It was early in Top Note's history. We were still making, perfecting, herbal cocktail syrups that would eventually become the base for our mixers. Following old herbalist formulas for vermouths, tonics and tinctures of the past, we knew we could make better amaro soft drinks, we didn't know if the bartending world would want it though.
Bringing my syrups around locally, we found Boone and Crockett. Now a classic and larger bar, their original site was like walking into the combination of a pub and old world library with taxidermy, plush leather chairs, and barrels suspended from the ceiling from their barrel aged old fashioned. Johnny was behind the bar. Casual, friendly, considering it was a cold call, and interested. He opening the bottles I brought and took a shot glass out, tried every one. He was immediately sold. He bought our unique Gentian Tonic syrup. A tonic syrup made simply from gentian root, ginger and some lime peel. He bought a case! I couldn't believe it.
I went back to see what cocktail they were making with it, and though simple, it sold me. A gin and tonic, perfect in it's own right, but somehow the blend of our syrup, soda water, and gin melded with their ice and a squeeze of lime (they have great ice) for a perfect quenching sipper.
Our eureka moment came a bit later, when another bartender in Milwaukee took the same tonic syrup and melded it with Rhum Agricole, lime and dram of allspice. I thought I was being transported to the tropics, yet at the same time, the experience left me speechless. It was like having a moment of surprise, and clarity all at once. I was reminded of beer flavors from wild yeasts, spice and rose and must, the quench of the sour allowed for my palate to fill with the need to have more, and the gentle woody bitters at the end left a satiated feeling. That our syrup, perfectly constructed in it’s own right, fine on it’s own, could be used to create complexity that further enhanced a sensory experience? I felt in a word ..... grateful.
We all have these moments in life. If we are in our kitchen for the first time riffing on a recipe and low and behold, the surprise, satisfaction, and intrigue all at once, we can make this (???!!!) is a fantastic feeling. We are celebrating this feeling as eureka moments. And we want to hear yours!
#topnotetonic on IG, show us your Eureka! At the end of the month, we will pick a random post and DM you with a discount for a free case!