Beverage Startups

Xachoh – The Enlightened Non-Alcoholic Spirit of Persia

Xachoh - The Enlightened Non-Alcoholic Spirit of PersiaXachoh (Za-Ko) – the enlightened non-alcoholic spirit of Persia. With two different flavors, the brand merge tradition and innovation. Today, I am extremely excited talking with Mohamad Djahanbakhsh, the founder of Xachoh.

1. How did you get the idea of starting your own beverage business?

My family have been distilling and selling non-alcoholic spirits for six generations. They began by making non-alcoholic spirits as herbal remedies and due to popular demand, they extended their purposeful healthy remedies into spirits for consumptions as an alternative to other beverages for social occasions. My observation and research of the non-alcoholic drinks market highlighted that consumers could benefit from a non-alcoholic spirit that was completely distilled and did not contain ‘extracts and flavourings’. Motivated to continue my family legacy and on a mission to ‘enhance health and enrich lifestyles’, I created Xachoh (Za-Ko) a non-alcoholic spirit range free from alcohol, sugar, sweetener, gluten, extracts, flavourings, calories, carbohydrates and fat which are suitable for vegan diet too.

2. Xachoh has two different flavors. Can you tell us more about each?

Xachoh Blend number 5 is a clear spirit which has an elegant and complex aroma. The freshness of star anise is the backbone of this drink with its potent yet sweet flavour offering a heady scent, but without being overpowering on the palate. It is beautifully rounded by the spicy warmth and subtle fruitiness of ginger root, which is balanced alongside the fragrance and warmth of long pepper and turmeric, bringing real depth to the drink. The deliciously honeyed notes of camomile offer the slightest touch of sweetness and helps to bring a gentle creaminess to the palate. Finally, the refreshing acidity of barberry and rosemary cuts through the rich flavours and produces a mouth-watering experience, giving way to a perfectly integrated blend of flavours that linger on the palate.

Xachoh blend number 7  is a dark spirit which has a warm and richly spiced aroma. The prominent flavours of ginger root and blades of mace strike a perfect blend of warmth, spice and a subtle fruitiness. The luxurious aroma of cinnamon quills brings sweetness to the nose and palate, balancing perfectly with saffron and the other spices. Dark crystal malt adds delicious toasted notes and a real depth of flavour, similar to that of a well-aged dark spirit. All of these rich and dark flavours are balanced by a refreshing acidity of sumac on the palate, leaving the way for a long finish and an eagerness for that next sip.

3. Creating a good looking and tasteful product is a challenge. What are the biggest difficulties you have faced ever since the beginning?

All innovations are met with difficulties, but it is perseverance and passion about our mission that drove the innovation forward to a successful completion. Some of these challenges were:

  1. Delivering a truly luxury high quality brand that is not limited to the bottle, labels or packaging but is inclusive of the taste, botanicals, craft distillation, aroma, colour and benefits,
  2. Stay true to my ancestral high quality standards and purposeful recipes,
  3. Scaling up production from my kitchen table whilst keeping the craft characteristics,
  4. Sticking to our mission statement (Enhance health and enrich lifestyles) in everything we did.

Thankfully, all of those challenges are behind us and we will no doubt face new challenges in our journey, but we are certain that our passion to accomplish our mission will sign-post us to success.

4. Xachoh products have 14 different botanical ingredients. Can you tell us more about the benefits of most uncommon ones, such as saffron?

The choice of ingredients is influenced by my ancestral health remedies. In Xachoh Blend No. 5 and Blend No. 7, we use 2 recipes that were used by my ancestors to make you ‘feel good and relax’ and ‘feel good and focus’. Star Anise spirit was used for its relaxant qualities whilst long pepper spirits were known to relieve stress. Combination of turmeric and long pepper were used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Saffron spirit was used as a mood improver and to improve sleep patterns; and cinnamon spirit was used to boost brain and memory.

5. Congratulations on becoming one of the finalists in World Food Innovation Awards 2019. In your opinion, what are the most interesting trends in today’s beverage industry?

Health, sustainability, purpose, authenticity and value for money (If you are calling your drink a premium drink then it ought to have premium ingredients, process and packaging).

6. Xachoh is a unique beverage. Who is your target market?

Xachoh - The Enlightened Non-Alcoholic Spirit of PersiaThose health-conscious adults who are seeking to enrich their lifestyle and do not drink or are reducing their alcohol consumption.

7. What is your biggest milestone for 2019?

Promote the brand and our points of difference with consumers and the trade.

8. What advice would you have given yourself before you started out in the beverage business?

There are so many wonderful and helpful people who are willing to help and support you in a start up but often many of our interactions are with those who are experts at the strategic level and not enough at the tactical level. I think, I would have found some help in the tactical areas a bit earlier.

For more information visit Xachoh Spirits website.

About Ugne Butkute

Ugnė Butkutė is a project manager at DrinkPreneur. Ugnė is responsible for attracting contributors, maintaining quality of content and keeping readers satisfied with DrinkPreneur

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