Care for a cardamom iced coffee? A lilac lemonade? Perhaps a nightcap with a trace of charred cedar? A Fayetteville startup company, Pink House Alchemy, offers these unexpected flavors and many more, drawing from the richness of local and seasonal ingredients and rare spices from around the world.
Pink House Alchemy is the brainchild of Emily and Greta Lawson. The company owes its name to the century-old pink house the couple and their two children share. A few years ago, the Lawsons began making small batches of flavored simple syrups to use in specialty cocktails, experimenting with combinations of fresh and seasonal ingredients. Friends loved the results.
“When we created our Cardamom Simple Syrup, we knew we had something special,” says Emily. Cardamom seed—much rarer than cardamom pods—is difficult to source,” she explains. “But it was just too good to give up on. We combined the cardamom with vanilla and a cinnamon stick to round it out and control any bitterness, and the result is killer! I still drink a cardamom iced coffee daily,” she says.
A drinking vinegar infused with spices, herbs, or fruit. An alternative to syrups, shrubs are a favorite of bartenders who want to confer flavor without sweetness.
Pink House’s offerings now include more than 50 flavors, including Peppercorn Plum, Arkansas Strawberry, Mexican Chili, and—Greta’s favorite—the simple, sweet, rich purple Mulberry. The product line has grown to include bitters and shrubs (flavor-infused sipping vinegars, which originated in the 1900s). Pink House’s inventive bitters include charred cedar and
grapefruit varieties. Greta explains that, like bitters, shrubs were originally concocted for medicinal use before they gained popularity in cocktails. One Pink House Alchemy shrub meshes rhubarb and ginger. They also have crafted a strawberry, black pepper, and white balsamic shrub that Emily dubs a “palate kicker.”
Pink House Alchemy syrups are served in tea, coffee, and lemonade at Arsaga’s at the Depot, and Arsaga’s at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, and a seasonal selection of bottled syrups is available at Arsaga’s at the Depot, the Greenhouse Grille, and online at pinkhousealchemy.com.
Next on the horizon for the flavor mavens? A Pink House Alchemy soda fountain and sweets shop atop a speakeasy-style cocktail bar serving up seasonal and local flavors with a twist. Bar kits featuring their unique flavors soon will be available as well.