This Female-Led Brand is Revolutionizing the Way We Enjoy Craft Cocktails
Ever wish that you could make an artisan cocktail in just two minutes without any of the hassles of measuring, chopping, and figuring out which notes blend well together? Well, Steep't Cocktail Co. is here to help: Founders Alison and Chloe met in grad school and together figured out how to make an affordable, delicious cocktail blend by placing herbs, dehydrated fruits, and spices in a teabag that infuses a combination of spirits and water in just minutes.
These all-natural blends quickly gained adoring fans and attention from big names in the food industry: Steep't was selected from a sea of other brands as a first-place winner of Startup CPG's Pitch II virtual pitch competition in late 2020. Here, The Beet talked to co-founders Alison Nathanson and Chloe Aucoin about the brand's journey from idea to a cult-favorite product that's revolutionizing cocktail making. You can purchase Steep't products on the brand's website here.
TB: Where did the idea for Steep’t come from? It's such a genius idea but one that nobody else has come up with!
AN + CA: We are huge food & beverage fanatics -- we love trying all the new restaurants and are the go-to people to host our friends. We always also paid for expensive cocktails out at restaurants and bars in NYC, but never were able to recreate them at home! On a weekend trip in Portland, ME where we had some delicious cocktails using infused spirits, we were inspired to come up with our own way to make restaurant-quality cocktails at home without the hassle!
Initially, we used mason jars containing all the dehydrated ingredients you now see in our sachets, but it took 24-48 hours to infuse and no one had time for that! We took the same all-natural dehydrated ingredients, ground some of them up, and put them in a sachet to make the infusion process near-instant.
TB: What has your journey as co-founders been like?
AN + CA: We believe we are very lucky! We complement each other in terms of skill set, and one of us is always able to motivate the other through the ups and downs. But the best part is that we are friends first and co-founders second. We met on the first night of business school and instantly bonded over our love of food & drink and coincidental desire to move from retail into doing something entrepreneurial in the F&B space. You’ll hear some co-founders caution getting into business with a friend, but for us, it’s been great.
TB: Why is Steep’t a better option than traditional cocktail mixing?
AN + CA: Steep’t addresses the biggest challenges with cocktail making. These are lack of ingredients on hand, lack of know-how, and the desire for instant gratification. Each individual sachet is ready-to-make. All you need is cold water, the spirits of your choice, and 2 minutes!
TB: What does it mean to Steep’t to be Startup CPG’s first-place winner?
AN + CA: We are thrilled! We’ve won great prizes that will really help our business from a photoshoot to shelf-life study. We love the Startup CPG community as a whole. All members are actively connecting and helping others. The Startup CPG community has truly been one of our most valuable resources.
TB: How do you keep the ingredients in Steep’t bags so fresh and flavorful?
AN + CA: Because all of our ingredients are dehydrated, the bags have a long shelf life. We use a combination of herbs, spices, whole dehydrated fruits and the powdered versions of these ingredients. The sachets are also sealed once made, which helps preserve flavor and freshness.
TB: What’s your favorite alcohol to use in tandem with the Steep’t bags?
AN + CA: Depends on our mood! For our original flavor, the Spicy Margarita, Alison prefers it traditionally with tequila, but Chloe loves making it with gin. That’s another neat feature of the product; customers can use their favorite spirits - no need to play by the rules. You can experiment with your favorite spirits and brands. The margarita is delicious as a mocktail, or with tequila, vodka, or gin.
TB: What’s your favorite cocktail to use Steep’t for during the colder weather?
AN + CA: We love an old fashioned in the winter. There’s nothing like it on a cold night!
TB: Where do you see Steep’t going in the future?
AN + CA: We envision Steep’t as the go-to brand for all that is cocktail-related. We plan to introduce many more cocktails, including seasonal drinks, creations made in partnership with some of our favorite mixologists, and more. We also will be introducing a “pitcher size” Steep’t sachet, and individual size Steep’t sold as singles for airplanes, hotels, and liquor stores.
TB: Are there new varieties in the works? If so, can you give us a hint as to what they are?
AN + CA: Yes! For our re-launch in Spring 2021, we will be introducing our twist on a mojito, cosmo, and moscow mule. More to come that is in development as well!
TB: Can you use Steep’t for mocktails for those of us who don’t drink alcohol?
AN + CA: Yes– Steep’t will be for everyone, even those who do not drink!