Liquid assets: December's latest drinks launches

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What are the new alcoholic drinks launches for this Christmas beer rum wine champagne

Related tags Drinks Rum Beer Cocktail Wine Champagne

Christmas cocktails, mince pie hard seltzer, medicinal mushroom beer and botanical rum expressions make up some of the most interesting new drinks launches for the festive period.

World of Zing festive bottled cocktails

Cocktail specialist World of Zing has added a selection of festive options to its range of craft bottled cocktails. The seasonal range has been created to support restaurant operators by providing them with easy to serve, high quality, cocktails that it says offers strong profit margins while streamlining bar operations and reducing waste. The new selection features Sloe Gin Bramble, Mince Pie Rumhattan, Salted Caramel Espresso Martini and Rhubarb Cosmopolitan, with each cocktail available in a number of packaging options to suit a supplier’s requirements, including bottle, pouches, single serve and larger formats. Sloe Gin Bramble comprises Tanqueray gin, sloe gin, lemon, pinot noir bitters and shiso tincture; the Mince Pie Rumhattan is made from El Dorado eight and five year old mums, rosso vermouth, and Zing mince pie liqueur; Salted Caramel Espresso Martini blends Ketel one vodka with Kahlua coffee liqueur, cold brew coffee, salted caramel, crème de cacao and vegan Foamer; and Rhubarb Cosmopolitan is made using Ketel one vodka, Cointreau, rhubarb, cranberry, and shiso.

SOLO concentrate 2

Solo coffee concentrate 

Want to make espresso martinis without the faff of a coffee machine? Solo is a coffee concentrate created by barista’s Alex Foss Sims and Theo Garcia that comes in 1 litre Tetra Paks. Each carton contains the equivalent of 40 shots of cold brew with the pair using a secret technique to make the liquid comparable in strength to a traditionally made espresso. Solo Coffee Concentrate contains no sugars, is vegan friendly, 100% Arabica and creates ‘the perfect foam’ with no foaming agents. It can also be used to create non-boozy coffee drinks including Americanos and ice coffees. The pair have teamed up with Australian coffee liquor Mr Black to create a signature espresso martini made with two parts Mr Black and one part Solo Concentrate. 


Xmas Cans Together

Good One Mulled Soda and Mince Pie hard seltzers

Hard seltzer brand Good One has launched two limited edition Christmas flavours - Mulled Soda and Mince Pie. The Mulled Soda seltzer is described as smooth and elegant, combining cinnamon, anise and fresh orange juice to create ‘delicately sweet and smoky notes’. The Mince Pie flavoured seltzer offers an ‘aromatic’ blend of dried fruit and mince pie spices and natural apple juice. “We want to teach hard seltzer lovers that our low calorie, vegan and sustainable drink isn’t just for the long summer days,” says founder Yulia Denham. “Our Christmas in a can hard seltzers will make the perfect tipple to toast to the joyful season.”  



Red Phantom IPA

Adnams and Magic Rock Brewing Co have paired up to produce a limited-edition beer IPA. Described as a ‘rye session ale’, Red Phantom is inspired by Adnams’ flagship pale ale Ghost Ship and is the latest in a series of collaborations to celebrate the 10-year birthday of the Adnams’ best seller. The 4.6% abv beer has ‘resinous pine and aromatic orange notes’ with sweet toffee flavours from the malt and a spicy hit from rye. It comes in 330ml priced at £21.99 for a case of 12 and is available from the start of December.

Chateau Meyney receives recognition

Bordeaux-based producer Chateau Meyney has been recognised for three consecutive years at the Southwold Tastings, a well-known event for UK based wine buyers, merchants, and journalists. Its wines impressed, with none scoring lower than 17/20. Chateau Meyney St Estephe 2014 was awarded the lowest of the three, 17 points for its ‘really exciting lift and stoniness on the nose’. Meanwhile, the 2015 and 2016 were both awarded scores of 18.5 and simultaneously recognised as a ‘Very Good Vintage’. Chateau Meyney lies at the centre of a single block vineyard of 51 hectares in St Estephe, the northernmost of the six communal appellations in Médoc on Bordeaux’s left bank. The vines are aged between 35 to 40 years divided between 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot.



Junimperium’s Winter Edition Gin 

Estonian artisan gin brand Junimperium has released its Winter Edition Gin to the UK market via distributor Distilled Brands. The 43% abv unfiltered gin is infused with lingonberries, coriander, cardamon, bitter orange, cassia bark, vanilla and juniper. The result is a warming, lightly spiced flavour that is bittersweet and ‘unique in its complexity; evocative of Christmas markets and winter wonderlands’. The gin can be served neat or with aromatic tonic and rosemary. Junimperium was launched in March last year by restaurateur Tarvo Jaansoo. Other variants include a Blended Dry Gin, Navy Strength Gin and Rhubarb Edition Gin.  


Fungtn medicinal mushroom beer 

Fungtn is billed as the UK’s first craft beer to brewed with myco adaptogens, a class of fungi known for their health benefits that have been used in medicine for thousands of years (and have no psychedelic properties). The alcohol-free range comprises Lion’s Mane IPA; Reishi Citra Beer; and Chaga Lager, with each variant taking its name from a type of mushroom. Fungtn was created during lockdown by Zoey Henderson, a mindful drinking consultant with 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. Henderson first discovered medicinal mushrooms whilst on a trip to California. “Fungtn is a vegan, gluten-free and hangover free way of enjoying the ceremony of an ice-cold craft beer at the end of busy day, whilst also benefiting from the fungi as a natural solution to combat the stresses of our hectic modern lives,” she says.

