The Story

Home / The Story


Nickel Dime cocktail syrups began when founder Jared walked into the Oaktown Spice Shop and purchased some tamarind paste, dried chilis, and cardamom pods. It reminded him about a spicy tamarind candy he had from Mexico and thought it would be fun to enhance the flavor with aromatic cardamom. The resulting Caged Heatâ„¢ cocktail syrup made its way into a cocktail event at Alameda’s St. George Spirits where it ended up with the longest lines and biggest buzz.

Returning to the bar he called home, Sidebar, the spicy whiskey sour was put on the menu where it eclipsed the sales of all other cocktails its first week. When customers and friends found out they could take home a bottle of the secret sauce, demand for the syrup eclipsed his ability to produce it in the tiny kitchen at Sidebar.

Calling upon his friend Absinthia, founder of Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, the two decided to start a business.

They launched a Kickstarter to crowdfund the business and met their goal in 7 days, renting a commercial kitchen, purchasing all of the things one needs to start a small bottling business. Once all their initial backers received their bottles, they set about to sell Caged Heat to the larger cocktail loving world.

The awards and accolades keep piling up, It’s now available coast to coast and the duo are growing their business, working on new flavors and distribution deals. Three new syrups became available in 2019: Cherry Bomb, Crimson Smoke, and Fairy Dust.

You can reach via email and (510) 435.7051.