Sunday, May 5, 2019

Chicago’s Twisted Alchemy Offers Cold-Pressed Juices for Foodservice Operators to Make Craft Cocktails


 Scott Holstein (far right) and the Twisted Alchemy team at their office


I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Holstein, co-founder of Twisted Alchemy, a maker of curated, cold-pressed juice for craft cocktails, at the inaugural Naturally Chicago (a program by FamilyFarmed) breakfast held on May 3 at the LYFE Kitchen on 413 North Clark Street. Scott and his wife Kim Oster-Holstein previously co-founded Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels before selling the company to J&J Snack Foods Corp. in 2012. Twisted Alchemy will be exhibiting at the National Restaurant Association’s 100th annual Restaurant Show in the BAR (Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants) Show pavilion to be held from May 18 to 21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. I had the chance to try some cocktails made with Twisted Alchemy juices and G4 tequila at a Cinco de Mayo event held at their office in the Apparel Center.

 
Julianna and Kirby making cocktails for the Cinco de Mayo tasting


How do the co-founders of Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels enter the cocktails arena?


You may be wondering like I did, how do the co-founders of a Chicago pretzels company, get into the business of producing juices for bars and restaurants. It turns out that Kim and Scott have a lot of experience making margaritas. After college, Scott bartended at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Paris. With birthdays two days apart in May, Kim and Scott celebrate with a Mexican fiesta with tacos and craft margaritas, requiring a lot of fresh lime juice. They were always looking for fresh lime juice. Scott came up with a solution for fresh lime juice that offers a great tasting lime juice that is not heat-treated or contains sugars and preservative

A grapefruit margarita made with Twisted Alchemy's ruby red grapefruit juice and G4 Tequila

An alternative to juicing fruits on-premise



Twisted Alchemy's cold-pressed Lemon, Watermelon and Orange juices


With the rise of the craft cocktail movement, Scott says that “customers want the same quality level at restaurants as well at home”. Cocktail lovers want handcrafted cocktails with the taste of freshly squeezed juice. However, juicing fruits at the bar or restaurant takes up staff time, is messy, and may lead to inconsistent quality. The Twisted Alchemy line of fresh cold-pressed juices use the HPP (high pressure processing) technology to offer delicious taste and 90 to 120 days (depending on the variety) of refrigerated shelf life without the use of heat pasteurization or preservatives. The not from concentrate juices are free from added sugars and GMOs. 

Additionally, the Twisted Alchemy line of juices offer consistent Brix and noted pH levels as well as consistent yield (no more worries about dry limes or lemons). The front of each juice label states the Brix (sweetness) measurement so that mixologists can get the same sweetness level every time they make a cocktail. Twisted Alchemy offers a line of eight juices: Persian limes (25 limes are used in each 750ml bottle), Lemon, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Watermelon, Orange, Key Lime, and Blood Orange.


Sustainability through use of “ugly fruit” and composting

Twisted Alchemy has a number of initiatives to promote sustainability. The juice producer uses so called “ugly fruit” because the company is selecting fruits for ripeness and juice quality, not for appearance. The company composts 100% of its curated produce. In January 2019, its manufacturing facility began a composting program for its juice waste. The company’s bottles are made of 25% post-consumer recycled material. Its plastics are made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), the most widely recycle plastic in the world. The company packs juices shipped direct in environmentally friendly packaging material.   

This will be the company’s third appearance at the National Restaurant Association Show and the first under the Twisted Alchemy name. In January 2019, the company changed its name from Industry Juice to Twisted Alchemy.

G4 tequilas were used in the cocktails at the event



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