Published 31 March 2021
MEDA is doing things a bit differently when it comes to creating drinks and cocktails. This week, the founder Adam Feldheim shares the story behind MEDA, discusses how CBD will become a normal ingredient for bartenders and elaborates on his plan to work with hospitality businesses.
Like lots of people in London, the stresses of life were getting to me and so I started taking CBD drops myself. People thought it stood for central bank of Denmark when I first started talking about it! And the journey started there.
The brand is about balance. CBD helps us to achieve homeostasis – balance in my mind describes the certain lifestyle of the people I’m targeting. People that work hard, that look after themselves, but like most Londoners who enjoy themselves and indulge in food and drink. It’s part of the movement towards more mindful living – you can burn the candle at both ends, but do it in a moderate way.
CBD effectively helps your body do what it’s meant to do, but oftentimes because of injury or pollutants in the environment, our bodies are a bit out of kilter. CBD almost acts as a modulator or dimmer switch. It’s often quite individual: someone might take it for pain, others for sleep. It’s so versatile. It helps your body find its natural rhythms.
It’s been really exciting. A lot of people are now aware of CBD. I created a drink because early on people were starting to take the drops, but a drink is the ultimate consumable. It’s already a part of people’s routines, and I thought it was interesting that you could put so much into a drink that’s not just for a refreshment, but also for nourishment. I don’t say MEDA is a drinks company, but more of a wellness platform. We have lots of content and contributors, we have a great blog and a lot of independent experts to educate people on cannobanoids.
I worked with nutritionists to identify a synergy so the drinks could deliver specific benefits: calm, sleep, recovery. What helps us stand apart from our competitors is that we’re not a sugary, fizzy CBD drink, but rather I make sure I’m sourcing organic ingredients. It was important to me that there would be efficacy and people would enjoy the benefits.
Another thing I’ve done differently is recognised the future of CBD is about wellness. The branding is the manifestation of that idea – it’s minimalist and clean. I’m trying to develop the CBD categories in a way that is true to the purpose of CBD.
I think I probably was one of the first to realise there was a really good opportunity for CBD behind bar in the hospitality industry. Most people would say wellness drinks belong in a gym or speciality retailer, but the other occasion for them is when people are out and about and want an alternative to alcohol. Plus, they work well with mixers.
I go in and teach bartenders about the product – I realised they’re the best brand ambassadors. I’d rather educate the people behind bars who know their customers and let them describe the benefits. It was where I first gained the most traction! Hospitality plays such an important part of my brand, and I’d love to build my brand on trade and it’s such an exciting area to explore. It’s a really important community for me.
Yes! The hero is the espresso medatini – it was born out of an idea I had at Annabel’s. There was a DJ who didn’t drink alcohol, so they asked if I could create something and I said absolutely. His stage name was Black Coffee so I thought surely we have to create an espresso martini – but there’s a lot of sugar in them. When we played with it, we realised we weren’t getting the foam, but we were able to work on it and create the same cocktail with half the sugar and 10mg of CBD. It’s now at Annabel’s, The Ivy Restaurants and other hospitality venues. We’re aiming quite high! We want it to be premium and aspirational.
Absolutely. For me it’s the most fun part of my job. I love the creativity behind bars – London has become a great cocktail city. So I love seeing how they use my drinks as a tool in their toolkit and they come up with loads of different cocktails.
I don’t think it even takes five years! As more research comes out, I think it’s likely you’ll see CBD in things you wouldn’t expect to see. It will just become another supplement because it helps our bodies perform more optimally.