Episode 2: Failure is Bitter Sweet
Sunday April 12th, was a milestone in the development process for one of signature handcrafted cocktails.
The goal of the experiment was to find out if we could use citrus, more specifically lemon juice, in a ready to drink handcrafted cocktail.
Multiple versions were tested. Various types of lemon juice, fresh squeezed organic lemon juice, lemon juice from concentrate with preservatives and bottled lemon juice with no preservatives.
All of the drinks we bottled a week ago with the various types of lemon juice were tested side by side next to a fresh made original recipe.
After a critical taste test, the vote was unanimous.
Lemon juice of any kind, after time, renders the cocktail bitter.
Not the good type bitter as in "bitters", but the tangy eye squinting type that lets you know that as my friend good Brad Wright would often say: "That dog won't hunt."
Our hope was the the combination of spirits and lemon juice would keep and the we could use the fresh lemon juice as a mixer.
Bottom line, we failed.
However, what's important to note is that our failure did not dissuade us from our commitment to the process.
The failure was nothing more than figuring out what didn't work.
We walked into this experiment with uncertainty but we walked away with clarity and certainty. Certainty we had to pivot.
Today we remain resolved, fully committed to figure out how to make the drink even better than before.
Substituting the lemon for another ingredient version two of this recipe took a total of five iterations to finalize a very tasty new formula.
In our case failure really was bitter sweet.
Next week we will test to make sure the new recipe keeps.
We have learned citrus of any kind, is going to be a challenging ingredient for any ready to drink handcrafted cocktail. For all of those out there who may be curious my recommendation would be to steer clear of it.
Commitment to the process is key, choose to see failure as a way to move forward.
More to come!