Made in Vancouver is a collaboration between Vancity and Daily Hive. Together, we’re turning the spotlight onto local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are helping to create a healthy local economy.
Want a drink but on a time crunch? OPUS is a ready-to-go cocktail that features high quality, natural flavours and real ingredients.
Vancity has been supporting people in our communities since 1946, like local entrepreneurs. As part of our Made in Vancouver series spotlighting local businesses, we talked to award-winning Vancouver mixologist, Christos Kalaitzis, about empowering people to choose their beverage of choice for any occasion.
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While there are a lot of drinks like this out there, OPUS is different because they offer both alcohol and alcohol-free versions, and because they take a handcrafted approach.
Their drinks are handcrafted with bitters and tinctures that are made with real spices and herbs, and natural flavours that are 100 per cent extracted from real fruits.
The idea for OPUS was born out of Kalaitzis’s experience behind the bar. He was researching and developing beverages on behalf of numerous international brands.
After developing recipes for global brands, he decided to do it for himself and start this new venture here in Vancouver.
He was inspired to create an alcohol-free cocktail when he noticed a movement of patrons asking for non-alcoholic drinks disguised as alcoholic one.
“There’s a huge movement towards being sober or sober curious, and it’s grown beyond just Dry January. Sober October has become a huge trend and people are looking to be more flexible about their consumption,” said Kalaitzis.
Most were asking for a simple soda water and lime but he wanted to create a delicious drink for those looking for alcohol-free options.
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He dedicated the success of OPUS based on his growth as a human being by being creative and supporting other people and his community.
“20 minutes of doing something is more valuable than 20 hours of thinking of it. If you invest 1 hour a day towards your dream at the end of the month you have 30 hours. So just take the first step towards your dream and don’t be afraid to ask for help, ” he said.
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OPUS’ goal is to let cocktail fans of all shapes and forms know that you can have a quality cocktail experience in a convenient ready-to-drink can without sacrificing taste and ingredients to do that.
Also by creating two variations – alcohol and alcohol-free – they hope to empower and give drinkers the freedom to choose the perfect beverage for their mood and occasion.
OPUS is available in two flavours – Gin and Tonic and Aperitivo Spritz. The alcohol-free cocktail has zero calories, sugar or carbs and is gluten-free. The alcohol cocktails also have zero sugar and are low in calories.
In addition to this, OPUS is recyclable all the way from the cans to the box they come in.
Kalaitzis considered sustainability as one of the most important factors and decided to do away with the plastic rings. “I hate those plastic ring things,” he said.
The alcohol variation will be sold at participating private liquor stores across BC, and the alcohol-free version will soon be available in grocery retailers across the province.
“OPUS is a firm believer in that the days of pitting cocktails and mocktails against each other is long gone. OPUS embraces and empowers drinkers to choose a drink that fits their mood and preference at that moment. No need to feel left out or compromise on flavour and quality,” said Kalaitzis.