Liquid assets: the latest drinks launches for May

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Liquid assets: the latest drinks launches for May

Related tags Low to no Beer Cider Spirit Gin

Here's the latest drinks launches jostling for a place on your back bar this spring.

MasterChef worthy low-alcohol spirits


A new range of low-alcohol spirits has hit the market courtesy of MasterChef 2016 finalist Billy Wright. Called DECEM, directly translated as ten in Latin, the range comes in three varieties - gin-based London Dry, rum-based Spiced Blend, and botanical-based Aperitif - all of which have an abv of 10%. Three years in the making, the drinks are English made - they were developed in Hackney, distilled in Suffolk and bottled in Yorkshire. Aperitif is a blend of botanicals mixed with strawberry and grape, London Dry has been distilled as a normal gin  being blended with natural flavourings, while Spiced Blend is a combination of light and white Caribbean rums from Martinique and Dominican Republic with spices added. Each has a price of £30 a bottle.

Adnams and Sierra Nevada show their Edge


Suffolk-based sustainable brewery Adnams has collaborated with US craft beer brand Sierra Nevada to create a new transatlantic pale ale. Eastern Edge marks Adnams’ 150th anniversary and is so named to reflect the influential vistas that dominate each brewery’s hometown, with Adnams looking across the sea from the English east coast and Sierra Nevada towards the Sierra Nevada mountains to the east, according to the brewers. To make the 4.8% abv beer Sierra Nevada’s yeast was transported to Suffolk to be used along with Adnams’ house yeast. UK and US varieties of Cascade and Chinook hops were selected for their delicate floral and resinous aromas and tropical flavours of grapefruit, lychee, and pineapple, whilst the Rye, Pale Ale and Cara malts provide a spicy biscuit balance. “We see lots of similarities between our two breweries. Sierra, like us, values independence,” says Fergus Fitzgerald, Adnams production director. “It is not easy to achieve and even harder to maintain for as long as we have. Like us, it’s very aware of its sense of place. Sierra has a connection to its environment and the desire to balance its protection with progress.”

Holyrood's display of strength


Edinburgh’s Holyrood Distillery has created what it is calling ‘strong water’ brand for the UK market. Called Charmed Circle, it is the result of the distiller’s experimentation with heritage barleys and is available in two varieties - Chevalier and Golden Promise, which take the name of the heritage barley variety they are made with. Chevalier is described as having ‘a rich mouth-coating’ with notes of churned cream and butter while Golden Promise has notes of lemon blossom with citrus on the nose. Not to be confused with heavy water, strong water is an archaic name, usually referring to any alcoholic liquids that were not being set aside as aqua vitae. The spirits are designed to be enjoyed neat and used in longer mixed drinks.

Glengoyne leaves a legacy

Glengoyne Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky has revealed the third and final expression in its legacy series. The Legacy Series: Chapter Three is the story of Sir Arthur John Tedder, an excise officer at the distillery who is said to have pioneered the distillery’s ‘unhurried’ approach to whisky making. Bottled and un-chillfiltered at 48% abv (£69.99 for a 70cl bottle), the spirit’s tasting notes describe it as delivering creamy vanilla, followed by spicy cinnamon aromas and notes of mixed berries, cutting through a base of apple strudel and pears.

Strykk hits out with a spritz option


Non-alcoholic spirit brand Strykk has entered into the liqueurs category with a booze-free apéritif. Strykk Not Aperitivo has notes of quassia, wormwood and bitter orange and is designed to create the perfect spritz when mixed with soda water - avoiding the need to add a non-alcoholic sparkling wine. The two-ingredient serve is just 25 calories, five times less than the full strength alcoholic version. “Strykk Not Aperitivo represents a huge growth opportunity both for the grocery and on-trade markets,” says Elegantly Spirited CEO and founder of Strykk, Alex Carlton. “The Spritz moment is all about summer fun and people coming together for al fresco drinking. People love the bittersweet citrus and botanical taste of aperitivos and with spring and summer round the corner, there will be huge interest from consumers looking for non-alcoholic versions of one of their favourite lighter serves.” A bottle is priced at £12.

Mouton Cadet looks to future with organic rose

Mouton Cadet has launched its second organic wine - Mouton Cadet Organic Rosé 2021. The new wine joins its organic red, which launched last year. Made using a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, the wine is rose-petal pink with aromas of red fruit, particularly redcurrant and raspberry, citrus and tropical fruit. “We want Mouton Cadet to look to the future. The addition of an organic and vegan wine to the collection is a response to our expectations for protection of the environment,” says Mathilde de Sereys de Rothschild. The wine is distributed in the UK by Freixenet Copestick priced a £12.95 a bottle.

