Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives


Raft cocktails foundersLike many children, Genevieve Brazelton remembers seeing her parents at work. But hers didn’t work in a stodgy office. Instead, Genevieve was exposed to the professional kitchens of Seattle. Her mom jumped around to different restaurants as a kitchen manager and line cook, and her dad, though not professionally trained, opened and operated a family establishment in the city. It was only natural that when it came time for Genevieve’s first job, she took up work in the family place. Then, during her formative years in high school and college, she picked up some spare change working as the bar manager of a San Francisco restaurant Jack Falstaff (now closed).

Although Genevieve started a career in editorial post-college, she continued to have a fascination for tinkering with fresh fruits, infusions, and other out-of-the-ordinary ingredients not often found in a home kitchen. Hello quassia root and cassia bark! (Don’t worry—we had to look those up, too.) Her curiosity led to her first batch of homemade bitters. Together with her husband Dan, Genevieve tried the potion, hoping for the best. The creation wasn’t just palatable—it was absolutely delicious.

Fast forward one year. The Brazeltons moved from San Francisco to Portland, bought a house, and she got pregnant. The two continued to tweak and experiment with botanicals in their new kitchen, using only natural, sustainable and fair-trade produced ingredients until landing on the perfect Old Fashioned bitters. Only two months after baby Dylan arrived, Genevieve and Dan began bottling and selling their bitters to wholesale clients. Mason jars cluttered up the basement, and their dining room table served as the bottling and labeling “line.” Just the thought of the craziness of launching a new business coupled with the sleepless nights of new parenthood makes us exhausted! But this spirited couple got it done. In fact, better than just “done.” In their first year of business, they scooped up the competitive Fancy Foods Show sofi Product of the Year for their cardamom bitters.

Their first year was such a success that they approached Sook Goh and Roslyn Tellvik of RAFT Syrups about a collaborative cocktail kit. However, after a few conversations, Goh and Tellvik offered the chance to take over the whole Raft brand. They didn’t hesitate, and Genevieve knew right away which syrup would be their debut flavor: Citrus Rosemary, based on a cocktail from her baby shower. We have a feeling that it won’t be long until little Dylan himself will be watching her in the kitchen, picking up on the family affair.