OlssønBarbieriOB

Shake-it Mixer

We were asked to develop a new range of Cordials under the name “Shake-it”, tapping into a renewed interest for drinks and convenience culture focused on elevating the experience of drinking and eating at home. The goal was to bring one of the oldest ingredients in cocktail making back into the “Art of Mixing”. We saw the opportunity to create a link between the rise of cocktail making at home, the search for more complex flavours, and the use of healthier ingredients.

Shake-it is distributed in retail across the Nordic countries and will roll out across key European markets during 2021. Within two months of launching, Shake-It became the biggest cordial mixer brand in Denmark.

Technically speaking, the word cordial is used to describe a tonic, syrup, or non-alcoholic drink used to mix cocktails. First produced in Italian apothecaries during the Renaissance, cordials were usually based on alcohol and seen as medicine in which herbs, spices, or other ingredients were allowed to steep. By the 18th century, cordials were being imbibed for their intoxicating effects and medicinal virtues and were fast becoming recreational drinks, eventually evolving into liqueurs. Fast forward to today, cordials contain no alcohol and have lost their association to either “medicine” or “grown-up pleasure”.

The name almost bluntly clarifies the context in which to use the products. What we needed was to position these products in the premium segment focusing on quality and credibility. Examples of existing brands in the cordial category are Monin and Rose’s. None of these products suggests mixing in their identity. Our concept pays homage to the first bartender’s recipe book by Jerry Thomas (1862), by rekindling the legacy of mixing and restore the pride in the cordial category.

Cordials from medicine to cocktail mixers

Most cordials were of European origin, first produced in Italian apothecaries during the Renaissance, where the art of distilling was refined during the 15th and 16th centuries. These were strictly used as booze-based medicines, prescribed in small doses to invigorate and revitalise the heart, body and spirit as well as cure diseases.

  1. Aletris Cordial – better known as Mother’s Cordial – was a popular ‘over the counter’ remedy described as a uterine tonic.
  2. "Jerry" P. Thomas was an American bartender considered "the father of American mixology" because of his pioneering work in popularizing cocktails. In 1862, Thomas finished Bar-Tender's Guide (alternately titled How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant's Companion), the first drink book ever published in the United States. The book collected and codified what was then an oral tradition of recipes from the early days of cocktails.
  3. The modern use of “cordial” emerged at the end of the 19th-century, after Lauchlin Rose found a way to preserve lime juice without using booze. Rose’s Lime Cordial Mixer was originally medicinal, based on the healthy principle of sailors taking limes to sea.
  4. Between 1925 and 1928, Fortunato Depero churned out a huge number of advertisement sketches for Campari, the Milanese liqueur and beverage company led by Davide Campari.

The bottle is inspired by vintage carafes and classic glass juicers — the first associated with hosting and special occasions, the latter to everyday use. The 12 grooves at the bottom of the bottle offer a distinguished and premium look, exciting light refractions, and a good grip while pouring. If you slice across any citrus fruit, you’ll see a circle divided into sections called “liths” and limes have 12. Lime is the hero of cordials, the most commonly used. The grooves are meeting at the bottom mimicking the shape of a juicer. The cork has a utilitarian quality, balancing premium cue with accessibility.

Bottle shape inspiration
  1. Vintage Citrus Juicer in glass. At the end of the 19th-century a large number of different models of lemon squeezers were patented in the United States.
  2. Saint-Louis glass manufacturer vintage catalogue. The "Caton" glasses from Saint-Louis design dates back to 1877. The intricate cut and execution demand a high level of craftsmanship. The attractively conceived base is eye-catching and adds a special glow to a dining table. The Crystal Saint-Louis is the oldest glass manufacturer in France and the first crystal glass manufacturer in Europe (1781).
  3. Lancel, Paris vintage catalogue. French cocktail shaker in silver plate by the famous maker and retailer, Lancel, Paris, founded in 1876.

The label is inspired by 19th-century medicinal labels. The bottom label communicates the flavours with illustrations of the main ingredients and a debossed pattern creating the illusion of a separate label material. Each product has a different cocktail suggestion on the back label, with an illustration of the drink as a nod to Italian aperitifs of the 70s.

Thanks to Jesper Lind for making the cocktails look amazing and to Moniker and Backe i Grensen for beautiful clothes and props.

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