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 fourth 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, inclusion, and justice in all levels of their business.
* 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:
- CBD & Adaptogen Drinks
- Shrubs and Drinking Vinegars
- Flavor Extracts
- Ginger Beers, Tonics and Mixers
Founder and Owner, Alma Superfoods
Founder + Principal, The James Collective
Food Editor, KQED
Buyer/Bartender, Junior Bar
Co-Founder + CEO, TraceTrust
Founder , Tomales Bay Foods
Marketing Coordinator, Guittard Chocolate
Senior Trainer, Blue Bottle Coffee
Co-Owner, Miracle Plum
Owner/Winemaker, Raft Wines
Owner/Winemaker, Maitre de Chai
Strategist, Designer, Whisk, Benne
Event Planning + Designer, Lea Stafford Events, LLC