By Amy Nicole Tangel
When times get tough it is what people make of the road ahead that determines the outcome; revealing their spirit within. For one woman, whose career as a bartender has been put on hold, her life took an unexpected turn when she recently took her passion for mixing cocktails behind the bar, to her kitchen, as a way to pass the time, creating an emerging new line of homemade simple syrups.
Christine Eifert, is a Long Island bartender who has been crafting her knowledge of mixing drinks for 27 years. She has worked at bars and restaurants throughout the island and venues such as The Paramount, in Huntington, N.Y., and is currently on staff at Gunther’s Tap Room in Northport, N.Y., but for now she is spending her time at home with her family and waiting for the day she can return to work by making a dream become a reality with the creation of her simple syrups for cocktails, sauces and marinades, fittingly named Blondie’s Not So Simple Syrup.
Her inspiration for the syrups originally came to her last summer when she said she took a trip upstate with her boyfriend and tried a honey lemon syrup sample at a whiskey wagon type establishment, and instantly thought of all the different drinks she could make at work with the flavor. In the time following this, she said she kept saying to herself she wanted to do this, she knew she could do this and would think about it all the time; however, the 47-year-old mom of two teenage boys said working 6-7 days a week left her no time to fulfill her passion for creating her own syrups until now.
When everything shut down, she said she had to do something to help keep her spirits up. Christine said she went from living a life where her career was dependent upon being social and talking to people constantly to nothing. She said it left her feeling worried and not knowing what to do like everyone else who is home during this time and out of work, so she just started making the syrups, and leaving samples for people she knew on their doorsteps in mason jars and people just kept asking and asking.
“People just keep asking for them, and I was not expecting this at all,” she said.
Blondie’s Not So Simple Syrup is made up of flavors such as strawberry-lemon and orange peel-vanilla for those who like sweets and three different jalapeno flavors for those who are all about spicy, but the list doesn’t stop there, and it continues to grow. Christine said she is constantly experimenting with new flavors, like her most recent, a blackberry mint syrup and is making them available as soon as she has perfected them. She said people are now marinating their meat for barbeques or making sauces with syrups, which is something she didn’t even think of when she started making them, but she is so excited to see what everyone is doing and for things to come.
“All you need is like two ounces of the syrup. You can get a couple or a few drinks out of each jar for whatever you are using, of course. Mojitos is a big one. All of my bourbon drinkers are using the orange vanilla; just a tiny bit in their bourbon,” she said.
An entrepreneur at heart, Christine said it was on a whim when she asked a friend to create a logo for her that reflected her “Blondie” nickname and who she was. Within just a week, a seemingly identical cartoon character of her was created with blonde pig tails, tattoos and a beaming smile. She keeps stock in the mason jars she uses between ordering online and a local hardware store, and she buys all of her ingredients at her local Meat Farms. A website is in the works, but through social media the word has spread like fire. With years of working in the restaurant and bar industry, she has been putting those resources to work delivering samples to restaurants and taking orders locally. She has even mailed orders as far away as Florida, and in only two months, Blondie’s Not So Simple Syrup has become a sign of new beginnings.
In the kitchen, Christine said she was spending hours in the beginning, because she was working with little pots, but with all the different flavors and the amounts of the large quantities she has been making, she now has graduated to larger pots and has been able to create a more efficient system. From making to jarring, sealing, labeling and storing, the process she joked, has left her walking in circles some days in the kitchen when she first started out, but she has been excited and surprised every step of the way of the response to her syrups.
“I am so excited. I think I just don’t believe it right now. Little by little I am inching away at this,” she said.
Christine is currently exploring Farmer’s Markets to sell for this upcoming season and is taking orders online. People who live locally can pick-up, or delivery options are available. If you live outside of the local area or prefer mail delivery, the syrups can be shipped to you.
To place an order, you can find a list of syrups available along with direct contact information in the image below and you can visit, Blondie’s Not So Simple Syrup Page on Facebook.