Pommery Apanage Blanc de Noirs

Champagne Pommery has released a blanc de noirs as part of its Apanage range. The blend of 100% red grape varieties is described by the champagne house as ‘showcasing the intensity and elegance of pinot noir and the fullness of meunier’ and is pale gold in colour with a very fine effervescence. It has floral notes along with those of crushed strawberry and frangipani and is said to have an intense and full-bodied flavour with ‘nuances of pear, red fruits, and spices reminiscent of Timur berries’.



Spirited Union Distillery’s trio of new botanical rum expressions

Amsterdam-based first botanical rum distillery The Spirited Union Distillery has launched three expressions in the UK: Queen Pineapple & Spice, Sweet Orange & Ginger and Pink Grapefruit & Rose. The new rum flavours, which are already available in the Netherlands, are the latest in the distiller’s range which launched in 2019 and also includes Spice & Sea Salt and Lemon & Leaf. Queen Pineapple & Spice Rum is made by macerating Queen Victoria pineapple in Panamanian rum and infusing it with cassia wood and cinnamon; Sweet Orange & Ginger Rum is made by infusing and distilling sweet oranges from Valencia and Curacao, which is added to cask-aged Jamaican rum; and Pink Grapefruit & Rose Rum is made by distilling the skin of pink grapefruits to match the floral taste of Swazi rum. Each has an abv of 38% and a price tag of £27.50 for a 70cl bottle.

Cotswolds Distillery’s Amaro No 2

Cotswolds Distillery has followed up the release of its No 1 Whisky Amaro at the beginning of the year with a second expression. Its No 2 Whisky Amaro is described as being ideal for Christmas celebrations and uses Cotswolds peated cask single malt whisky as its base, to which a selection of botanicals including chamomile, citrus and herbs are added. The end result is a herbaceous liqueur with notes of spice and a slightly bitter finish and subtle notes of peat smoke.

Voodoo Ranger Hazy IPA

American craft beer brand Voodoo Ranger is now available over here as part of a deal with Lion Little World Beverages. The 5.3% abv hazy IPA is brewed at Fourpure’s brewery in Bermondsey and is available in 330ml cans. The US brands boasts of having 10 times the social engagement rate of the average craft beer brand, something which the UK team says it plans to replicate across the pond. “While we have big Voodoo boots to fill in the UK, it’s great opportunity to inject some revelry back into UK craft beer,” says Lion Little World Beverages marketing director Adrian Mooney.



Caleño Dark & Spicy

A dark ‘rum’ variant of non-alcoholic spirit has been added to Caleño’s range. Created to be used in non-alcoholic cocktails in light of the fact that just under half of all mainstream cocktails contain rum, according to the company, Caleño Dark & Spicy joins the brand’s original Light & Zesty variant. The new drink is a blend of pineapple, coconut, ginger, black cardamom, vanilla, kola nut, and lime and has been created to be used as a cocktail mixer or served over ice, topped with soda and with a squeeze of lime.



Three Sheets bottled cocktails

Cocktail bar Three Sheets has launched a collection of bar-quality classically inspired bottled cocktails. The bar, which was ranked at number 16 in the World’s 50 Best Bars list 2019, has made seven drinks available in its Batched + Bottled Cocktail range, all of which are pre-diluted and shelf stable for up to 12 months, with between five and seven serves per bottle. Cocktails include the Three Sheets signature French 75 – a carbonated combination of gin, verjus, lemon, wine and orange flower served in a repurposed wine bottle; an Old Fashioned, which has the addition of rooibos tea; the Earth Martini, made with vodka, beetroot and vermouth; and mulled wine with tempranillo, cataratto, cassia, clove, nutmeg, frankincense, orange, lemon, and honey.

Hine Bonneuil 2010

House of Hine has released a cognac that is made from grapes from what it says is the greatest vintage of the 2000-2010 decade for cognac grapes. Described as a single-estate cognac that is fit for sommeliers, its Domaines Hine Bonneuil 2010 is the fourth expression in its Bonneuil release, following on from 2005, 2006, and 2008 releases, with the 2007 and 2009 harvests judged to be too bland and discarded for the purposes of a single-estate expression. While fpr some French appellations, 2010 wasn’t a classic year, Hine says in Cognac the Ugni Blanc grapes were unaffected by the heavy rains of early June and enjoyed a sunny summer, a cool August and sunny September, resulting in full acidity being maintained, crucial to the balance that develops within wines and eaux de vie during distillation. The cognac is limited to 18 casks of 450 numbered bottles.  



Organic: Gaia 1.1 Irish whisky

Ireland’s first certified organic single malt whisky has been launched by Waterford Distillery. Organic: Gaia 1.1 is part of the brand’s new Arcadian series, a provenance-driven range of Irish whiskies made from organic, biodynamic and heritage grains. The series celebrates radical barley growers and alternative farming philosophies and continues Waterford’s exploration of Irish ‘teireoir’ and the impact a farm’s microclimate and soil type has on the growth of barley and the flavours of the resulting whisky. The whisky, which takes its name from the Greek goddess symbol of the Earth, was distilled in 2016 from 100% organic Irish barley grown by six small farmers and is matured in 42% abv first-fill US oak, 17% virgin US oak, 23% premium French oak and 18% Vin Doux Naturel – sweet fortified wine casks. It is bottled at 50% abv and costs £77 per bottle.

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