Better Together Beverage: Meet the Woman Behind the Cocktails
Meet Christine Tarpey, Beverage Curator
How did Better Together Beverage get started?
The idea first came to me when I was listening to Venus Williams speak at a Create & Cultivate Summit in Miami. I knew that I wanted to continue improving the beverage offerings in our beach community and that I wanted to involve local charities and businesses, but I didn't know what that looked like from a business standpoint. It was when Venus started talking about taking the jump from sports into her new sportswear company that it clicked, I can do both! I knew the path wasn't paved for this type of business and that I'd have my work cut out for me by trying to figure out how to get it started, but I was down for the challenge! A few months later on my last business trip with my previous employer, I was in Portland, Oregon sightseeing when I saw a sign for a community outreach program for local children called "Better Together" and that was all I needed. That slogan became the name of my business as well as my business mission statement. I came back from that trip, put in my notice and started Better Together Beverage and Events in hopes of working with the community in all facets of beverage creation while bringing some much needed attention to our local charities. It's been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined! Being able to continue to create in a medium I love while also giving back to the community...by way of pouring drinks, bringing people together for celebrations and good causes, it's truly a blast and I feel very fortunate!
What made you want to participate in the festival?
Over the past year as I grew BTB I came in contact with a number of women who run the local charities in our area. It was a matter of time before Karah Young, from DCWAF, and I met and started combining powers on these types of events. I love what this organization does for all the local charities and how well organized they are when it comes to the events themselves. They make it very easy to show up and show out to raise some much needed funds for our local children.
What is the typical reaction to your mixology seminars?
Our seminars have taken off way past our expectations due to word of mouth! We use that golden rule for business "under promise, over deliver" and that's exactly the feedback we get from these in-house seminars. We customize them to each and every group to make it personal and crowd pleasing, all while having a blast doing it! Let's just say after being given the chance to spend an intimate evening mixing cocktails with our clients there is no shortage of laughter and inside jokes that we end up becoming friends with so many of the lovely souls that attend them. This all in return causes a repeat customer database that we view as a performance chart so to speak, which says to us, "you're doing something right!"
What is something people always learn from your seminars?
We don't complicate the cocktails to a point that our clients can't replicate them in the future. What we do instead is teach them how to use everyday items in their kitchen that they had no idea would be an amazing cocktail ingredient with just a little bit of TLC. We then leave them with extra ingredients so they can continue to make their favorites from the seminar. There's a real sense of pride we see on their faces when they make cocktails that look and taste just like the $16 drinks at their favorite restaurants.
What is your favorite part of being in hospitality?
Well, not to sound like a broken record, but to bring people together. As beverage professionals, our job is to mix artisan ingredients together, but what always ends up happening is the very purpose of us being there in the first place, to unite everyone through celebration. As we mix these drinks for the group it causes conversations about the process of the mixology, and then a domino effect starts to happen with other guests telling stories of experiences they've had at a bar or their favorite place to travel and grab a cocktail. Then the person next to them shares their memories, and before you know it, we have brought this group together, celebrating times of current and times of past and making new memories to share at a later date. We're always the center of the celebration and that is something you can buy, you just have to create.
What are some of the cocktails you guys create?
We're really into seasonal offerings and being located in Florida, we love to use a ton of fresh citrus! Whether it be a blood orange tequila drink in the winter, or a fresh pineapple-infused spirit lending it's tropical vibes in a tiki style drink in the summer months, we're here for all the fruits and infusions! We also do our best to use every part of the fruit to lessen our bar waste which is where infusions, syrups and shrubs come into play in our bar program. We also like to give love to local distilleries and breweries, as well as other southern born brands. Over the past few years we've gotten to know some of the southern spirits very well and have been able to better understand just what exactly goes into these bottles. It helps us select brands that are made in a more honest way and ones that are more inclusive with their staff and community. Our goal is to challenge the consumer to step out of their comfort zone and let us introduce them to cocktails and brands that they will make a household go-to.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's event?
After being a part of last year's Harvest Festival, we feel we have a better grasp on what the guests are going to respond well to as well as how creative we can be with the whole experience! DCWAF has done a spectacular job recruiting some top notch talent in the food scene and we are getting the opportunity to pair cocktails with some of them. The creative side of this is super exciting, and knowing that the ticket sales go towards our local children's charities makes us work that much harder at making this weekend one to remember!
Published on Wednesday, August 4, 2021