Always up to learning new things, I walked in the REÁL Infused Exotics – Flavor Seminar at the Chilled 100 ELEVATE Conference. Sitting on the table in front of me were four small cups of golden yellow-orange puree. We didn’t have to wait long before those sitting around me were all deep into concentrating on the presentation by Dr. Isalde Aubuchon, a Food Scientist specializing in fruits and vegetables working with the owner of REÁL owners to monitor and expand the brand.
A little history: in 2006, REÁL came out with a Coco REÁL. With only a puree of coconut and 100 % pure cane sugar, this syrup quickly became a hit with mixologists. The simplicity of the ingredients and the fact that it did not have to be refrigerated to maintain its quality was a very attractive reason to embrace its use in cocktails. Then adding to the appreciation of the product, the container’s unique design allowed the mixologist to pour quickly, incontrollable amounts for their creations.
With the success of Coco REÁL, the owners decided they did have a premier product and expanded the product to more flavors in 2014. Now 21 different flavors are using only fresh fruit puree obtained throughout the world and 100% cane sugar.
Back to the Seminar
Methodically, Dr. Aubuchon took us through tasting what turned out to be mango from different parts of the world. Dipping our tiny spoons into the cup, she asked us to pay attention to both the texture and the flavor of mangos from India, Mexico, and Florida.
My fellow attendees looked at each other in amazement. Since we hadn’t ever slowed down to even consider the difference in mangos, we were astonished by the contrast in the flavors and textures. This revelation was Dr. Aubuchon’s point. It makes a difference which fruits are harvested for the REÁL Infused Exotics.
Throughout the seminar we were served cocktails made from the syrup. They included:
The Fruit Used in the Syrup
Dr. Aubuchon personally travels the world to find the best fruit, not the variety. She prefers to taste and consider the fruit at the end of the season when they are full of flavor. Once she finds the fruit she wants, she buys the following year’s crop from the farmer. Thus, the farmer has certainty for his crop, and REÁL Infused Exotics is assured they will get the fruit they need.
One Last Thing
Yes, anyone can make simple syrup. Yet, particularly for mixologists making their own syrup can be risky. How long will the syrup be free of harmful bacteria? The FDA has a long list of bacteria lurking in syrups that could be harmful, especially if they sit around for a while. Thus, REÁL Infused Exotics takes away that concern for its processes and assures it is bacteria-free.
By the way, mixologists are not the only ones using the various REÁL Exotic Infusion flavors. If you are working in a place that serves food, you might want to share your secret bottle. It seems chefs are finding various uses for it as the last flavorful and colorful touch for their special cheesecake.