Inspiration to Imbibe In
Inspiration to Imbibe In
Guest Post by Marlys Weaver-Stoesz
Matt Farrow and Kaylee Nedley want you to approach the cocktail cart without fear.
That’s why they began Iconic Cocktail Co.
“I think making a cocktail is a lot like cooking a dish: you compose it and you share it with people,” Kaylee said. “We just try to make our mixers a little easier for people to do that.”
Read More to meet the duo behind your favorite cocktail mixers.
Matt and Kaylee each have a background working in restaurants–they met while working for Upward Projects’ Windsor in 2012–but truly wanted to run a business together. The couple began a catering business, crafting their own cocktails for events and even bottling grenadine (a deep red, pomegranate syrup) Matt crafted to give away at one event. After a few months, though, they decided to switch their focus from events to bottling and selling mixers, launching Iconic Cocktail Co. in early 2016. Now, their mixers are stocked on the bar at Windsor.
Matt learned about cocktails from bartending at restaurants with expert mixologists, then began experimenting with flavors and producing batch cocktails for friends and family. Now, he wants to help others find enjoyment in mixing drinks too.
“I was really fortunate to learn a lot about cocktails and I want to be able to offer that to other people,” Matt said. “It’s fun for me to talk about cocktails and make people feel empowered to go and play around and know that they’re not doing the wrong thing, they’re doing the right thing.”
“We’re never going to tell you ‘this is the recipe, this is exactly how you do it’,” Kaylee said.
“We don’t even call them recipes,” Matt noted. “We call them inspirations.”Matt and Kaylee developed the line’s staple trio — Lime Leaf Tonic, Ginga Syrup, and Spiced Honey — from three iconic cocktails— gin and tonic, Moscow mule, and hot toddy. They brew in small batches and work to source ingredients from Arizona farms and bottling materials from local companies.
They also introduced a line of seasonal flavors that have quickly become favorites. These have included Prickly Pear Sour, Pichuberry Peach Sour, and Watermelon Rose Tonic. This fall, patrons are already asking about how soon winter’s Cranberry Thyme flavor will be available.
Customers can also expect other flavors from time-to-time. Iconic Cocktail’s inspired series of mixers can be fashioned around some interesting new product another vendor is selling or “really anything that inspires us,” Matt explained. Recently, Iconic Cocktail developed a Cascara Vanilla mixer for Blue House Coffee Goods, another Phoenix Public Market vendor, to use in cold brew.
Matt is often the face behind the booth on Saturday mornings at the market. He is happy to answer questions or guide people in exploring mixed drinks. But he and Kaylee don’t want customers to be bogged down by what’s been done before.
“We want to make people feel empowered to do their own thing,” Matt said. “We want people to have fun.”