers to help. The Colorado company’s pre-mixed cocktail recipes can fill the cocktail shakers of restaurant bars as well as home parties with balanced proportions of fresh ingredients.
Miguel Vazquez, chef/owner of Aperitivo Bar in Niwot, has been carrying the mixes for the past two months. “We have a bunch of classic cocktails and specialty cocktails, but LeVita gave our menu a sexy touch. The colors and flavors are very unique and include flavors from around the world,” he said.
We tried alcohol-free versions of LeVita’s Asian Fusion with ube and lychee, and it was sweeter but still light. There was nothing syrupy about it at all. The gimlet was also light but had a little spice to it, enough to make the drink warm but not overpowering. The spicier margarita was fresh and delicious with a bit more heat that tasted appropriate and fun.
Goddard explained the philosophy behind his offering. “Everything I have is something that bars would need a trained staff in order to make well. But I’m doing it so that it can be delivered to a bar or to a home party and have a fast, easy cocktail.” He further shared, “It only takes a bartender ten seconds to replicate, and if the cocktail is alcohol-free, that’s even quicker to pull together. Then they can garnish it and send it out.”
A graduate of Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, Goddard learned his craft from spending time behind a bar. His blends take advantage of both his culinary knowledge and his ability to help drinkers find what they like. He’s also experienced enough to realize one of the benefits of his mixes is that they reduce cocktail ingredient waste, something restaurants with tight budgets care deeply about.
Goddard has found pre-mixes also help restaurants that are experiencing limited staffing and high turnover behind the bar, a situation that’s grown more common in recent years. They’re easy for new staff to learn even if they’re solo at the bar facing a line of happy hour customers.
While there is a core lineup of mixes, what Goddard has developed can have customizable packaging that guests can receive as a favor at holiday corporate events or home-based parties. Outside of the holidays, people have taken advantage of this option for weddings and created something that guests are glad to take home.
So for this holiday season and beyond, , the drink in your glass could possibly come from a Colorado-made, pre-mixed bottle. That in and of itself is something to toast to.