Brad White on Livening up Your At-Home Cocktail Hour
I had the pleasure of chatting with Brad White of White’s Elixirs recently. As a true do-it-all entrepreneur, he told me some great stories, gave me some fun drink recipes, and helped me brainstorm a Father’s Day gift...all while getting in his workout on the elliptical machine without even losing his breath. Brad is the brains and the personality behind White’s Elixirs Drink Mixers, the cocktail mix that allows you to enjoy fancy drinks with little effort. (That’s my kind of product!)
What got you started doing White’s Elixirs?
My brother and I went to The Patterson House back in 2013, and they had a drink on the menu that called for a saigon cinnamon simple syrup. We wanted to recreate it at home, so we made it for friends and family. Then, they wanted to buy the mix, and I was like, with actual money? We were thinking of flavors from other drinks we had had. My friend Rob Bock from Burble Studios got labels done. We got some photography. We threw up a website. And, White’s Elixirs was born.
Batch was my first customer. We were working in a community kitchen, and Sam found us. He ordered 1,300 of our saigon cinnamon syrup. He wanted something cool and Nashville-made for his original Nashville Batch box. I had to think about it hard because we’d never made more than 60 bottles at a time. But then, I got some good advice from a fellow entrepreneur: “You’re looking too hard for reasons to say no.” So, we went for it.
Things are a little different now. I have a manufacturer. My brother isn’t involved anymore, but he is always on-call. He actually lives next door. He’s a pretty brilliant software engineer. We work together to do a podcast: Milkshake Funeral.
You have all these cheeky videos on your site. What’s the story behind them?
If I were to leave Nashville and quit my job, it would be to go to Hollywood to get into writing for film and television. My background is in digital advertising, marketing, and branding. So, it’s important to me that White’s Elixir has personality.
I put little jokes and things like that on the labels. I think that too often the craft cocktail industry folks can take this all too seriously. I want my branding to be the opposite of serious, like how you feel after you’ve had a drink or two at a party. Not earth tones and suede and bow-ties. I want White’s Elixirs to be a lot of fun.
Let’s say it’s a beautiful Saturday in June around 5:00 p.m. You’re sitting on your back porch with some friends with nowhere to be. What are you drinking?
I’ve been doing a lot of Mojito riffs lately. One option is to take the White’s Elixir Mojito Mix, add rum or vodka — whatever’s available — and mix it with the lime White Claw. Or, throw in some Campari, rum or vodka, and grapefruit White Claw. I’m sticking with light stuff — it’s what’s in-season now that it’s hotter. Or, I’ll drink the Moscow Mule mix. It has pureed ginger juice, so it’s nice and peppery.
Being in the South, we have a lot of terms for late spring/early summer cool snaps, like blackberry winter. So, if it’s crisp out, I might go back to the Old Fashioned Mix. If it’s 55 degrees or lower, that’ll warm you up...or trick you into thinking that! No ‘nogs or anything at this point. I put the eggs away, unless it’s for a fizz.
Father’s Day is coming up. What’s your dad’s favorite White’s Elixir?
He likes the Hot-N-Spicy Margarita Mix. With Casamigos tequila. On the rocks.
If you’re looking for a fun, simple way to enjoy your favorite cocktails at home, Batch carries White’s Elixir Mint Julep, Mojito, Moscow Mule, and Old Fashioned Drink Mixers as individual bottles in two sizes. Or, go big with the White’s Elixirs Six Pack that includes Mint Julep, Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, Sour Mix, Margarita, and the Hot-N-Spicy Margarita Mix that Brad's Dad enjoys.
I recently enjoyed a few of those White Claw Mojitos Brad recommended, and I have to say that I think I’ve found my summer go-to drink!
If you want to refresh your whole bar set-up, the Happy Hour Gift Batch will give you everything you need: White’s Elixir Old Fashioned Drink Mixer, a jigger, two Tennessee Whiskey Glasses, and some Prohibition Popcorn with a bit of whiskey in every batch to help keep you on your feet after a few delicious beverages. Or, give Dad the Old Fashioned Father's Day Gift Batch.
Check out the full line of White's Elixirs products available at Batch.