Spice up your drinks with...


Whether you are crafting the modern cocktail or the wholesome answer to a bottle of pop, finely made modifiers add intensity, nuance and complexity to your refreshment of choice. Shaken or stirred, the Elixir category celebrates the ingredients at the front of the bar – Bitters, Shrubs, Syrups, Tinctures, Concentrates, Drinking Vinegars and Flavor Extracts – made with the most thoughtful of ingredients.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the elixirs community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the elixirs standard are and who will be judging this year.



Rob Easter

Founder of Workhorse Rye – San Francisco, CA

Rob has been in beverage and food hospitality since his teens, he’s had delicious and shaping opportunities such as being a barista at Four Barrel Coffee, bartender at Neta in Manhattan, and distiller at Kings County Distillery in Brooklyn. Learning from amazingly professional and passionate people and serving an increasingly aware consumer base has consistently fed a dedication to elevate any area of consumption; especially those most overlooked in modern era like bitters and syrups.

Committee Members

Sophie Fleming, Flour + Water
Andrew Mundy
, Rye on the Road
Brittany Smail
, Chair Emeritus, Good Food Awards Spirits Committee




In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, elixirs entries must meet the following standards:

  • Made in the USA or US Territories.
  • Utilize ingredients that are grown and sourced responsibly, with awareness of origin, seasonality, trade and labor practices.
  • Free of genetically modified ingredients (including GM beet sugar, vinegar derived from GM corn and alcohol derived from GM grain or sugar).
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup. Sweeteners must be organic or Fair Trade certified.*
  • Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.**
  • If made with fruits and vegetables, they are grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers. Where a grain is the primary ingredient there is a strong effort made to use ingredients free of these inputs wherever possible.***
  • All spices and herbs must be certified organic, Fair Trade or traceable to the farm level and grown without the use of synthetic inputs.****
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system

* Honey does not require organic certification, but must meet the criteria established for the Good Food Awards honey category.

** Citric acid will be accepted for some extracts.

*** IPM practices will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

****If less than 2% of ingredients in the product do not meet this stipulation, the entry will not be disqualified.

Additionally, elixirs entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Bitters
  • Syrups
  • Shrubs and Drinking Vinegars
  • Concentrates
  • Flavor Extracts
  • Tinctures
  • Ginger Beers, Tonics and Mixers
  • Kombucha

Past Judges

Nicole Austin

Distiller, George Dickel Co.

Maddy Beckwith

Partnerships + Projects, Maydan

Raena Wilson

General Manager, Oakville Grocery Co.

Nicky Beyries

Bar Manager, Foreign Cinema/Laszlo

Blaise Faber

Sommelier/Bar Manager, Tratto/Pizzeria Bianco

Leigh Gaymon-Jones

Director of Education, CUESA

Sarah Holt

Director of Marketing & Community, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses

Stefani Bittner

Co-Founder, Homestead Design Collective

Susan Simitz

Marketing and Social Media Manager, Earl's Organic Produce

Jordan Schwartz

COO and Co-Founder, ReGrained

Jolee Hoyt

Private Chef

Shelly Lindgren

Owner, A16 & SPQR

Laurel Robinson

Events Director, Anina

Chase Osthimer

Brand Ambassador, Lo-Fi Aperitifs

Ryan Pollnow

Chef, Flour + Water

J.P. Smith

Bar Director, Mourad/Amara