After ten years of working in the hospitality industry, Haritha Gnanaratna decided to ditch what many would consider a key ingredient in his work: alcohol. The inspiration for this project happened after he met his now-partner, writer (and non-drinker) Audra Williams.
Audra says: “When Haritha told me he was a bartender, I warned him that I literally have a tattoo of a temperance activist. But then on our first date he made me a gorgeous drink of smoked black tea with celery cordial, cardamom, lemon, and agave. I didn’t actually know a drink like that was possible.”
Haritha had always been committed to creating excellent non-alcoholic drinks for anyone who wanted to have one, but he hadn’t realized how few choices there were in most places. So he decided to fix it.
Since launching in the fall of 2018, Temperance Cocktails has done signature events for the Centre for Social Innovation, the closing party for Workman Arts’ Rendezvous With Madness festival, and the Toronto Queer Film Fest.
About these events, Haritha says: “At all of these events, people would ask if any of the choices were non-alcoholic. It was so magical to get to tell them that all of the choices were non-alcoholic. I lost count of how many times people thanked us and told us they never had fun choices like this.”
A year into the project, Haritha decided to start bottling single-serving drinks. These drinks are perfect for picnics, parties, corporate events, or just keeping in the fridge for yourself! Find out more (and place an order!)