Bombay Sapphire Citron Presse


Bombay Sapphire is continuing to experiment with new flavours with its latest gin expression, Citron Presse. The new gin contains Mediterranean lemons, which the company says have been harvested early in the season to capture best their citrus notes before being hand-peeled and concentrated to create a 100% natural fruits infusion. The infusion is then blended with the brand’s vapour-infused gin. Citron Presse, which follows the launch of Bombay Bramble in 2020,  takes its flavour inspiration from another classic gin cocktail, this time the Tom Collins. “Allowing gin fans to enjoy a taste of the familiar, but with a twist, this new launch offers a naturally refreshing tasting alternative to the traditional G&T, perfect for adding creative twists to drinks and experimenting with cocktails,” says Natasha Curtin, Bombay Sapphire global vice president. The 37.5% abv spirit has a bottle price of £23.

Galipette Cidre is in the pink


French cider maker Galipette has launched a rosé variant. Made with red-flesh apples Pommes à Chair Rouge, from the orchards of Brittany and Normandy, Galipette Rosé joins the cider maker’s existing Galipette brut cider and is available in 330ml glass bottles. The rosé cider is described as having notes of fresh berries and aromas of blackcurrant leaf and uses artisan methods of keeving and wild yeast fermentation, which prevents the yeast from fully fermenting the cider apples so that they retain their natural and fruity sweetness.

Gin maker launches sparkling rose


Norfolk-based gin maker Bullards has entered the wine category with the launch of an English sparkling rosé. Made from Seyval Blanc, Pinot Noir and Auxerrois grapes - all grown at Bullards’ Tipsy Anchor vineyard in Norfolk - the wine is made using the traditional champagne method with a short maceration on the skins to extract the pink colour. Once the initial fermentation is complete, the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle, ensuring that the lees impart the maximum aromas and finesse to the wine, says the company. Until now Bullards has sold its grapes to other wineries, but decided to hold back some of the 2009 vintage to make its own sparkling wine with the help of the Wiston Estate Winery in West Sussex. The 12% abv wine sells at £40 a bottle.

South African alcohol-free spirit comes to the UK


South African alcohol-free spirit Mahala Botanical has made its UK debut. Created and co-founded by master distiller Danielle Schoeman and Paul Scanlon, former managing director of Pernod Ricard South Africa, the drink is made using nine botanicals, many of which are indigenous to South Africa and some of which are foraged from Schoeman’s own farmland. Made using a triple-distillation process in custom-built vacuum stills, the drink is intended to be mixed with a premium tonic, soda water or ginger beer/ale, and has notes of clove and cardamom and spices such as clove and pepper as well as subtle citrus notes on the palate.

Champagne Gosset Grand Millésime 2015


Gosset has released the latest vintage of its Grand Millésime Champagne. Made with grapes harvested in 2015, the wine is described as being elegant and bursting with freshness. A blend of 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay with a dosage of 4g per litre, the wine has nougat, candied orange and plums on the nose and nectarine, yellow peach and rhubarb on the palate. The finish is clean, clear and mineral with a suggestion of saltiness and verbena. Gosset says its latest Champagne will work well with savoury dishes including lamb tagine with candied lemon and almonds but will also work well as a counterpoint to desserts with high acidity. Champagne Gosset Grand Millesime 2015 is available now from its UK importer, Louis Latour Agencies. 


Beavertown seeks Critical Mass



Beavertown Brewery has launched its first-ever gluten-free beer. Called Critical Mass, the 4.7% brew is a dry-hopped IPA said to offer “delicious fruity flavours including grapefruit, passion fruit, and white grape”. The London-based brewer says its latest product had been “developed to deliver a delicious beer first and foremost” and “just so happens to also be gluten-free”. Critical Mass is the latest in a series of launches from the Heineken-owned brand this year. April alone saw it roll a new pale ale, called Young Sun (4% abv) into Young’s Pubs across London and the south of England, as well as its first rice lager, called Potted Planets (5%), which was made with rice grains claimed to give it “a lighter, dryer taste” than regular lager.

Innis & Gunn gets peaty



Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has collaborated with Islay-based whisky maker Laphroaig to brew a limited-edition beer. Islay Whisky Cask’ is a 7.4% Scottish red ale which this year that’s been matured in Laphroaig single malt whisky quarter casks for three months. The beer has the hallmark Laphroaig aromas of peat smoke and brine, coupled with vanilla, coconut and floral notes. These, combined with the rich, warming, malty, sweet flavours of the beer, create an ‘utterly unforgettable taste experience that is intense but superbly balanced with an unexpected freshness’. “From the moment you open the bottle, you are transported, welcomed by the iconic, unmistakable Laphroaig aroma,” says Innis & Gunn founder and master brewer Dougal Gunn Sharp.

A presidential Ukrainian vodka



A vodka named after Ukraine’s president has launched in the UK. Vodka Zelensky is donating 100% of its profits until 2026 and £5 per bottle to carefully selected NGOs in Ukraine. The bottle’s label design comes in the striking national blue and yellow of Ukraine, with the silhouette of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also emblazoned on the label. The vodka itself is premium wheat-based quality made and distilled in Germany and Switzerland. Aiming to sell 1 million bottles this year, the new vodka is already being sold in Switzerland, Germany and now the UK - with more countries to follow soon

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