Wine in a tin gets a makeover
Kiss of Wine is one of a number of brands looking to give canned wine an upmarket refresh. It has partnered with four ‘small batch’ European winemakers that apparently supply wines to top-end restaurants to create a collection of two red, four white and two rosé wines. The usual suspects are present and correct - including a rosé from Provence and a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire - but there are some less obvious choices too, including a wine made with the Barolo grape Nebbiolo (one wonders what more traditionally minded Italian vignerons would have to say about what is generally regarded as the country’s finest and most long-lived red variety being served up in a can). Founded to “promote drinking wine in smaller quantities and avoiding waste”, Kiss of Wine offers its products directly to consumers online but is also on the hunt for restaurant listings.
A gin that makes a difference
Charity spirit brand Hospitality Gin has launched ‘Pineapple + Pepper’, the first in its Bartender Series, which is to feature unconventional flavour combinations. Described as savoury with tropical aromas, the abv 42% gin is infused with freeze-dried pineapple, green bell pepper and pink peppercorn, alongside other botanicals including juniper, lemon thyme, orange blossom and orange peel. Founded last year as the pandemic took hold, Hospitality Gin donates 100% of the profits from its original Charity Dry Gin to charities The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action. The brand has sold hundreds of bottles and expects to raise at least £10,000 per year for the hospitality sector. Hand-distilled at Cooper King Distillery in Yorkshire using ‘state-of-the-art’ vacuum stills, the gin is available in 70cl and 50cl bottles for £37 and £30 respectively.
Aluna rum and coconut-based coffee liqueur
Rum brand Aluna Coconut has created a coffee liqueur variant that combines its signature toasted coconut rum with Arabica cold brew coffee, cacao nibs and black cardamom. The new expression reflects the brand’s ‘more considered approach to drinks development, using all-natural flavours and minimal sugar’. The resulting taste profile is billed as smooth and less sweet than you would expect from a coffee liqueur, with ‘harmonious toasted coconut notes and a subtle hint of smoky, herbal black cardamom on the finish’. Aluna says its latest expression can be sipped neat over ice, shaken up as an espresso martini or poured over vanilla ice cream to make an Astral Affogato.
Taylor’s celebrates the 60s with a limited edition tawny
Taylor’s has launched a single harvest tawny port that was vinified way back in 1961. The port house’s head winemaker David Guimaraens says that climatic conditions at the time resulted in high sugar levels and lower yields making the wine well-suited to extended ageing and that the resulting tawny has “magical levels of complexity and elegance”. Tasting notes include molasses, dried figs, sultanas, marzipan, cedar wood and cardamom. The wine is available in limited quantities and is priced at around £300 per bottle.
A ‘truly British spritz’
Launched in time for Dry January, Wilfred’s is a non-alcoholic British aperitif made with bitter orange rosemary, rhubarb and clove that is designed to pair with tonic water. It’s intended as a less sweet alternative for those avoiding the sauce and is free from artificial sweeteners with each 50ml serving containing 21 calories. Billed as a ‘truly British spritz’ the perfect serve sees Wilfred’s poured into an ice-packed glass alongside tonic and a slice of orange.
Jim Beam’s peachy new number
Bourbon brand Jim Beam is tapping into what it says is a growing demand for peach-flavoured cocktails. The new expression is said to combine the sweetness of peach with the woody notes of bourbon and is designed to be served neat or with soda water as part of a highball cocktail. Passionfruit syrup can also be added to make a variation on the Pornstar Martini cocktail. Its launch follows data from market research company CGA that one in four consumers prefer peach-flavoured cocktails. The new peach variant is priced at £18 a bottle and has an abv of 32.5%. It joins a number of other flavoured whiskies in the bourbon maker’s portfolio including sour cherry and apple.
INTUNE looks to strike a high note
Bartender-owned company INTUNE have launched a range of CBD-infused mixers. Each can has 5mg of CBD in each, and come in three flavours, Lemon+, Ginger+ and Tonic+. The Lemon+ is made with yuzu, gooseberry and pink grapefruit, Ginger+ is made with lime and chilli pepper and the Tonic+ has crisp notes of orange zest and hops and is designed to pair with gin. INTUNE drinks are ‘created by bartenders for bartenders’ with the soft drinks range including Elderflower & Hops, Pomegranate & Ginger and Grapefruit & Mint.
Vodka to pair with a pickle
Spirits entrepreneur Dima Deinega is hoping to shake up the UK’s white spirits market with his eponymous Ukrainian vodka. Billed as the first vodka from the country to be available on these shores, Dima’s is distilled in Kiev using three different grains - rye, wheat and barley - resulting in ‘glass-like smoothness’. The luxury product is designed to be served alongside a plate of pickles with Deinega hoping to educate drinkers about the significance of sipping vodka in Ukrainian culture.
1826 pre-batched cocktails
Thomas Lowndes, the food and licensing division of Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, has launched a range of 1826 handcrafted, ready-mixed and bottled cocktails under the 1826 brand. There are four cocktail variants to be shaken or stirred – Cognac Espresso Martini, Smoky French Martini, Old Fashioned and Mint Julep. Each bottle contains five servings for £25, and is available online at Master of Malt, Drink Supermarket, Whisky Shop and Whisky World.