With the renaissance of the craft cocktail movement, and the increased focus on making quality drinks at home, several companies have moved into the market with syrups and mixers designed for both home and bar use. One of the latest to come to my attention is Powell & Mahoney.
Founded by a couple of cocktail fans, Powell & Mahoney produce a line of twelve mixers, including such popular flavors as Bloody Mary, Margarita, and Mojito. They also make a few that are more unusual, like Peach Bellini and Hot Toddy.
I was contacted by the fine folks at P&M recently to see if I'd be interested in writing about their products. I was, so they sent me some of their mixers to sample.
What first impressed me with their products was the interesting range of flavors and, even more importantly, the ingredients they contain.
P&M mixers contain no high fructose corn syrup, which goes so poorly with alcohol (and most everything else). Their mixers contain real fruit juices and purees, natural flavors, and organic cane sugar. If you're going to use a mixer instead of crafting ingredients on your own, this is the way to go.
I found the ones I tried to be tasty and true to their promised flavor, without being overly sweet or cloying. As much as I sometimes enjoy making a cocktail with five or six ingredients, there are also times when I just want to drink something easy that still tastes good. Mixers like this can come in very handy, as long as you don't rely on them too much.
My favorites were the Ginger and the Peach Bellini. The Ginger contains filtered water, organic sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, natural ginger flavor, ginger extract, fennel extract, elderflower extract, milk thistle extract, and caramel color. I whipped up a Highball with three parts whiskey (your choice — I used bourbon) and one part Powell & Mahoney Ginger. Add a little ice and you're ready to go. You can stretch it with some seltzer if you'd like, but I didn't bother.
The Peach Bellini contains filtered water, organic cane sugar, concentrated peach puree, orange juice concentrate, natural falvors, citric acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). I used it to make Peach Bellinis, with three parts Prosecco (use something inexpensive — I chose Cupcake) and one part Powell & Mahoney Peach Bellini. Combine in a champagne glass and you've got a delicious, quick, refreshing drink. My wife and I went through several glasses of this.
Some people turn up their noses at pre-made mixers like these, but I'm not one of them. There are many people who don't have the materials, time or inclination to make their own fresh cocktail ingredients. For them, it's important to have quality products they can use and still make good tasting drinks. Powell & Mahoney's mixers fill the bill quite well.