Meet the former venture capitalist turned girl boss of her own non-alcoholic drink start-up

For Winata, inspiration struck on a trip home to Indonesia, where the culture of tonic remedies harks back to the Majapahit kingdom. Having grown up drinking jamu (traditional Indonesian tonics) and traditional Chinese medicinal brews, Winata began exploring the idea of creating an all-natural non-alcoholic aperitif based on recipes from these age-old traditions.

“When creating Melati, I worked with a food scientist and ayurvedic specialist to make sure we could create something that is not only delicious but that still retains all the benefits of the amazing ingredients,” she said. The result is Melati Classic, created using a six-week extraction process with 26 botanical ingredients like roselle, goji berry, hibiscus, raw cacao, ginger, and bitter orange peel.

According to Winata, the time-consuming low-temperature high-pressure extraction process ekes out all the oils and flavours of those ingredients to yield a drink with better mouthfeel and viscosity. “Obviously as a big foodie, when I was looking at creating a new drink, I didn’t want something like a Coke or a soda, or something sweet. I wanted something with the same complexity as a spirit,” she said.


In person, Winata is quietly disarming. Hers is a classic beauty, with the striking poise and elegant ramrod posture of a woman who is perfectly aware of the attention she commands. But then she laughs and its breathy ring, like she’s happily gulping for air, cracks this image with its youthful charm. Perhaps it is this captivating combination of confidence and freshness, coupled with her deep knowledge and passion for her product that has served her well in Melati’s pitches. 

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