‘Tis the season for entertaining company. To many revelers this involves whipping up some quality cocktails for guests. The circumstances of 2020 allowed many a would-be home mixologist to hone their hobby into a veritable craft. So, indeed, these DIY drinks are of higher quality than ever before. Ken MacKenzie was way ahead of the curve. He launched his brand of premium juice mixers, Fresh Victor, back in 2017. And his prescience is paying off: business is booming.
In actuality, it was more of a pivot that paid off. The line of fresh-pressed products was originally envisioned for the on-premise. It came in 64 oz. bottles and found initial success with large-volume venues at places like Epcot Center in Florida, and MGM and The Cosmopolitan on the Las Vegas Strip. But during the pandemic he was quick to scale down to 16 oz. bottles that could find immediate space in the refrigerated aisles of Whole Foods and Williams Sonomas across California.
All seven varieties are built around 100% fresh fruit and organic produce, where possible. The absence of preservatives really does impact the vitality of any spirit it mixes up against. But there is a significant upcharge for the experience: a 7-pack of 16 oz. bottles retails for just under $60. However, that’s also enough liquid to yield 30 full-size cocktails. When doing the math, many consumers are finding that it’s a price they’re willing to pay. MacKenzie, for his part, is committed to expanding the reach of Fresh Victor without sacrificing any components of his precious supply chain.
Below he shares some thoughts with Forbes on where his business is headed in the year ahead. And, of course, his favorite mixed drink for the holiday season ahead…
What makes Fresh Victor different from other mixers on the market?
Fresh Victor is a line of fresh, clean-label, cold-pressed juice-based mixers for making high-quality, versatile craft cocktails and mocktails. It’s useful for [amateur mixologists] as they continue to entertain at home and expand their gatherings. On the bar side, it cuts cost and is a clean, safe, stable way to keep fresh juice on hand.
What is next for Fresh Victor?
We are working to expand our footprint across our three main channels: on premise (restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos), off premise (grocery stores, delivery services, liquor stores), and direct to consumer through our website and fulfillment center. We’re also working on growing in other markets, primarily Southern California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and Chicago.
What’s your go-to cocktail involving one of your products?
This time of year I like to enjoy a cocktail celebrating the flavors of the season, and the Mistletoe Sour [by famed San Francisco barman H. Joseph Ehrmann] is right up my alley. It features two Fresh Victor flavors: Three Citrus & Mint and Lemon Sour, along with bourbon, peppermint Schnapps, and an egg white to up your cocktail game. It’s sure to impress guests this holiday season.
Here’s the recipe, for folks that want to re-create it at home:
Mistletoe Sour by H. Joseph Ehrmann
2oz Fresh Victor Three Citrus & Mint
.5oz Fresh Victor Lemon Sour
.5oz peppermint Schnapps (the drier, the better)
.75oz egg white
Garnish: 1 sprig fresh mint
Garnish: 1 tsp Pomegranate Arils
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, add all of the liquid ingredients. Close the shaker and shake hard for 3-5 seconds. Open the shaker, fill with ice and shake well for 5-10 seconds, Strain up in a cocktail glass. Garnish with a mint leaf or the top of a mint sprig and two pomegranate arils (to look like mistletoe).