Milwaukee has a long brewing tradition and more recently the city has become home to a variety of spirit distilleries. Now a local company is stirring up the beverage market with a new brand of artisanal mixers.
Mary Pellettieri and Noah Swanson are both experienced hands in the beverage world, and founded Top Note Tonics a couple years ago.
"I have 20-some years of craft beer experience," says Pellettieri. "And I saw that revolution happen, where you went from really, lager and light beer being the only two types of beer in the beer world, to something that was a throwback, right? So ales, sour beers, all those styles of beers that came back with craft beer were really just a throwback to what had happened prior in the beverage business. So we see that happening in soft drinks now, so what's old is new again."
Top Note Tonics is trying to elevate the status of tonics by focusing on flavor development and eliminating much of the sugar found in commercial tonics. "Tonic as a category has been kind of a lost category in the soft drink aisle," Pellettieri continues. "We designed Top Note to be a change of direction for that, specifically broadening the category in flavor as well as some complexity."
"All of our products are about half the sugar of a typical mixer," says Swanson. "One of the problems we see with commercial mixers is they're far too sweet. And whereas it's easy to add sugar to a drink, getting sweetness out of a drink is very tough."