Bartisans aims to change the chemical and sugar-loaded perceptions of cocktail mixers

Bartisans aims to change the chemical and sugar-loaded perceptions of cocktail mixers

Jovita Mascarenhas started Bartisans with her son Jordan, a mixologist. Catering to the needs of consumers who love to drink, party and host, their brand of premium cocktail mixers was born.

Tsunami CostaBirUpdated: Tuesday, May 14, 2024, 04:13 PM IST
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Bartisans started during Covid-19 as the response of a mother-son duo who were lucky enough to sit at home and eat and drink. Pictures of their cocktail concoctions caught the eyes of their friends, and a business idea was born. 

They started off in their home kitchen with DIY (do-it-yourself) cocktail kits made fresh to order. Then, realising that people didn’t necessarily want to put in the effort of making their own drinks, they moved into making concentrates. And through customer feedback, they found their footing in cocktail mixers. 

What was the gap in the market you saw yourself filling?

We noticed that people love having great cocktails but don't like making them. That’s why we stopped the DIY kits. When you’re sitting around and socialising with your friends, you don't necessarily want to get up and make a cocktail. 

Since cocktails are consumed by the more affluent, they are also more particular about what they want and the flavours they like. They’re moving away from serving regular sodas and colas.

Tell us a bit about the R&D process of coming up with new flavours or products.

Initially, our flavours were based on stories and experiences from our own lives. For example, ‘The Summer of 2000’, which is a smoked pineapple and basil mixer, was inspired by our vacation in Thailand. We wanted to bring flavours and experiences we’ve had from around the world here. Jordan comes up with the product since he’s a mixologist and I do the storytelling, design and social media.

What is a key area of focus in marketing your products?

Packaging is of utmost importance when it comes to a product like ours. When you first see the product, it is only through the packaging that you choose to buy it. The taste comes later. So, a nice-looking bottle and packaging are the starting point. 

Our glass bottles can also be recycled or even reused as planters or to store spices or water. We don't use any plastic in our packaging. These things enhance the customer experience, giving it a premium feel. 

A lot of effort goes into the making of the product. Unlike the sugary mixers with artificial flavours, our products have only three to four natural ingredients. So you can’t ask a consumer to pay a higher price for a cheap-looking product. 

As a digital-first brand, what are your views on the distribution?

E-commerce is very helpful when you’re starting off and it can give you a lot of awareness and scale. But then it comes down to figuring out where your customers are and making your products available to them. So quick commerce and gourmet food and liquor stores become important.

Are you eyeing innovation and production expansion in the near future?

Apart from cocktail mixers, we’re venturing into dehydrated garnishes and infusions. We’re also working on having zero waste and using all the material to its full extent. For example, when we squeeze fresh lime juice, we dehydrate the lime peels and grind them with salt and sugar to make cocktail glass rimmers. Another one is pineapple skin. The juice isn't as tasty as the skin so we also use the skin which enhances the flavour profile of the mixer.

How do you ensure the shelf life of products when using natural ingredients?

Everything is lab-tested and FSSAI-approved. We use a preservative made from sugarcane juice that helps us get a 12-month shelf life. 

What is your vision for the future of your brand?

Every time someone wants to serve up a great drink at home, we want them to think of us. And in the short term, we want to create awareness of how cocktail mixers can be good. There is a perception that they are sugar and chemical-loaded, which we are breaking.

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