Founder & Top Hat Team
Shane McKnight first started bartending at the onset of a culinary renaissance of chef-owned restaurants in San Francisco in 1997. While serving batched agave margaritas alongside world-famous chef Joseph Manzare at an Academy Awards afterparty in Los Angeles in 2007, McKnight was inspired to cultivate more batched cocktail programs for events & larger venues using local produce, craft spirits & intense color from both foraged & imported botanicals. In 2010, Shane partnered with Dirk Alton & Amy Alton at Best Beverage and began engineering the draft cocktail technology & crafting the batched cocktail keg recipes necessary to share craft cocktails with hundreds of thousands of people at festivals & venues like Outside Lands, Coachella and Stagecoach and Napa’s Bottlerock. He was later joined by Beau Griffin, Erica Arvizu, Nate Fields, Jorge Gomez, Breydan Upshaw, Carlos Alvarez, Jacob Orduno, Shannon De Marco, Madison K. & Leilani Meng, who worked tirelessly and passionately for years crafting and batching hundreds of recipes at events all over the country. In 2015, McKnight formed a partnership with master bottlers Scott Hawley & Bob Baccioco to professionally handcraft, batch, bottle, label and ship our products all over the world.
As American music festivals evolve, they continue to create a unique culture and community, influencing much more than music trends. A branch of food and beverage has grown within that culture and has created a demand for a craft cocktail experience on a massive scale. In 2010 we were inspired to start cultivating handcrafted mixers, syrups & batching concentrates that would meet that demand without sacrificing quality of ingredients. We used festivals as laboratories for product development. We spent thousands of hours fine-tuning the knobs on dilution, acid and shelf life while trouble shooting the challenges of heat damage, space and time constraints, in the effort to capture a fresh cocktail experience that was, more or less, instant. We pulled inspiration from each festival’s unique artwork, natural surroundings, music and fashion, to create cocktail recipes to add to our recipe portfolio. Since then, we have been blessed and honored to share the energy and ease of Top Hat Provisions with our fans at their home bar. All of our Festival Born handcrafted mixers, batching concentrates & draft cocktail systems are now available to you, directly to your doorstep.
Best in market ingredients
We are global foragers and have worked tirelessly to scout out the best agricultural partners for fresh citrus & vegetable juices, tropical fruits, raw sugars, plant based natural sweeteners, & cultured botanicals to make our mixers a cultivated fresh-produce experience. Our masterful team of blenders is led by one of the most experienced flavorists in the beverage industry and each of our products features a complex and balance of ingredients that range from our cucumber & aloe infused Festival Born Sun Goddess Lemonade mix to our beet, turmeric & serrano infused Bloody Mary mix. The common ground that we share with each other in the world of craft bartending is quality of ingredients and creativity. We are excited to share this common ground with you.
Zingiber officinale. The Ginger plant is a herbaceous perennial that grows about a meter tall & is from the same family as turmeric, cardamom & galangal. Its root adds a sweet warmth to the Grove 42 blend.
Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea)
We use this naturally cobalt indiglo blue dried blossom to make our Butterfly Truth Serum Craft Concentrate. This caffeine-free herbal tisane is extremely high in anti-oxidants but mostly flavorless and odorless.
(genus Cinchona), genus of about 23 species of plants, mostly trees, in the madder family (Rubiaceae), native to the Andes of South America. The bark of some species contains quinine and is useful against malaria. During the 300 years between its introduction into Western medicine and its medical use during World War I, quinine from cinchona was the only effective remedy for malaria.
We use this tart and sweet and tropical gift from the gods in our Pasión Margarita Mix! Passiflora edulis, commonly known as passion fruit, is a vine species of passion flower native to southern Brazil through Paraguay and northern Argentina. It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit.
Lime (Citrus aurantiifolia)
We are grateful to use real organic juice from this lovely sour/tart citrus fruit in many of our handcrafted mixers & batching syrups. Limes were spread into Micronesia and Polynesia via the Austronesian expansion (c. 3000–1500 BCE), as well as into India, Persia, and the Mediterranean region via the spice trade and the incense trade routes from as early as ~1200 BCE.
(Curcuma longa), perennial herbaceous plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Native to southern India and Indonesia, turmeric is widely cultivated on the mainland and in the islands of the Indian Ocean. In ancient times it was used as a perfume as well as a spice. The rhizome has a pepperlike aroma and a somewhat bitter warm taste and has a strong staining orange-yellow colour.
Citrus x aurantium. Most commonly known as the Seville orange or marmalade orange for its tart character & pectin-rich peel, Bitter Orange brings a sour character that is the complex base profile for Seedlip Grove 42.
Monk Fruit (Siraitia grosvenorii)
We use a super concentrated monk fruit extract to sweeten our Zero Calorie Keto Collection. Native to southern China and northern Thailand, the plant is cultivated for its fruit, whose extract is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar by equal weight.
