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Juan Tapia - Top Notch Mixers

Top Notch Mixers Creator, Juan Tapia, was always built for entrepreneurship. From working multiple jobs throughout his adolescence and adulthood to doing side projects, it was only a matter of time before one of Tapia’s endeavors became a sensation. Recently, Tapia, a bartender and liquor consultant, has actualized his ambitious goals and created his own business, Top Notch Mixers. Top Notch Mixers brings the best aspects of the bar experience home: quality drinks crafted with expertise, creativity, and love. Further, Tapia personally crafts these mixers and delivers them to communities throughout Miami-Dade County and Broward County, demonstrating his passion, dedication, and appreciation for his creations.  

How did you go from being a bartender to being an entrepreneur?

I have had a little bit of entrepreneurship in me. I was always trying to start businesses and come up with different programs. They weren’t very successful because I was young, inexperienced, and focused on other things. But, for the most part, this led me to learn from my mistakes and take my time. I learned to focus on one specialization which was bartending. I excelled in it and when it got to a point where I was getting compliments from big-name people, organizations, and owners, I had to take a step back, pause, think, and realize that I was doing something right. I thought that there was a way to make money out of this or at least start my own business and become my own boss…I’ve always followed social media influencers that were their own bosses and took mental notes. Most of these influencers have their pros and cons. I try to take the pros of everyone I meet. That is how I started this project, doing what I am doing now full, focus, and full throttle. 

What inspired you to create Top Notch Mixers?

Through the years, you go from being a “drink maker” to learning science, chemistry, tools to help you alter the cocktail creation experience that people expect when they walk into a bar. I started considering Mixology. I saw people choose the Mixology experience over the basic quick drink experience. Sometimes people want a quick drink. They want to get in and out but most people want an experience, so that highlighted my work. I felt like I was doing something right, something that was not average. I had something on my hands and I started wondering how to take these high-quality bar experiences home. I have a bar where I work and a company that pays for everything: the produce, the equipment, the tools. But when I want to bring the experience home or show someone how to make a drink at home, I wondered how to make that possible. That was the question I asked myself many times. Then, I started developing concepts that would work. Coronavirus happened and that forced us all to either figure it out or quit and figure something else out. For me, the pandemic put pressure on me to figure it out. I came up with Top Notch Mixers and it’s pouring the love of making something with fresh ingredients, craft, high-quality products, and effort. 

How do your mixers stand out from other mixers?

Top Notch Mixers does not offer alcohol. It’s just a mixer but the approach that I took towards it takes into consideration the bar experience. It’s called a “mixer” and people who usually think of mixers think about cranberry juice, pineapple juice, Sprite, or Coke. Top Notch Mixers are actual pre-mixed cocktail recipes that are just missing the alcohol. When I make these recipes, I take into account all types of ideas. I think: Is it exotic enough? Is it different? Am I opening their minds? Is it a new flavor that they have never tasted? Is it a flavor that they have never heard of? When the client reads the ingredients, I try to make their eyes open wide. I want them to think, “Wow, that sounds delicious!” or “I’ve never thought of those two flavors together, but I love those two flavors individually so I’ll try it.”

I also use fresh ingredients for these gourmet cocktails and we make our own garnishes. I do my due diligence to go around the city and get fresh ingredients that are 100% fresh. There is nothing artificial in anything that I put into these bottles. The mixers are also in glass bottling and since I am using fresh juices, there is a shelf life. My products have to be refrigerated and sealed tight. But what is the best part is the handmade feel to my mixers. There is a love that I pour into my mixers and you can tell when you look at the product because of its quality. 

You cannot get the same quality of product at my prices. Usually, you’re looking at $10-12 a cocktail at a bar. My first bottle is about 18 oz so it accommodates 3-4 people for $30.00 (delivery fee included). I also offer a 33.75 oz bottle, I call it a party size, and it accommodates 6-8 people for $55.00. I also started creating shots for $5.00. If you want to do a flight, a sample of all four flavors, that is $15.00. For someone who wants to try the flavor first, or if they want to buy a specific product but also want to try another one without committing to buying a whole bottle, they can get a sample. This helps people try different things without breaking the bank, especially during these times. 

Top Notch Mixers LineUp scaled
Image by Blazin Visualz

What has been the most memorable experience so far?

The most memorable experiences have been the mistakes and errors I had to overcome as well as the walls and obstacles that I had to jump through. I experienced everything from finding a company that would deliver produce to me to figuring out how to manage a business. We’re a small business and usually, most businesses require a minimum amount of ordering so it was a process to do that. Then, we had to figure out a delivery schedule, figuring out the customer base, and coming up with a product. We also had to put our products together, make them look nice and authentic because they’re all done by hand. There’s no factory pumping out the product. That’s been the most prideful thing. I notice myself as I’m doing it and I’m excited. I’m cooking stuff and I’m excited as I look at all the ingredients. I look at my orders and the sales keep growing. It’s humbling. I didn’t think it would go as well as it has. I’m also eager to have strangers that don’t know about Top Notch Mixers find us and give our products a try. I want people to give it a try and if it’s not for them, it’s not for them. I’m very confident that the moment they try it, they’ll realize the product’s high quality and over the top taste. If this unmatched experience is something they’re looking for, Top Notch Mixers will be the company for them.

What has been the biggest challenge/reward of creating Top Notch Mixers?

