Frost321

Reema Shroff, Founder & Director, Frost321, San Antonio, TX

Reema

The saying “Life is short, eat dessert first” surely applies to Frost321. The Texas-based company uses a revolutionary liquid nitrogen process to freeze the freshest ingredients at -321 degrees Fahrenheit, producing extraordinary taste in ice creams, sorbets and cocktails. The result is like having dessert any time of day.

Founder Reema Shroff’s story of Frost321 started at a fancy summer wedding in Paris, where dessert hour featured table-side demonstrations of liquid nitrogen desserts, the rising mist adding a theatrical effect to the cirque de soleil theme.

The ability to experiment with liquid nitrogen and alcohol was particularly intriguing to Reema, a health care attorney and entrepreneur. On the flight home from Paris, she couldn’t stop thinking about the incredible food she’d tasted at the wedding. She began experimenting at home and had the good fortune to be seated next to someone at an event related to one of her cases who advised her to develop her own line of machines. Reema now works with a company in Dallas on a patent-pending system produced in Asia that features the proprietary back-lit cart seen at Frost321 events. “We really just kind of put a lot of different pieces together to come up with our own liquid nitrogen system,” Reema says.

Her biggest concern, as an attorney, was making her system scalable to accommodate large numbers of people, but also safe. She assures customers that liquid nitrogen is used only for the freezing process and evaporates as mist in the air.

“The biggest advantage is that you’re freezing the ingredients ‘live’ or fresh so you’re not adding emulsifiers or things to keep them frozen,” Reema says. “It makes for a great cocktail because liquid nitrogen is the only thing that will actually freeze alcohol.”

Frost321 caters at galas, weddings, conventions and special events throughout Texas, Southern California, Phoenix and Tucson. More recently, it’s moved into Chicago, Miami and New Jersey. Some of its biggest partners are hotels and convention centers where clients increase traffic to their sites with elegant presentations of signature frozen drinks. Neiman Marcus is a regular client and Frost321 worked with Volvo at an event introducing the Volvo SC90.

This spring, Frost321 partnered with The Perfect Purée at the National Restaurant Association’s Annual Championship BBQ & Cookout in Chicago. Reema got to know The Perfect Purée on a trip to Napa Valley and considers the company invaluable because of her preference for fresh, all-natural flavors and because The Perfect Purée enables her to provide a consistent product whether she’s serving 50 or 1,500 people. Making drinks with hand-made purees is a guessing game, she says.

“You always have this question, ‘Do you need to add more simple syrup?’ “and the worst thing is when a fruit’s not in season and you’re not able to make a certain recipe,” she says. “When you go over that magic number of 150 to 200 people you really need consistency to make recipes. The Perfect Purée makes it really easy at a larger scale.”

Event favorites are Frost321’s Wicked Chocolate Cherry with Cherry Puree and whiskey, and its Green Mojito with Spearmint & Lime blend. Frost321 uses Passion Fruit and Carmelized Pineapple Concentrates in its Passion Colada and works with clients on custom creations like Strawberry Puree and St. Germain served in a shallow pool of champagne for a Truman Capote-themed event.

Some of Frost321’s biggest partners are alcohol companies, who appreciate liquid nitrogen as a new way to feature their spirits, Reema says. One of her most popular after-dinner drinks is an ice cream martini.

Reema devotes most of her time now to Frost321 and stays busy not just in the summer when frozen drinks are in demand, but also during the holidays when, she says, Frost321 ups the wow factor of holiday parties with seasonal cocktails and decadent desserts.

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