Igor Zukowiec is a multi-talented entrepreneur and the creative genius behind NYC-based catering company, ALCHEMIQ Catering. Offering a dual experience for clients and providing a one-of-a-kind take on food trends, ALCHEMIQ infuses cocktails incorporating high-end mixology skill. For Shaka Tea's Mixology Series premiere, Igor pulled inspiration from his time in Hawai'i for a vibrant tea-infused cocktail.
Get to know the man behind the mixology and how he turned our Blue Magic tea into a magical, keto-friendly cocktail this holiday season.
Who is Igor? What is the founding story of ALCHEMIQ Catering?
I’m an adult who dreams like a kid. I’m also a doer. I pretty much always like where I am in life at any given moment, but I also constantly strive for the better version of myself. I believe the years of work I’ve put into my mind’s well-being eventually resulted in my projects reaching the finish line with great successes to follow. ALCHEMIQ is a prime example of the journey from a dream to a concept to a business that reached top corporations and celebrities. Started with virtually no investment, it was all about a belief that without knowing how I would eventually get from a point A to a point B — Life always shows you the way if your mind is ready for the journey.
How has Hawai’i impacted your life?
I have a very special connection to Hawai’i. In 2008, years before creating my business, I applied for a credit card to take my mom from Poland to Hawai’i for her 50th birthday. We had the vacation of our lifetimes. My mom sadly passed away a few years later. Fast forward to 2018, my friends decided to relocate to Hawai'i. I visited them soon after and then took a trip to the same places I had visited with my mom. Hawai’i brings back some of my most cherished memories. My friends and I decided my trip to the islands has to be an annual thing. I try to keep the promise!
What inspires your creativity in mixology?
Both mixology and cooking are solely inspired by the flavors I work with (unless I need to begin with colors or something else). I have a solid understanding of flavor pairings. Once I taste one ingredient I instantly imagine another to pair it with. For example, I never make a shopping list. I just let the products inspire me. I add products to my cart that I believe will go well together and then I cook it all. At home, I usually don’t make the same cocktail or dinner twice. It’s always a new version. I guess I also like to be spontaneous.
What is the best thing you’ve learned over the course of your mixology career?
To be able to deliver to people‘s expectations. It’s not an easy thing to figure out what a person may need and later make it so the person is satisfied. It was great to learn that in my years of bartending and apply that later to catering.
- 1.5 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. Shaka Tea Blue Magic Keto Syrup*
- 0.5 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 0.5 oz. lemon juice
- Splash of sparkling water
- Garnish: lemon
- Combine all ingredients, but the sparkling water, in a blender. Add a handful of ice (not too much - it’s not a slushy cocktail).
- Blend all ingredients.
- Strain through a fine strainer to a glass with one big ice cube.
- Top with sparkling water. Garnish with freshly cut lemon.
- Brew 4 Blue Magic tea bags in 1 cup of hot water.
- Add 1 cup of monk fruit sweetener.
- Heat it up and stir it until the sweetener dissolves.