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.
Manager at Flour + Water
Sophie has been working in the service industry since she was 18. She is extremely passionate about hospitality and creating memorable and delicious experiences for people surrounding food and beverage. After bartending at both Locanda and Aatxe, Sophie now manages and serves at Flour + Water. She is proud to focus on sustainability, community and supporting smaller farms and wineries in her job. This is Sophie’s fifth year in the Elixirs category.
Head of Learning and Development at StitchFix
A former Good Food Awards intern, Jen Flaxman is so excited to be back helping an organization she is so passionate about. Before taking on her current role managing the Learning and Development team at Stitch Fix, Jen spent five years at Blue Bottle Coffee as the Director of Training and Development. There she was responsible for the programs, resources and classes that train and educate team members across the globe, teaching them not only how to brew a delicious cup of coffee and provide exceptional hospitality, but also how to be great leaders, coaches, and team members. Jen is looking forward to working with old friends, meeting new ones and trying some delicious elixirs.
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, committed to equity and inclusion in all levels of their business,***** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.*****
* 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.
*****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
Additionally, elixirs entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:
- Shrubs and Drinking Vinegars
- Flavor Extracts
- Ginger Beers, Tonics and Mixers
- CBD & Adaptogen Mixers
Raft Wines, Winemaker
Imperfect Foods, Senior Manager, Communications & Partnerships
The Good Hop, Owner
Troop Beverage Co., Founder & CEO
Blake Sondel Cole
Friends & Family Bar, Founder
Civil Eats, Board of Directors
Sandra Elisa Loofbourow
Royal Coffee, Tasting Room Director
Kuli Kuli, Innovation & Impact Director
Guittard, Marketing Manager