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.
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.
Vice President of SPECTRE8 – San Francisco, CA
After moving to SF nearly 10 years ago, Joel quickly fell in love with the city’s vibrant bartending and craft cocktail scene, specifically the focus of using high-quality spirits and ingredients. He has since spent a lot of his free time learning about cocktails & spirits, including the stories and people behind them. Joel frequently hosts private tastings with brands that he appreciates and launched the Rare Spirits Society in 2016, which hosts private monthly mezcal tastings for its members. He also has an ever-growing passion for natural wine and specialty coffee.
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.****
* 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:
- Shrubs and Drinking Vinegars
- Flavor Extracts
- Ginger Beers, Tonics and Mixers
Distiller, George Dickel Co.
Partnerships + Projects, Maydan
Bar Manager, Foreign Cinema/Laszlo
Sommelier/Bar Manager, Tratto/Pizzeria Bianco
Director of Education, CUESA
Director of Marketing & Community, Bi-Rite Family of Businesses
Co-Founder, Homestead Design Collective
Owner, A16 & SPQR
Brand Ambassador, Lo-Fi Aperitifs
Chef, Flour + Water
Bar Director, Mourad/Amara