Educating Bartenders Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
The Big Wave Beverage Company’s mission is to make the Best tasting cocktail mix line in the country at a price every American can afford. Their Spicy Cajun Bloody Mary mix has won 5 gold medals and was rated by Timeout Magazine as the best tasting Bloody Mary Mix in the country.
Their Sweet & Sour mix also has won 4 gold medals just in the last two years and was rated the best Sweet & Sour mix in the country by Nationally known Bar consultant Robert Plotkin.
Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy Margarita, Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy Sweet & Sour, Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy Low Cal Margarita, Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy Cajun Bloody Mary Mix all won medals at the 2020 Bartenders Spirits Awards.
Dr. Swami and Bone Daddy’s is riding high in a category that lacked distinction until the arrival of their gourmet cocktail mixers that are out-tasting and outselling everything within their Northern California distribution. The Los Gatos, CA-based company was founded in 2001 by Dwight Perkins, a former sports merchandise retailer with first-hand experience in fueling the passion of brand loyal fans. Armed with a recipe for a Bloody Mary mix that inspired many tailgate parties, Perkins developed a winning all-natural product that caught the attention of Southern Wine & Spirits’ Stephen Burrows who in turn put Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s on the map. Perkins, who is company President and the brand’s “Bone Daddy,” next identified a neglected niche in the margarita mix category:
A shelf-stable gourmet product with an authentic, fresh taste that is free of the harsh chemical burn that defines the majority of generic mixers. He speaks to taste as the key differentiator for his products and has established a solid foothold with retail accounts. He is rapidly growing the company’s on premise business with taste-offs that pit Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s mixers against the competition. The company’s mixers are tailored for both the on-premise and retail markets and include the signature Top Shelf Margarita Mix, Bloody Mary, Sweet and Sour. All showcase the purity and character of ultra premium spirits through the use of gourmet ingredients like tree-ripened juices and granulated sugar which impart better body and a cleaner taste to their Margarita mix. The addition of non-alcoholic Triple Sec further increases complexity and improves the margin for operators who choose not to add their own.
Markedly better taste and astute branding have worked like a charm and propelled Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s Top Shelf Margarita Mix straight to the top in retail and chain store accounts. One of California’s largest beverage chains sites “a difference you can taste and a brand attitude” that consumers strongly identify with for Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s number one spot in the gourmet mixer category. The preparation and consumption of popular cocktails at home is driving sales across several categories including ultra premium spirits and glassware but the single largest rationale for purchasing a better tasting, higher priced mixer is that it improves the overall quality of cocktails. Perkins’ observes, “There are 800 cocktails made with margarita mix and by improving the quality of that one ingredient you have improved on 800 cocktails.”
At the other end of the spectrum, the company’s products excel for volume accounts like Ark Restaurant Group which operates seven full service restaurants, two lounge/clubs, 13 food court outlets, two catering businesses and room service operations at New York, New York in Las Vegas alone. Ark’s Las Vegas Food and Beverage Director Randall Warder manages an operation that runs the gamut in terms of styles and price points from fast food to fine dining and rings in excess of 6,000 checks every day. Warder learned the art of tequila while opening high-end resorts in Cabo San Lucas and was challenged by Arc’s inventory and volume demands when sourcing a house mixer. He conducted a grand tasting in which he compared all comers to his personal recipe and, not surprisingly, Dr. Swami & Bone Daddy’s Top Shelf Margarita Mix came out on top. “While the vodka martini is still our most popular call drink, this is a town where the majority of ‘fun cups’ contain a Margarita,” observes Warder whose accounts serving spirits are no exception.
He points to Gonzales y Gonzales the company’s flagship Mexican restaurant located at New York, New York which sells more than 2,000 standard 16-ounce Margaritas a week and serves hundreds of 24- and 48-ounce gargantuan novelty, drinks that can contain up to eight ounces of tequila. With a ratio of two parts tequila to four parts mixer, that’s an ocean of product.