If Simple Times Mixers are "inspired by a time when real ingredients were the only option", then we need to hop in a time machine and all go there. Admittedly I wasn't super excited about Simple Times at first. They were always on my list to check out, and I figured I'd get there eventually. I mean we all know what mixers are right? Sugar water, high concentrated, alcohol diluting, drink ruining, ice melting, corn syrup filled, glorified grown-up juice drinks right?! WRONG! Let me break this down for you. I'm eleven (ELEVEN!) bottles deep at home, and the story is always the same. I can literally count the number of ingredients on one hand. None of them start with high fructose, red dye, or "insert flavor" added. They started off doing 10 gallon batches. Now they're squeezing out...see what I did there...800-1000 gallons a week!
These 'mixers' (they are so much more than just a mixer, more on that later...) are NON-GMO, vegan, organic, triple distilled water packed, magic bottles that make your favorite cocktail just two pours away. That's right, pour Simple Times, pour your favorite bottle and start enjoying. All that said, I think this is the first company since I started my blog that I rock with the people just as much if not MORE than the product. Read past the break and learn a little more about Simple Times, the team behind it, and just how hard they are working to put Columbus on the Map for all the right reasons!
Simple Times hits farmers markets because those same farmers are the ones who supply their FRESH FRUIT. In fact, they source all of their fruit and produce from about a 60 mile radius of Columbus. The idea behind it was to:
Are you starting to get it? They aren't messing around! You want to be the bartender at your next event? Grab some bottles of Simple Times. Pineapple is the Number 1 seller, but it's fall, go for that Chai Apple magic concoction...I promise you with a splash of bourbon it'll get you through till Summer returns. I bought 8 bottles at that farmers market. Two full size, and 2 3-pack samplers. Called all my friends and Saturday it was on. Don't believe me? Check out the video link above to my IGTV. We threw every type of drink and garnish we could think of at Simple Times and every. single. time... All we could say was this was amazing! So we hit up their team and said we need to get there, I want to see more.
Reason number two I get down with Simple Times (Reason One is the product...duh) is because they've got a loyalty code just like mine. They saw what my crew did, so they invited me to check out theirs. They stayed open late on a Tuesday so I could get a feel for the production, meet one of people behind the magic, try some new things, and check out their event space. They can either craft you a cocktail, or have a bartender there on site to put on a show.
Reason number three... The event space/headquarters is LOCALLY SOURCED TOO! The wood trim on the ceiling is single batch sourced from Ohio, the steel on the tables they designed is also single batched. Brackets for shelves? Yep. Same source. And they are proud of it all. Mark, the owner that gave up his evening to meet and talk to us is a grad of tOSU, has a storied career in spirits and beverage distribution, and you can see on his face he's doing what he loves. If six bottles and an IG video makes an owner want to meet me, then you best believe I want to meet him too. I wasn't disappointed. Mark, you're a down to earth guy, and Sulli's Kitchen always has you and your team's back. Count on it. That message, that philosophy of "repping Columbus for all the right reasons." That's a riff on his personal philosophy that Columbus has more to offer than people give us credit for. And he's determined to put Columbus on the map by doing the little things right, for all the right reasons. Columbus is his home, and the home of Simple Times Mixers.
Reason number four... All Mark asked for, when pressed to say how do consumers and the food industry help grow his business, was word of mouth. Help shift the mindset, that a product like Simple Times should be in a place like Whole Foods, or Lucky's Market. Someone needs to be smart enough to put a refrigerated cooler in their wine/beer/liquor section or figure out a prominent placement and let the product do the talking. This is going to be a long, long wave, and it's going to change the craft cocktail industry both in restaurants and bars and at home.
Reason number five... YOU DON'T EVEN NEED ALCOHOL! When I tell you I've tried every bottle of Simple Times straight, with Sprite, Ginger Ale, Pepsi, Coke, lemonade, sweet tea, WATER... yeah they all hit the same. It's just a delicious product. There's no getting around it. When you're using fresh fruits, spices, herbs and real organic cane sugar, you're going to have a lot of people shocked at the first sip. Simple Times is just that good.
And if you ever meet Mark, get him to tell you about the triple distilled water system they use to ensure they start with ZERO taste. His face sort of lights up while he's explaining it! And how they know their craft so well, they actually give the mixers a higher pH (more acidity, but to me still less than a glass of OJ) so that when you pour your favorite drink to mix, it's perfectly balanced and not watered down. They really did think of everything.
So Simples Times, you're definitely hitting the list of things I love. What's my formula? 3 parts Simple Times, 1 part love, garnished with a modern twist that's sure to become a classic.
Adrian S. also known as Sulli, & Chef AD. I love all things food, and the best gift I ever got was a love of cooking... Thanks Mom!