Family-Owned, Sugar Land Business is Crafting Quality Cocktail Syrups and Garnishes
Depending on the complexity and refinement desired, creating cocktails can be a chore, even for bars and restaurants. Many of Houston’s best establishments for mixed beverages have staff dedicated to making syrups and garnishes so crafting cocktails (and serving customers) goes smoothly and quickly during business hours. For professional bartenders, as well as cocktail enthusiasts looking to enjoy quality drinks at home, a little help goes a long way, and one of those ways is outsourcing the syrup- and garnish-making. Levels of Grandeur is a Sugar Land-based that specializes in those ingredients.
The company was started by sister and brother Chuan and Shan Liu. Chuan’s experience is in the business world, and she primarily focuses on sales and marketing. Shan has worked in the hospitality industry for close to a decade, managing beverage programs at multiple places such as Weights & Measures and the now-shuttered Sugar Land speakeasy, Sugar Refinery. According to the website, all of the syrups are gluten-free, non-alcoholic and should last up to 18 months once opened, if refrigerated.
Despite being a small business, the selection of gourmet syrups at Levels of Grandeur is diverse and unique. We were given the original sampler gift set, which includes three, 3-oz. bottles and sells for $25. The set comes with Cassia Burnt Sugar and Saffron Honey syrups, as well as one seasonal flavor (Earl Grey, in this case). The Cassia Burnt Sugar has the least distinct flavor of the three, but is by no means weak. The burnt sugar adds bitterness, and the cassia (Chinese cinnamon) brings a faint hint of spice. My personal favorite is Earl Grey. It is much brighter in contrast and expresses the distinct light citrus and tea notes from its namesake. Saffron Honey is only mildly sweet, and the floral attributes of both ingredients shine.
The other syrup flavors available include Strawberry Thai Chili, Raspberry Mint, Cranberry Rosemary and Blood Orange. The Levels of Grandeur website features suggested cocktail recipes for each syrup. At Houston Food Finder’s recent The Perfect 10 Gala, bar manager Johnathan Jones of Four Seasons Houston created a Swamp Water cocktail with William Price Distilling’s Navy-Strength Gin (a product from another local company), Green Chartreuse, lime juice and Level of Grandeur’s pineapple gum syrup.
In addition to the syrup choices, Levels of Grandeur sells garnishes, including packs of dehydrated fruit, such as pineapple, blood oranges, lemon and lime.
Making cocktail syrups of this quality is often a messy, time-consuming hassle. With the good quality and unique varieties available, Levels of Grandeur is a solid choice if you are looking to take your home bar to the next level, or save time at a professional one. All of the Liu siblings’ products are available to order on the Levels of Grandeur website.