Citrus x sinensis. The Blood Orange is a natural hybrid of the pomelo & the tangerine. Its famous flesh develops the characteristic maroon color when the fruit grows in low temperatures overnight. Less sweet, its soft berry overtones of raspberry & strawberry are ideal to add some depth to the Grove 42 blend.
Citrus x paradisi. Originating in Barbados from an accidental cross between a sweet orange & a pomelo, Grapefruits were introduced to Europe in the 17th Century. The oils in the peel bring a fantastic bitterness & adult tartness to Seedlip Spice 94.
Elderflower (Sambucus nigra)
We use elderflower extract in our Sugar-Free Elderflower & Grapefruit Tonic. The flowers of Sambucus nigra are commonly used to produce a familiar elderflower cordial which is warmly floral and with nectary notes of tropical fruit and reminiscent of white tea.
Elettaria cardamomum. The third most expensive spice in the world (after vanilla and saffron), Cardamom brings floral and fragrant notes to Seedlip Spice 94.
Zeus Hops (Humulus lupulus)
We use a whisper of this beast of a flavor in our East India Tonic Syrup for depth and additional bitterness. The first documented cultivation of Hops was in AD736 in Germany & in 1524 the first British Hops were grown. Most commonly used in beer, Hops bring slightly bitter green & peppery notes to our blend.
Citrus x limon. Lemon entered Europe via Italy no later than the 2nd Century during the time of Ancient Rome. Wonderfully fragrant, rich in terpenes & tannins, the peel has a sour acidity and fresh, zesty character.
(Solanum lycopersicum), flowering plant of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), cultivated extensively for its edible fruits. Labelled as a vegetable for nutritional purposes, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and the phytochemical lycopene.
Adding another citrus-forward dimension to Grove 42, the lively notes of mandarin oranges enhance the bright & fragrant aromas
Celery Seed (Apium graveolens)
We use celery seed in our Festival Born Bloody Mary Mix. The celery that we eat today developed from a wild European plant that grew near the sea. Celery seeds have the taste and smell of celery stalks, but their flavor is much more pronounced.
Hibiscus Flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
We use hibiscus flower extract in our Flor de Paloma Mix & our Ruby Go Wild Craft Concentrate. These plants are renowned for their large, showy flowers. A tea is commonly made from hibiscus flowers and is known for its red colour, tart flavour, and vitamin C content.
Rosmarinus officinalis. A woody, perennial herb with fragrant leaves native to the Mediterranean region, Rosemary brings a really herbaceous character to Garden 108 blend. The name derives from the Latin for dew (ros) & sea (marinus) – “Dew of the Sea”.
Fittingly known as "garden mint" the minty-freshness of spearmint complements the herbal and floral Garden 108 distillates to give a clean finish
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
The dry fruits are coriander seeds. The word "coriander" in food preparation may refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed, due to terpenes linalool and pinene. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy, and orange-flavoured.
Aloe Vera Extract (Aloe perfoliata var. Vera)
We use a whisper of this magical succulent in our Sun Goddess Lemonade. The species is popular for being putatively medicinal and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall.
Pimenta dioica. Allspice is the dried fruit of the p. dioica plant. The fruits are picked when green & unripe and are traditionally dried in the sun. They were referred to as bayberries in The Art of Distillation & bring all the nutmeg, cinnamon & clove top notes to Seedlip Spice 94.
Serrano Chile (Capsicum annuum)
We use Serrano Chile Extract in our Festival Born Bloody Mary Mix & our Spicy Margarita Mix. It is the second most used chili pepper in Mexican cuisine. The Scoville rating of the serrano pepper is 10,000 to 23,000. They are typically eaten raw and have a bright and biting flavor that is notably hotter than the jalapeño pepper
Darjeeling Tea (Camellia sinensis)
We use this magical tea in our East India Tonic Syrup. This black tea is grown and processed in the Darjeeling or Kalimpong Districts in West Bengal, India. Darjeeling teas are best known for the muscatel flavour, described as a "musky spiciness," "a unique muscat-like fruitiness in aroma and flavour.
Chile de Árbol (Capsicum cultivars)
We use a arbol in our Spicy Margarita & in our Festival Born Bloody Mary Mix. The Chile de árbol (Spanish for tree chili) is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird's beak chile and rat's tail chile. These chilis are about 2 inches long and their heat index is between 15,000 - 30,000 Scoville units.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum)
We use Cayenne Pepper in our Festival Born Bloody Mary Mix. These relative HOT peppers are 10 to 25 cm long, generally skinny and mostly red-colored peppers. Most varieties are generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units.
Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
We use 100% pure evaporated cane in a lot of our mixers and never high-fructose corn syrup. Sugarcane is the world's largest crop by production quantity, with 1.8 billion tons. The Persians and Greeks encountered the famous "reeds that produce honey without bees" in India between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. They adopted and then spread sugarcane agriculture.
Chamomile Flower Extract (Matricaria chamomilla)
We use Chamomile in our East India Tonic Syrup. It is a brightly warm and honey-suckle scent whispered herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions.