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The Volstead Act Company's Pre-Prohibition-Inspired Cocktail Syrups

Small-batch, handmade mixers from Los Angeles

by David Graver
on 12 August 2016

Forever on the search for mixers that match the cocktail movement we are all immersed in, we were taken by the efforts of The Volstead Act Company. The Los Angeles-based brand creates four syrups—organic ginger syrup, bitter lime tonic syrup, bitter orange tonic syrup and their best-known naturally red Peruvian tonic syrup—by way of a multi-infusion process that allows layer upon layer of flavor to unfurl within cocktails. Founder Tana Elise looked back toward Prohibition for the creations (as well as the brand name), and each references the flavor profiles of cordials, cocktails and spirits of that time.

According to Elise, "many of the cocktails made pre-prohibition included ingredients such as freshly squeezed fruit juices, muddled sugar cubes with citrus bitters and ground herbs and spices to mask the harsh sting or aroma of the booze from that era." Fortunately, she continues "we’ve grown from unpredictably strong bathtub gins and moonshines into small batch craft distilled and ultra premium spirits." Her mission then, has been "to create a set of cocktail syrups that could compliment most any type of spirit, not bury it, and also to make the idea of cocktail crafting more approachable for someone new to the home bartending role." That said, she wanted to channel the essence and excitement of those early days of cocktail making.

"We only use the freshest organic ingredients we can get our hands on," Elise says. "We’ve spent quite some time researching local suppliers here in California who work with organic farmers all over the world to source some of our ingredients. Certified Fair Trade Organic Cane Sugar is always used and never substituted for corn syrup, white sugar, starch or any other alternative sweeteners. GMO and pesticide were not words one would hear pre-1940, and we’ve done our best to stay true to the ingredients that were used at the time." But beyond carefully crafted, these are tasty treats with applications beyond just gin cocktails.

The Volstead Act Company's range of syrups are available online, where a 4 oz bottle goes for $6. More flavors are being developed, with a potential release date for a few in December 2016. The brand will also be unveiling a new website this coming week.

Images courtesy of The Volstead Act Company

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