Whether you’re cutting back to prioritize health, manage pandemic stress, or jump start your 2022 fitness goals, you’ve probably noticed the expanded variety of zero-proof options now available at restaurants, bars and grocery stores.
According to a recent Nielsen study, off-premise sales of nonalcoholic beverages increased by more than 33% in 2021, and online non-alcoholic and low-alcoholic beverage dollar sales increased by a staggering 315%. This trend speaks to a growing “sober curious” audience led by younger consumers. As demand for this sector of the beverage industry continues to increase, companies with alcohol-adjacent products are booming.
With flavors and bottle design chosen specifically with mixologists in mind, Twisted Alchemy is a line of cold-pressed fresh juices with no added sugar in flavors like blood orange, pomegranate, lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, and watermelon. The company also produces the only hand-squeezed, non-heat pasteurized Persian lime juice on the market.
Twisted Alchemy was founded in Chicago in 2016 by Kim Holstein and her husband, Scott, a veteran consultant in the CPG industry. The pair of food-and-drink-loving entrepreneurs previously founded Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels, a brand they grew to sell in over 25,000 stores across the US including national retailers like Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Starbucks and QVC.
Holstein points to an uptick in sales right after Christmas, coinciding with the growing zero-proof cocktail trend, coinciding with Dry January. “In years past, people participating in Dry January felt like they needed to abstain from elevated flavor experiences, Holstein explained, “but consumers have moved beyond swapping a complex cocktail for a simple soft drink or a sparkling water. They want something nuanced and interesting, just without the alcohol!”
“We wanted a solution to create the fresh-squeezed taste without all the hours of work,” says Scott Holstein, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “With a dream to simplify the mixology process without sacrificing flavor.”
Since 2016, bartenders have been using their juices to craft alcoholic and zero-proof cocktails in world-class restaurants, bars and hotels around the country. Some of Twisted Alchemy’s top partners include premier beverage consultants, regional hospitality groups and internationally-known brands like Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Live Nation and Alamo Drafthouse.
Twisted Alchemy’s products can be used to create anything from margaritas to mojitos or even tiki cocktails.
After a successful launch in 2016, Twisted Alchemy’s sales grew 71% in 2018, and up 73% in 2019. When the pandemic hit in 2020, the company pivoted to serve consumers at home by offering online mixology classes to teams working remotely around the world, including EY and Amazon.
They introduced curated cocktail kits containing dehydrated citrus garnishes and rimming salts and sugars imbued with precious metals to elevate the at-home cocktail experience. Nearly two years into the pandemic, fresh juice margarita kits and virtual cocktail classes remain two of the company’s top-selling items.
In an effort to combine the two, Holstein will launch a Margarita Kit Subscription program next month. The subscription includes 4 curated margarita kits delivered throughout the year, each containing enough ingredients (sans alcohol) to make 20 cocktails or zero-proof drinks.
Each kit comes with instructions to access a live, online mixology classes taught by nationally recognized bar pros like Nigal Vann (The Best Black Bartender In America), Denisse Soto (La Chingona Miks) and Sheridan Reed (The Batchelor: Listen To Your Heart). The kits can be shipped anywhere in the country with eco-friendly packaging using a 100% recyclable liner and reusable, non-sweat gel packs.
Subscribers can expect the first cocktail kit to arrive prior to National Margarita Day on February 22. Tiffanie Barriere, James Beard Beverage Advisory Board member and founder of The Drinking Coach will teach participants how to make a Passion Fruit Margarita with two of Twisted Alchemy’s most popular juices.
“We are on a mission to elevate the craft of alcoholic and zero-proof cocktails and the spirit of the world around us,” said Holstein. “Whether you choose to add booze or not, the unsung benefits of cold-pressed juice that’s never been heat treated will take your nonalcoholic creation to the next level.”
“This is not your typical margarita mixer,” says Holstein of Alchemy’s Three Citrus Margarita Juice. “It hits bright sour notes with the familiar sweetness that only fresh orange juice can deliver. Layer in something tangy like passion fruit juice, rim a glass with habanero salt, garnish with a dehydrated citrus wheel — you won’t even think about tequila.”
Twisted Alchemy’s Non-alcoholic Passion Fruit Margarita
2 oz. Twisted Alchemy Passion Fruit Juice
2 oz. Twisted Alchemy Three Citrus Margarita Juice
Salt the rim of a rocks glass and fill with ice. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill, then strain into prepared glass.Garnish with dehydrated citrus wheel.