Freshies Cocktail Mixers offer the classics as well as hot new cocktails like the Pomegranate Mojito. Photos by B.A. Van Sise.
| KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE™.
Freshies Gourmet Cocktail Mixers
Better Cocktail Mixers Based On Fresh Juice
CAPSULE REPORT: Americans consume about half of the world’s cocktail mixers, to the tune of more than $375 million per year at retail. While some of the products on the shelf are so artificial they could drive a food-lover to drink, Freshies is a line of better cocktail mixers made of fresh ingredients. The all-natural line has a flavor profile that emphasizes fresh-squeezed juice and real granulated sugar or agave nectar—no corn syrup. The mixers not only make delicious cocktails, but most flavors can double as a non-alcoholic cocktail. In a previous review, the Bloody Mary mix got our “best Bloody Mary mix” nod: a true compliment given how much we love our homemade mix.
The Freshies line began in Telluride, Colorado in 1994, when chef Ian Gustin and bartender Colin Wells created a Bloody Mary mix* that became very popular throughout the ski towns of Colorado; they began bottling it for sale in liquor stores and specialty shops.
*Originally called Bridal Veil Bloody Mary Mix after the waterfall at the end of Telluride’s Box Canyon, the name was changed to Freshies, which originally referred to skiing fresh powder turns but today represents the fresh ingredients upon which the line is based.
In developing the line, pains were taking to avoid mixers that were syrupy-sweet. Fresh lime juice, lemon juice and a splash of orange juice are used to round out each of the flavors. As a result, some of the flavors are “juicier” in profile than one might find in a classic bar version, but that’s the Freshies stamp. The company uses only granulated sugar or pure agave nectar to sweeten, and no preservatives (there’s no green Appletini mix because there is no FDA-approved natural green coloring for liquids). Savory flavors are made with fresh herbs and spices: Freshies chefs actually peel and chop fresh garlic, horseradish and onions for the recipes. How meaningful is this? Compare the labels:
|Freshies Margarita Mix - Fresh Lime
||A Competitor’s Margarita Mix
|Water, granulated sugar, fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice, concentrated orange juice, confectioner’s sugar, agave nectar (a natural sweetener from the tequila cactus), citric acid, ascorbic acid and natural flavors
||Water, corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, cellulose gum, polysorbate 60, gum arabic, glycerol, abietate and FD&C Yellow No. 5
The most popular mixes reflect, not surprisingly, what sells best in the category as a whole: Margarita (Fresh Lime), Bloody Mary (Original), Mojito and Sweet-n-Sour. Last fall, Cosmopolitan, Pomegranate Mojito and Tangerita joined the line.
Bloody Mary Mixes
Whether you like them traditional, spicy or hot, there’s a Freshies mix for your Bloody Marys.
Our pick for best Bloody Mary mix, you can tell why it’s so good: fresh dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon juice and onion.
- Habañero Hot
The Original recipe with more heat from fresh habañeros. First Place Winner in the Fiery Foods Challenge, 2001.
For those who don’t like it hot, a very traditional mix with no horseradish, no habañero and a smooth consistency.
Our favorite Bloody Mary mix.
Read the origin of the Bloody Mary, a drink that began quite simply (and, we think, has been much improved upon over the years).
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo—or any other day of the year—with a margarita party (combine it with a salsa bar and a selection of gourmet tortilla chips).
What bar or restaurant offers this depth of choices, including a Lite version for carb-counters?
- Margarita ~ Fresh Lime
Fresh lime and lemon juices with a splash of orange juice make a very citrusy margarita.
- Margarita Lite
Dieters will be happy to find this mixer: the Margarita ~ Fresh Lime recipe without the added sugar has only two net carbs.
The preponderance of fresh citrus juices and sun-ripened peaches make this more of a peacharita—the mango notes are in the background. Try this mixer with rum for an island flair.
Two fruity Margarita mixes—Peach Mango and Tangerita—with the popular Mojito.
Fresh lime juice, strawberries, and a hint of kiwi make this a specialty margarita or daiquiri mixer. But it is also an especially delicious juice drink for those who want something without alcohol.
A sunny variation; if deciding between Tangerita and Peach-Mango, we’d opt for Tangerita because the flavor is more clearly articulated.
Classic & Nouveau Cocktails
The classic mix for a Bourbon Sour: fresh lemon juice, a splash of orange juice and granulated sugar. It’s so good, you can use it with small-batch bourbon. It’s a multi-tasker, too: Dilute it with water and you’ve got a delicious lemonade.
We didn’t taste this one, but we have no doubt it would make Carrie Bradshaw and friends very happy.
Fresh lime juice, fresh-steeped whole mint, a blend of sugars and a dash of bitters: just add rum and put on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (or any Cuban music in your collection).
- Pomegranate Mojito
We don’t know how authentic this is, but it tastes great. Combining a hot cocktail with one of the hottest new flavors is never a bad idea.
Two of the most popular mixers, Margarita ~ Fresh Lime and the classic Sweet-n-Sour Mix. Margarita is by far the number one category seller in the U.S., with Bloody Mary a distant second.
Because of the high quality of the ingredients and the simplicity of the recipes, Freshies are essentially intense fruit juices with a lot of citrus accent. If you dilute them with water (or club soda), you have a non-alcoholic juice-based beverage—perfect for those who have reached their limit, who don’t drink alcohol in the first place, or who feel like passing on it on a scorching hot day. Add a sprig of fresh mint and you’re all set. If you hide the bottle, you might even convince guests that you’ve been working hard in the kitchen, squeezing lemons and limes.
If you’re ready for a party, Freshies are ready to oblige. You can order a mixed case of Freshies and a mixed case of vodka, rum and bourbon, and let guests mix their own. It’s that easy!
FRESHIES COCKTAIL MIXERS
Bloody Mary Habañero Hot, Bloody Mary Original, Bloody Mary Smooth-n-Mild, Cosmopolitan, Margarita ~ Fresh Lime, Margarita Lite, Mojito, Peach-Mango, Pomegranate Mojito, Strawberry-Kiwi, Sweet-n-Sour, Tangerita
- 32-Ounce Bottle
- Gift Set
Three 32-Ounce Bottles
1 Rimmer Tin
- Mix-N-Match Case
Twelve 32-Ounce Bottles
- Mix-N-Match Case
Six 64-Ounce Bottles
$70.00 (Shipping Included)
Purchase online at Freshies.com
Ready for a party: a rainbow of Freshies.
Also available at stores nationwide. Prices and flavor availability verified at publication but are subject to change.