Heritage Distilling Co x Cheeky Cocktail Collab

We at HDC are proud to partner with Cheeky Cocktails Co. on this exclusive Spring Cocktail Kit, Lavender Bees Knees. Founded in 2020, this fellow woman-owned business from Brooklyn, New York, has worked hard to create shelf-stable syrups and juices that are exquisite replicas of the ingredients professional bartenders stock behind cocktail bars. The Cheeky products are perfect for creating signature cocktails like the Lavender Bees Knees. We love their commitment to creating quality-made syrups and look forward to using their products in even more of our recipes.

HDC: Could you tell us about the history of Cheeky? How did the brand come about?

I worked in restaurants since I was thirteen, transitioned from serving to bartending in college, and gradually made my way into the cocktail world. I moved from Boston to New York in 2011, and started teaching cocktail classes, first at one, then at five schools in New York and Philadelphia. It was then that I realized hospitality is super personal for people, and people wanted to offer the best for their guests, but felt lost and overwhelmed when it came to cocktails. I thought if we could make REAL bar ingredients available for home use, they could replicate their favorite bar cocktails, better understand what they liked, and feel really great about sharing their knowledge (and cocktails!) with friends. It took many more years, but eventually the idea evolved to what Cheeky is today- a line of bar-quality syrups and juices for the home:)

HDC: What is your background and why were you inspired to start Cheeky?

We spoke about some of my direct experience, but I’ve known I wanted to be an entrepreneur from an early age. I love education but I didn’t love academia, and as a kid I realized that if I was interested in a topic or project I was good at it, and if I was bored I was terrible. For many years I tried on lots of different jobs and internships during the day (writing, video editing, industrial design, non-profit work, etc,) and at night I bartended and grew my career in hospitality. I knew I loved helping people connect over food and beverage, but I needed to be able to flex my creative and strategic muscles more fully. As I mentioned before, I had my major insight while teaching cocktail classes, and after several years consulting with spirits companies and building up my spirits industry knowledge, I finally was able to start building Cheeky.

HDC: How did Cheeky come to partner with Heritage?

It’s hard to remember now as it’s been a while, but I think we may have reached out to Heritage initially? We were looking for like-minded partners in the spirits world with a commitment to craft and quality, and Heritage has that in spades! We also love partnering with woman-owned businesses, as there’s not enough of us out there and we want to do whatever we can to shine the light!

HDC: What are you and your team most excited about in the future?

In many ways I feel like we’re at the very beginning of our journey. We’ve made amazing progress in our short time in business, but every day you can feel the company growing. I tend to love things that are difficult and are a slow burn, because when the big moments happen you know it’s your work paying off. So all in all, I am just excited to look back in a month or six months or a year and just be proud of what we’ve built.

HDC: What is your favorite Cheeky product and why?

Currently I’m VERY excited about our Espresso Syrup for Espresso Martinis. We sourced a really special cold brew concentrate from our friends at Cafe Integral (they source single origin beans from Nicaragua and roast them locally in Brooklyn), and added only cane sugar and gum arabic for balanced sweetness and texture. I designed the recipe so you could reduce the number of ingredients you’d need from four (Vodka, Espresso, Coffee Liqueur, Simple Syrup) to two (Cheeky Espresso and Vodka), and you’d get a creamy foamy crema on the surface of the cocktail every time. Tasting is believing- I would highly recommend you try it!

A huge THANK YOU to Cheeky Cocktails Founder, April Wachtel, for taking the time to chat with us!

You can find Cheeky Cocktails syrups and juices in tasting rooms, but you can also purchase it online in our featured Lavender Bees Knees Cocktail Kit, which includes a full HDC Elk Rider Gin and HDC Lavender Vodka as well as Cheeky Honey Syrup and Cheeky Lemon Juice.

 

Cheers!


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