Matt Thornton (left) and Brad Pendleton (right) – Today
Brad Pendleton (left) and Matt Thornton (right) – 2020
Matt Thornton (left) and Brad Pendleton (right) – 1999

A Story of Two Lifelong Friends

Thank you for your interest in the world’s most carefully crafted simple syrup! My name is Matt Thornton and I’ve been in the wine and liquor business for over 20 years. My buddy in the pictures there is Brad Pendleton and we have been friends for almost 25 years. He has a culinary background and is one of the most creative guys I have ever known. We were once roommates in our early 20’s. Today, we are business partners.

Our friendship began in 1996 when we were both working at Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Plano, Brad as a sous chef and me as the head bartender. You could say the dream was born at that time, but I would say we were way too caught up in having a good time to even care about our future. Still, I was an early mixologist and a he was a chef with a knack for creativity. It was only a matter of time!

Motivation

This story starts at a restaurant in Houston, Texas, where I met with a friend for dinner and a few cocktails. We both spotted a toasted coconut almond old fashioned on the menu and there was no doubt what we were going to order. I remember being pretty excited to see their interpretation of this delicious sounding cocktail. As we discussed what ingredients they used to get to the taste profile, the drinks showed up. We were quite surprised when we realized that the only thing “toasted coconut almond” about this cocktail was the toasted coconut and almond shavings on the rim of the glass. On the inside was just a regular old fashioned. Now, I am not saying it was not a good old fashioned, but we were definitely expecting some ingredients inside the drink as well. I remember telling her as we left, “I am going to come up with a recipe for this drink!”

An Idea

Not even two weeks later, Brad and I met to grab a drink and the conversation quickly turned to whiskey and cocktails. I told Brad about my experience at the Houston restaurant and my desire to come up with a great recipe for a toasted coconut almond old fashioned. We shared a knack for creativity when it came to the subject and we both loved the idea of combining flavorful foods with cocktails. We also talked about the trend in restaurants and bars, where it seems every bar now has multiple versions of the same cocktail with different variations of flavor. With this being such a hot new trend, we wanted to design something that could be a quick and easy, but quality way for a restaurant or bar to offer their customer a better, more unique cocktail without a ton of extra work. Brad mentioned that he had been playing around with some flavored simple syrups at home, and we discussed the idea of making them with some of the most commonly sought after ingredients, like cinnamon, coconut, honey, pecan, almond, and orange. It was at that moment, we knew we had an idea we could sell!

The Name

A few days after our original conversation, Brad and I met back up for drinks at a local bar in Los Colinas. As we sat there waiting for our whiskey old fashioned cocktails, the conversation started again. What if we could make a premium simple syrup designed with some of the most delicious ingredients customers like to order? But we wanted to do something different, something unique that craft cocktail enthusiasts could taste in our syrups. Drawing from my experience in Houston, what if we toasted all the ingredients before blending them into our simple syrups, giving every cocktail a uniquely different taste profile, and giving bartenders and mixologists a new tool to create delicious cocktails without costing them a ton of time? Toasted… yeah that had a nice ring to it! And so on that day, our dream was born.

Our Mission

So here we are today. Our dream has become a reality. The truth is, we really are just two old friends who have a passion for creating cocktails with some of the most delicious foods. Our simple syrups are designed to take the craft cocktail scene to another level. Our ingredients are all toasted. The end result is Toasted Small Batch Simple Syrup. Each flavor has been carefully crafted with the intent of taking your old fashioned, Manhattan, martini, margarita, coffee drink, or whatever you drink to the next level. Heck, it won’t hurt our feelings if you put it on your pancakes, waffles, or ice cream sundae.

However you enjoy Toasted, we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy making it!

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