What do you get when you cross a celebrity bartender with a spirits entrepreneur? A fresh cocktail mixer with true cocktail credentials.
Fresh Victor mixers were born out of necessity. As an importer and producer of tequila, Ken MacKenzie held frequent public and trade events to present new brands. He often hired a mixology consultant and bar owner H. Joseph Ehrmann to support the promotions. Handling volume at cocktail events was a monumental task. MacKenzie and Ehrmann were up to the challenge.
In 2016 the duo found the solution easy to make fresh, delicious, and consistent mixers with the launch of Fresh Victor with freshly pressed juices. After initially selling Fresh Victor in 64-oz. packaging for the trade, the nine flavors of the mixers are now available in convenient 16-oz. size at Williams-Sonoma and in the cold case of Whole Foods and other markets, including online.
I have interviewed Ehrmann before on diverse cocktail topics and was not surprised he helped develop an interesting product line. The Fresh Victor portfolio runs from cactus pear and pomegranate to Mexican lime, agave, lemon sour, and pineapple ginger. Recently launched flavors include strawberry-lemon and grapefruit-sea salt. I was eager to speak with Ehrmann to learn about these fresh mixers and experiment with them.
Fresh Victor Basics
When asked about the name, Ehrmann said, “Fresh was obvious for winning the game for the just-pressed, wholesome mixers with no additives and long, refrigerated shelf life. Victor derived from the ‘victory’ of developing fresh mixers which easily enhance so many cocktails and mocktails.” As for the logo, watching llamas frolic during travels to Peru codified the logo.
Fresh Victor is a unique example of a farm-to-table product. Made with organic agave syrup and cane sugar, Fresh Victor is processed at a family-owned, solar-powered, certified juice production facility in Northern Calif. After a cold press, the juice is flash-pasteurized to 177 degrees, then chilled to 34 degrees. The shelf life is 85 days from the production date and is recommended for storage in the refrigerator for 30 days after opening.
The Mexican lime and jalapeño lime are already well known as quick and simple purveyors of Margaritas and Spicy Margaritas. The lemon sour mixer creates superfast, a lemon drop cocktail, and the cactus pomegranate produces an innovative cosmopolitan. The latter mixer also generates delightful Mimosa with sparkling wine or a mocktail with dry citrus soda.
Spirits producers cheer the quick way to demo cocktails with various spirits and liqueurs. Consumers seeking carefree bartending have welcomed the Fresh Victor mixers, eliminating multi-step recipes with multiple purchasing, prep, and juicing requirements.
Cocktails and Mocktails made easy
Ehrmann knows the world of cocktails. The owner of famed Elixir saloon, one of the oldest bars in San Francisco, and Cocktail Ambassadors, a bar event and cocktail classes company. Ehrmann’s early job cooking on the New Jersey shore portended a gastronomic career. After receiving a B.A. in English, he bartended in Vail, traveled, received an MBA and worked in e-commerce before the 2000 dot-com bust. Since opening Elixir in 2003, Ehrmann focuses on drinks service and training.
As the Chief Mixology Officer of Fresh Victor, Ehrmann unveils a playground for drinks. He offers quick tips such as freezing Fresh Victor in ice cube trays and then popping the frozen cubes into a plastic bag. Then add to perk up easy drinks.
Ehrmann suggests a two-to-two ratio of Fresh Victor to spirit for the trade. The consumer ratio is usually one spirit to two Fresh Victors. To add texture, blend in an egg white to create froth and viscosity. Tonic or ginger beer, added Ehrmann, matches up with many flavors, and a quick refresher is produced by adding a spirit or sparkling wine, seltzer, or water.
Since cocktail making usually includes a sparkling or still liquid splash, Fresh Victor is thicker than regular juice. The thicker juice without dilution is ideal for making cocktails, mocktails, and slushies. Parents quickly learned while crafting cocktails that the kids in the household could enjoy Fresh Victor, too, with some added water.
Given Fresh Victor’s acidic elements, it also suggests the product as a marinade for seafood ceviche and many other culinary applications.
The creative cocktails and mocktails proposed on the website reflect his penchant for finding what people want to drink. Here are some examples:
Fresh Victor cocktails
Fresh Smash: Three citrus and mint leaf, brandy or whiskey, mint, and citrus wheel
Bahama Mama: Pineapple and ginger root, white, aged, coconut and black rum, grenadine, Angostura bitters, maraschino cherry and orange slice
Dark and Fruity: Cactus pear and pomegranate, stout beer and cinnamon
Fresh Victor mocktails:
Matcha Mint Lemonade: Lemon sour, matcha tea, simple syrup and mint sprigs
Southern Swing: Three citrus and mint leaf, Earl Grey tea, soda water and a mint sprig
Cactus Pear & Pomegranate Mimosa: Cactus pear and pomegranate, apple cider vinegar, diced green apple and dry citrus soda such as Fever Tree and Q Drinks.
Getting Acquainted with Fresh Victor
My friend and cocktail aficionado Joss and I had a productive blending experience with Fresh Victor and Hanson of Sonoma vodkas. I chose Hanson of Sonoma for their focus on fresh, organic produce infusions, attention to quality, and natural flavor profiles. Joss named our top creations:
Sonoma Sunshine: Fresh Victor Pineapple ginger, Hanson of Sonoma Mandarin Vodka, and sparkling water with a pineapple strip garnish
Cucumber on the Rocks: Fresh Victor Cucumber and lime, Hanson of Sonoma Cucumber vodka with a cucumber curl garnish
We also experimented with a favorite gin from Durham Distillery.
N.C. Surprise: Fresh Victor Cactus pear and pomegranate, Conniption Dry with a splash of Fever Tree Elderflower tonic
Note: The name N.C. relates to Conniption’s production in Durham, N.C. The surprise is that neither of us like sweet gin drinks. Fresh Victor is balanced in a positive way to mix with flavored spirits such as gin and a lightly flavored tonic such as the elderflower tonic.
The possibilities of blending and mixing with Fresh Victor are endless. With fresh flavors to traditional to spicy and trendy, Fresh Victor is a welcome addition to the shelf at home or at the restaurant or bar.