April Wachtel #014
Lessons in a Bottle
By Amanda Younger
Launching a beverage product at the start of a pandemic brings with it many teaching tools, and April Wachtel, Founder of Cheeky Cocktails learned a lot. Starting at a Bed and Breakfast at an early age, Wachtel has filled and learned almost every role in the industry. “There was always something really compelling about people connecting over food and beverage and I think that love and that passion really stayed with me.” As a bartender, Wachtel found herself answering questions from patrons about the ingredients and techniques, and began educating with a shaker in hand.
As a brand ambassador teaching over 5000 students in person, thousands more in online courses, and hundreds of trade within the industry, Wachtel enjoys the interaction of hands-on experiential learning and further knowledge in beverages. “I was thinking, what could we do that would contribute to people being able to connect better or more easily or in a more enjoyable way?”
Wachtel’s answer came in the form of Swig + Swallow. The company produced ready-to-mix bottles delivered with the right amount of room to add your spirit. Wachtel explains, “I wanted to figure out a solution to help people really feel their best and super-empowered with whatever tools they have at home.” The mixer came perfectly sized with quality ingredients of citrus and sweet, but the one-step process was a one-size-fits-all method that left consumers missing the creative part of the process.
So the team regroups and recrafts a building method of large batch jars for events. On March 8, 2020, at a sponsored event meant for 400 people, 2,000 appeared and the event was a success creating large-format custom creations on the spot with a 3-step method. The process worked, but then the lockdown in New York City began and Wachtel evolved Cheeky Cocktails for the at-home buyer. The timing could not have been better, “not for the supply chain, which has been challenging, but in terms of what people are looking for and people making cocktails in the home, it definitely has been a wild ride.” The concept and formula remained in place but at a much smaller size for at-home libations.
When large-scale catered events return, the company seems poised to deliver the larger size, but until then Cheeky Cocktails offers a beverage delivery service solution to those missing a well-crafted libation. Remain creative and tinker with your preferences, and when you need help Wachtel and the team have set up multiple videos to educate all those looking to learn a little bit more about creating memories through hospitality.
“So if anyone has any thoughts or requests, we are actively listening to what people are asking for. And we are adding those things in as the request comes in. So ultimately we just want to be in the conversation,” says Wachtel.
To learn more about April and the topics discussed on the show, check out the below:
- April’s Website
- Cheeky Cocktails Website
- Cheeky Cocktails YouTube Channel
- Kickstarter Campaign
- Movers and Shakers Podcast
And don’t forget to use the promo code “HAPPYHOUR” for great deals at CheekyCocktails.co