Nestled along the Saco river in Maine, inside an industrial complex finding a new identity, the small company of Royal Rose exists. In one large open room where a mid-century modern chair and a three-stage industrial sink point at each other in opposite ends of a nearly thirty foot run, music plays lightly, papers are shuffled, and a slice of pure honest-to-goodness mixology heaven is being fostered.
But let’s backtrack some: it started in a 400 (or maybe 540) square foot apartment in one of New York City’s premiere neighborhoods an idea was born. Just like any good food idea, it thrust forth from the farmer’s market with a possible overzealous desire to buy too many of one thing, but maybe owner Emily, had been planning to make syrup the whole time. Her now husband, Forest, wanted to thieve a helping of the left-over syrup flavored with the market’s catch of peaches to create drinks while tending bar. He came back with an empty jar and a whale of an idea, an idea that still makes him smile to reminisce upon bringing it to Emily. To create a company that hand-creates syrups. Emily was the driver behind a lot of the flavors, with her love of aromatherapy, as well as her passion for history and her husband’s love of the spicy. They joke that they’re Mom-and-Pop, but the truth of the statement isn’t lost on us – no longer are family businesses the greasy spoon or corner store down the street, but artisans and fervently focused craftspeople. Mom-and-Pops are now filling clear glass bottles by hand in a corner of a sprawling remnant of big industry; Royal Rose has got just about everything right.
They are quick to point that these are not the same as those sticky bottles you’ve got buried in the back of your liquor cabinet. No, kindergarten-level reading level ingredient lists and pure hand-made syrups that compliment those craft distiller’s hard work. We also like it in yogurt, as Emily suggested, topped vanilla ice cream or use the three chili for a quick sweet-spicy bite when caramelizing pork chops. The raspberry syrup comes from a long history of pre-prohibition drinks where it wasn’t uncommon to find behind the counter or bar of a favorite establishment.
Pick up a container or two of both of the Royal Rose Syrups on our shelves, because they aren’t just flavored sugar water, their simple syrups using the best indigents a modern day mom-and-pop can possibly source.