Creative juices…with alcohol and frozen (Day 40)

Mahiki LICIf you’re in the middle of your chemical engineering course, you may still be thinking about what to do when you graduate. Thankfully, there’s lots of choice, but how about taking on some of the world’s biggest consumer brands and using your chemical engineering skills to make…well…frozen lollies or popsicles?

But these are no ordinary frozen lollies – they are adult-only popsicles containing the alcoholic equivalent of a glass of wine. It’s a product that has not existed – until now.

Mahiki LIC is the world’s first premium alcoholic ice lolly. Available in two flavours – Piña Colada and Mojito – each one is equivalent to a glass of wine and packs a punch with a shot of premium rum (20ml).

They are the invention of graduate chemical engineering duo Harry Stimpson and Noah Greeves, both 23, who studied at Imperial College London and went on to develop their product whilst at the University of Nottingham, UK.

Originally called Love Iced Cocktails (LIC), the duo have patented freezing alcoholic beverages at up to 15 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV), although the final product has been lowered to 10 per cent ABV for taste reasons.

The story behind the product is best described by Noah. He said: “At the behest of Harry’s mum, who was pretty keen for a frozen Piña Colada on the beach, we set about trying to find out how to do it.

“We recognised a gap in the market for a ready-to-drink frozen cocktail that you can have on the go. We wanted the drink to be small enough that it’s convenient to carry around yet contain enough alcohol that it was a genuine drink as opposed to just a slightly alcoholic lolly. Unfortunately this was a little more difficult than expected as they just formed slushes, which wasn’t what we wanted at all!

“The texture has a crunch like normal pops and at the end of all of the development we had two flavours – a Mojito and a Piña Colada – and no way to get them in people’s hands.

“Instead of spending three years building a brand, we wanted to partner with an existing company that we felt had the same values as us. Mahiki seemed perfect with it’s happy-go-lucky vibe and the fact that it already had an existing product in the form of Mahiki Coconut. Together we formed the company Mahiki LIC to bring the product to market.”

Noah and Harry’s story is great and illustrates that chemical engineering is responsible for products most people would never assume is derived from the inventiveness of our profession.

Of course, Harry and Noah still have a long way to go and it’s best summed up with their efforts to build a brand and compete with the big boys. Speaking about promoting their lollies at various events in London, Noah said: “We didn’t have the budget to buy display freezers that companies such as Red Bull and Wall’s use so we actually hand-built all of them from old second-hand ones, including the tiki trikes [used to get around the venues].”

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Have you pursued an unusual career after graduating as a chemical engineer? Please get in touch and tell us your story.

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