Food & Drink: The Third Place Cocktail Co.

One Newfoundlander’s travelling adventure provided a unique business opportunity for lovers of fine spirits


Dan Meades calls St. John’s home, though he’s done a fair bit of travelling in his life, adventures that helped him co-found his company, The Third Place Cocktail Co., with university mate Kristopher Smith.

When asked how the two came up with the name for their company, Meades begins; “It’s an old sociology term. In sociology the first place is where you spend most of your time is at home, the second place is where you spend the next largest amount of time and for most of us that’s work, and the third place is where you get together with your friends and build community, so we liked the idea of naming our products after a place where you get together with your buddies.”

As to how The Third Place cocktail Co. came to be, well, that’s an interesting yarn.

“I worked overseas in West Africa for a long time and over there if you catch malaria and you are too far away from medical attention sometimes they get you to chew on Cinchona tree bark to extract quinine, the only natural anti-malarial out there,” he begins.

History of Gin & Tonic

The history of gin and tonic is this, he continues;

“If you were a British sailor in the early 1800s, when you got on a ship they gave you three things; quinine syrup, and that was to try and keep away malaria, you were given limes to try and keep away scurvy and you were given gin to keep away mutiny. Because none of those three things tasted very good alone sailors tried mixing them together and that’s where gin and tonic was born.”

His oversea living made him familiar with the Cinchona tree which is the only naturally source of quinine in the world, he adds, and as an avid gin drinker, he wondered if he could make an old style tonic syrup.

“I started playing around and after a few thousand batches I found something good enough to give as Christmas gifts to buddies. It spiraled from there,” he says with a laugh.

His now business partner Kristopher received the winning batch as a Christmas gift and was enthusiastic, Meades says.

He explains more about the company the two share with a passion. From the traditional gin and tonic to fancy whiskey cocktails; the duo have a solution.

Their Elderflower pairs with vodka, their Ginger Rose makes a remarkable Smokey Whiskey cocktail and now they have a new product they’re releasing this month called Radler.

‘The Radler’

“In 1922 outside Munich Germany an innkeeper had a bunch of cyclists show up at his inn and he wasn’t very good at making beer. They were drinking him out of beer and complaining the beer wasn’t very good anyway so he mixed it with lemonade and the radler was born, Radler is the German word for cyclist.”

By just adding 1oz of their new product to any beer you can instantly make a radler right at home. There is no product like this anywhere in the world, he shares, plus all The Third Place Tonic products are hand-made in small batches right here at home with the finest ingredients available. Understandably, Meades says he’s very excited for the release of Radler, especially with the hot weather we’ve been having. “We think it’s going to be a big hit,” he says.

For more on The Third Place Cocktail Co., visit:

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