Published on September 4, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour0
A splash of enterprise
When your first production run of 50,000 runs out in three months, you might start to think you’re onto a winner. Lixir Tonic is the creation of Newcastle University graduates Jordan Palmer and Matt Mahatme did exactly that. The range of five flavours blend stunningly well with gin and darker spirits as well as lengthening a glass of white wine in pleasant fashion.
The dynamic duo have signed up several bars and pub groups in Newcastle and around the North East to the Lixir brand and are also in advanced talks with Washington and Middlesbrough-based LWC Distributors who know a thing or two about getting liquid to lips.
“We’ll expand out of the region and nationally once we feel it’s right,” says Jordan. “The two of us are still working in bars, mostly at weekends. It’s invaluable experience and helps us get to know the trade better and what people want. Plus, when we go out to meet people in the business we can talk the same language.
“Our first product was launched in May at a Gin Discovery event in Fenwicks, Newcastle, following a reward-based crowdfunding initiative. It reached the £16,500 target in 35 days.”
Jordan and Matt had been experimenting with tonics since 2016, mixing syrups and soda water concoctions in their kitchen and testing them out on friends. Both had gone into drinks retailing – coincidentally – Jordan representing Guinness for Diageo and Matt beating a similar path with spirits giant William Grant (Glenfiddich, Hendrick’s Gin). But it became difficult to juggle full-time jobs with 16 months of market research, experimentation and putting out feelers.
Jordan says: “Like everybody else, we love a good G&T. However, we believe tonic water is so much more than just a great pairing with gin.
“It’s all about brand awareness at the moment. The bottles look great in the fridge in a bar and local spirits companies have given us a lot of support.”
Local customers too, we suspect.