The biggest challenge is staying consistent, especially during these times. Look at this week alone. We have a pandemic going on. We have even more requirements. Now, they’re fining people for not wearing masks. Then, on top of that, we just had a hurricane scare. I can’t take time off. I have responsibilities to do every week. Staying on top of things is one of the hardest challenges. The challenge is to stay consistent and consistently deliver the same product, the same taste, the same everything, which is difficult considering that everything is handmade. But the biggest reward has been all of the testimonials. People give me great feedback. Everyone’s telling me how incredible the mixers are. There’s nothing more rewarding than an authentic compliment. I’ve never once asked anybody to repost anything about our product and every single person is reposting. They’re taking amazing pictures and tagging us. I’ve even had a Tequila brand approach us. They wanted to work with us and do a giveaway for a bartender which we did. 

What’s next for Top-Notch Mixers?

Every month, I am bringing in a new flavor. We already have something spicy, something that is fruity, something sour, and something exotic. I’m going to bring a new mixer that’s going to reflect a feel for the holidays. It’ll be something more dark and sweet. I cater to the client’s specific drink preferences. I suggest what liquor would go well with the mixer that we make. For example, the Funky Fresh goes better with Rum or Vodka. You can do Tequila with it but there are specific spirits that will match better. You don’t see the dark liquors as much in Miami but I don’t want to ignore the people who like those either. I’m always coming up with a new mixer for people who might not be a Vodka, Rum, or Tequila drinker. I have something that goes well with Scotch, Cognac, whiskey…The mixer that I am releasing soon will be good with either of those. I want to keep growing in that sense. As well as the evolving menu, I want Top Notch Mixers to grow to the point where we can start, shipping out nationwide and then internationally. 

What’s another service you offer?

In addition to individually buying the mixers, Top Notch Mixers also offers a service in which small businesses, bars/restaurants, can buy wholesale from our company. Through the procurement service, Top Notch Mixers will provide small, private businesses with mixes every week to create a more elevated experience. These recipes can be offered however in another form of business if they want. If these businesses want to make the experience a step further, I also offer menu curation as the consultant and I will sit down with businesses to create an exclusive mixer recipe just for that establishment. If businesses want to pursue consulting, Liquid Chef Hospitality is the company that umbrellas Top Notch Mixers. 

www.topnotchmixers.com
Mixers Menu

How do we order your product? 

You can order our product on Instagram or our website: www.topnotchmixers.com 

To contact Juan or follow his journey:

Instagram: @TopNotchMixers @juan_in_a_million_5 @liquidchefhospitalityllc

**All the images credits goes to @blazinvisualz

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Feeling Tipsy?

by intelprise

Here’s a list of local Bars and Foundations that can use your help, feel free to donate any amount you can. Your support will be appreciated.

USBG  https://bit.ly/3bajVWq 

All Day Foundation https://bit.ly/2VwM9ny 

Bar Spanglish https://bit.ly/2XCgQKO 

Better days https://bit.ly/3anfkit 

Broken Shaker https://bit.ly/34BUlXP 

Cafe La Trova https://bit.ly/2V61eO6 

Esotico https://bit.ly/3enmGpe 

Sweet Liberty https://bit.ly/2zeQzYN

The Anderson https://bit.ly/2zbi2dS 

The Sylvester https://bit.ly/2K3BBXZ 

You’ll be soon able to tip your bartender directly as well, as we’ll be sharing their Venmo/Zelle account. Do you want to collaborate in any other way? Send us an email at cheers@2ozmag.com or DM us, we are open to suggestions. Thank you!

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List of Resources for Hospitality Workers

There is no doubt that the drastic measures taken to control the spread of Covid-19 have caused great commotion within the community of the hospitality industry, leaving them unemployed until further notice and causing stress and anxiety about their fate. Some restaurants have been able to change their business models to accommodate the latest regulations, while others have organized complimentary meals for the industry community. In order to help as much as possible at this time, Jennifer Marrero, a board member of the USBG has shared a list of resources for Hospitality workers.

For Bartenders

USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program – Grant Assistance https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap (Brown-Forman donated $1 Million to help support this fund)

Florida Unemployment – http://connect.myflorida.com

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund – Cash assistance to tipped workers https://ofwemergencyfund.org/help 

National Resource for Assistance with Bill Payment and Medical Coverage https://www.gigworkerscollective.org/covid-19-resources 

A general resource for restaurant-related Covid-19 information https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/news/2020/3/15/resources-for-restaurants-and-workers-coping-with-the-covid-19-emergency 

Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund-click on the link to donate or apply for a grant.

National Publications

With up to date links/resources/articles


Eater-A list of Relief Funds for Restaurants/Bars

James Beard-How the Restaurant Industry is Responding to COVID-19

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation is updating a list of resources and relief funds.

Bar & Restaurant Expo

For Families

Grant Support for families with children https://coregives.org/ 

State by state unemployment filing info https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/UnemploymentBenefits/unemployment-benefits.aspx 

F&B Industry Relief Food Programhttp://alldaymia.com/familymeal

Free Food for students Wlrn.org

For Small Busines Owners

Small Business Association Disaster Assistancehttps://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

Webinar-How to Prepare for the Economic & Legal Impact of COVID-19 (Tailored to the hospitality & Beverage Industry)Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 2 pm, Register here:https://overproof.com/covid-19/


  • If you find yourself without a job, check The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce unemployment guide
  • Follow Miami & Miami Beach Coronavirus Job loss or income reduced Support group on the Facebook group, they are collecting resources and useful information

If you have any questions, suggestions or ways to collaborate, please don’t hesitate to contact us at cheers@2ozmag.com

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