Beverage Startups

Q Drinks – The Quality That Spirits Deserve

Q Drinks - The Quality That Spirits Deserve

Summer is the perfect time to grab a cocktail and refresh your taste buds. The problem is, it’s not always easy to find a satisfying supplement for your favorite spirits. Don’t worry though, that’s why Q Drink’s range of cocktail sodas was created – to enhance consumer’s drinking experience. Today I have the honor of talking to the founder of this company, Jordan Silbert.

What is the story behind your company‘s establishment? When did it start? Why did you particularly choose to enter the beverage industry?

Q Drinks - The Quality That Spirits DeserveQ Drinks started on a warm summer night in Brooklyn. My friends and I were in my backyard, mixing gin and tonics.

A couple of drinks in I realized that my tonic water was not nearly as good as the gin or my friends. It was bland, flat, and so sweet it made my teeth feel sticky. For some reason, the idea lingered. My friend had brought a great bottle of gin and we were mixing it, drink after drink, with something lousy. It was a perfect evening. The moonlight caught the bottle of gin and it glowed. Next to it, the plastic tonic water looked particularly decrepit.

In a flash, I realized that I should make a spectacular tonic water.

It took me four years to get it right. But once I did, the best bars and restaurants in New York City started serving my tonic water. Then we got a ton of press coverage and some larger retail chains joined them. And soon I was being asked for other carbonated mixers as spectacular as Q Tonic.

I see that you have a history section on your website, in which you can find a timeline of various beverage inventions. Why did you decide to choose this approach? Is history of great importance to your brand? What are your brand‘s core values?

When I start working on a new flavor I go way down a rabbit hole.  And part of that process is learning absolutely everything about the flavor and its history. How it came to be? Why?  And for some reason I think other people will be as curious as I am so we share that information on our website.

As for our brand’s core values, we are completely focused on making the absolute best tasting beverages, regardless of cost or complexity. So while the history is important, it’s not nearly the most important thing. Taste is. When mixed with a great spirits, Q drinks make the best tasting cocktails.

Currently you offer eight different types of sodas. Which one, would you say is a favorite of the consumers?

Q Drinks’ best sellers are Q Tonic and Q Ginger Beer.  Compared to the competition, both are more boldly flavored, more carbonated, and less sweet. So they make much better tasting cocktails.

Q Drinks - The Quality That Spirits Deserve

Jordan Silbert is the Founder of Q Drinks. He is shown here with thier Tonic. 9/10/12

Tell us more about your primary ingredients. Which ingredients are dominant in your sodas? Why?

Each of our carbonated mixers is different but we focus on real ingredients – real quinine from real trees, real ginger from real ginger root, real grapefruit from real grapefruits… Then I make recipes with the intention of creating spectacular mixers, so they very boldly flavored, very carbonated, and not too sweet.

Cocktail sodas have a tendency to unleash their taste well, only when they are mixed with spirits or other beverages. However, you have mentioned that your sodas are also spectacular on their own. How did you manage to find a balance between these two features?

I make our recipes for mixing in cocktails so that is the priority. However, because we use all real ingredients and not too much sugar, they still beat conventional sodas in taste on their own, especially for customers who appreciate bold flavor.

Nowadays it‘s quite hard to differentiate your product. What makes your cocktail sodas stand out from the others?

Taste them. Q drinks taste vastly better than other mixers and make much better cocktails. That’s because they are less sweet to complement rather than mask subtleties in great spirits. They are more carbonated. They are made with the finest ingredients for authentic flavor and crafted specifically to mix with great spirits.

One of your sodas is called Kola. I assume that it is in some way similar to all of the other cola drinks in the industry. Tell us more about this drink.

Q Drinks - The Quality That Spirits DeserveThe kola nut tastes bitter. The original recipe for the original Coca Cola was designed to mask its drugs and alcohol, so we now think of “cola flavor” as a combination of tang, spicy, sweet, and savory. However the balance in today’s factory colas is all syrupy sweet, and hardly any spice. Which is to say, there really is no balance at all.

So we started over. And unlike other colas, Q Kola is made with a “k” and: organic ingredients from real trees and plants –  kola nut, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, lemon, lime, orange, and nutmeg – and just a little organic agave, not loads of high fructose corn syrup or sugar. So Q Kola has a great balance of tang, spicy, sweet, and savory and tastes great when mixed with terrific rums and whiskeys.

Are you willing to produce other types of beverages? If so, which types? Or perhaps you are more interested in expanding your ongoing variety of cocktail sodas?

We have plenty of products. We need to focus on getting many more people enjoying them.

Where do you see Q Drinks in 10 years from now?

Q Drinks will be bigger than Schweppes and Canada Dry.  We will be ubiqutious in retailers across the world and proudly served at better bars and restaurants everywhere.

For more information about Q Drinks, visit their website.

About Patricija Nemanyte

Patricija is a Content Manager at DrinkPreneur. Patricija is responsible for preparing reports in the media, media monitoring, organization's website maintenance, social media management, communication material organization.

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