Why Abbina?

I came to making soda by way of perfume. This isn’t as much of a jump as you might think. Flavor is perceived through retronasal olfaction - that means the way we detect flavor is actually through smell, going through the back of our throats up into our noses.

While there are only five tastes - sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami - there are infinite smells. So there are also infinite flavors.

My career before soda was working in politics. When I started, politics was my hobby. Over time, when I needed an escape, I took to cooking and developed a deep appreciation for food and flavors. It was something I enjoyed and took my mind off of work. But a few years back, I got sick with a digestive issue, and wasn’t able to eat much for about six months. During that time, I found myself a new hobby: perfumery.

At first, it was all about experience. I bought up a lot of bottles of fragrances, and sampled many, many more. It was, in fact, the first time I began to appreciate art as a concept. A medium of expression that prompted intellectual examination and allowed me to explore understanding meaning through something other than language.

Fast forward five years. As I was sitting with a cigar and sipping a major commercial soda - soda always having been my personal beverage pairing of choice - I was left realizing that I wanted something more. I thought about what flavors of soda would go with my cigar and satisfy the curious foodie within me, and knew that nothing like what I was thinking about existed. So I thought I’d make something myself.

When I started researching, I quickly learned that many flavors are derived from the same ingredients used in perfumery. Since I already had a library of aromachemicals and essential oils from my perfumery hobby, I started tinkering, and Abbina Craft Sipping Soda was born.

I built a small lab in my dining room and created a number of flavor concepts designed to compliment the flavors I love to find in premium cigars. It was a project born out of personal necessity: I needed a better beverage to enjoy with my cigars.

Ultimately, with my appreciation of perfumery in mind, I approached flavor creation for Abbina as art. From the start, safety was my first concern. Once safety is established, I decided I would not limit my ingredient palette, in an effort to use anything available to me to achieve the exact flavor in my vision.

Now, almost a year later, we’re just a couple months from bringing Abbina soda to market. I truly hope you enjoy drinking Abbina as much as I have enjoyed making it.
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