If you're like most people, mandatory stay-at-home orders allowed you some free time to be creative, focus on new business ventures or whip up something new in the kitchen. It was also the perfect time to unleash your inner mixologist and update your home bar.
During the ongoing pandemic, many people found themselves indulging in and experimenting with alcoholic beverages, new cocktail mixers and crafting some sexy libations.
Whether your taste buds are searching for a new cocktail or mocktail, Rhonda Cammon's Perfectly Cordial simple syrups are created with both drinkers and non-drinkers in mind. Perfectly Cordial creates premium cocktail and mocktail mixers with handpicked fresh fruits, a blend of global spices, a proprietary herbal blend and pure cane sugar. “It's an all-natural, fruit-based mixer that allows anyone to make a craft cocktail or beverage,” says Cammon.
Raised in Florida, Cammon’s exposure to a variety of cultures and cuisines, along with enjoying fresh fruits, herbs, and spices inspired the versatile mixers. “Growing up in Miami, we had trees. We had mango and avocado trees. We had limes and fruit stands on every corner. We had Caribbean spirits,” says Cammon. Birthed in March 2019, Perfectly Cordial is making a name in the craft beverage industry with features in numerous business, industry and entertainment magazines.
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“My business keeps me motivated. I love it! I love the business! I love the product! When I see others love it, it fuels the power. I have customers who are advocates and cheerleaders, and that keeps me motivated,” says Cammon, a nursing veteran for over 20 years. She recently walked away from the healthcare industry to focus on life’s next chapter.
New Chapter, New Passion
Now based in Nashville, Tennessee, the nurse turned entrepreneur noticed a need in the city and quickly took advantage of an untapped market. Cammon did her research, put a plan together, and sought out kitchen space. That was two years ago, and today her business is doing exceptionally well.
“I have been in hospitality since age 16, working myself up from hostess, bartender and waitress. When I worked in bartending, I had no clue I would do anything in bartending. I was always able to do bartending and do nursing. When I figured out it wasn't anything on the shelves with fresh fruit and no sugar, I knew I was on to something,” says Cammon, who left nursing five months ago.
Over the years, Cammon has made a name for herself in the industry, serving as the treasurer of the United States Bartenders' Guild, a founding member and chair of the Nashville Bartenders Foundation, all while managing three different companies. Barseat, a mobile bartending and consultant company, Swig Culture Conference, an annual conference created for mobile and off-premise bartenders, and the newest, Perfectly Cordial. Cammon is also a hospitality educator and bar consultant.
“When I first started, I saw a need for more education and exposure. My motto was when you know better, you do better. I would do corporate bartending events. There were people attending the events, and four out of ten was not drinking alcohol,” says Cammon.
In 2015, while employed as a full-time registered nurse, she created Barseat to teach Middle Tennesseans about spirits, food and culture. Soon, she was working with spirit brands directly, which landed her corporate bartending positions. Working behind the bar, she listened and noticed that not everyone drank alcohol at events, but few options were available outside of the normal water and sodas. Realizing that she was on to something, she started creating multilayered flavoring syrups that could be mixed with or without alcohol. In 2018, she kicked off a crowdfunding campaign through IFundWomen and launched her first products a year later.
Something for Everyone
Carefully crafted Perfectly Cordial's simple syrups include Pear & Rose Pink Peppercorn, Strawberry Thai Basil, Caramelized Pineapples and Coconut Water, Basil Lemonaid, Jalapeno Mint Sour, Hibiscus and Honeycomb and Mango Mexican Chili and Vanilla. New seasonal flavors are produced each quarter from Citizen Incubator Kitchen in East Nashville. “My favorite product is Pear & Rose Pink Peppercorn. I just have a love affair with pear. I don't think it gets enough love,” says Cammon.
The syrups aren't limited to just mixing in alcohol. They can be used to enhance everything from frostings, glazes, marinades, vinaigrettes, seltzer, teas and more.
With the holiday season right around the corner, Perfectly Cordial is debuting a new Pear Citrus Almond mixer. “It's the memory and flavor profile I want to evoke. Hopefully, it will be on our website by mid-October,” she says. The company will also offer a Pear Trio and a 4-pack holiday special consisting of Hibiscus Honeycomb, Tropical Sour, Cassi Apple and Gourmet Spice Syrup.
Cammon's products are expected to make their debut on Amazon this month. Currently, Perfectly Cordial can be purchased on the company's website or at small boutique stores and liquor stores in Tennessee. The cordials will be sold at a major retailer in New York in November and December. “Hopefully, we will be a major product in New York,” she says. “For 2022, I have a mission to try to exclusively source to women and minority businesses.”
“Hard work and integrity will get you far. Nothing comes easy. You're gonna have to put in the work and do the right things, and things will fall in place. And, that's the legacy I want to leave for my children, my friends and my family,” Cammon says passionately.
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“I attribute my success to God. I'm a true spiritual person. When I'm feeling bad, someone will come out of nowhere and purchase 300 bottles. I know there is some guiding force that is guiding me,” she says. “I am so busy bottling and working the business, and I'm not out there networking. I have people out there contacting me. The opportunities that have come up have been amazing.”
Check out Perfectly Cordial at www.perfectlycordial.com to purchase products and for recipes. The mixers are also available in Hudson News between Concourse A and B at the Nashville International Airport. Stay social with Cammon on Instagram and Facebook.