Mixers up their game

01 December, 2017

TO THE DARK SIDE

The Fever-Tree dark spirit range began last year with a traditional Ginger Ale and a Ginger Beer, followed by Madagascan Cola. Now there are the new Spiced Orange and Smoky Ginger Ales, which Cuthbert says are being introduced into key accounts where the response has been very positive.

“The flavours are sophisticated and unique and help place us at the forefront of the premium mixer category once again,” he says.

Spices & Oakwood is the latest flavour to join the Double Dutch mixers range. The company says it is delicious with a variety of spirits but can also be drunk on its own as an adult soft drink. Described as “the flavour of the season”, it’s a limited edition that will be available until March 2018.

The ‘spices’ part of the drink combines cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg with sweet vanilla, while oakwood, which is traditionally used by wine and spirit makers, rounds out the profile with “a woody profoundness that rewards the palate and gladdens the taste buds”.

As well as scoring on flavour, the drink scores on calories as it contains the lowest number in the Double Dutch range – just 42 calories per bottle.

Vantguard PR and communications manager Ivan Gerrera says the mixers market is all about coming up with flavours that match specific spirits or serves – for example Pink Grapefruit with Paloma. “Also, versatility is something that premium soft drink makers like us want to provide to bartenders and customers in general,” he says. “A drink that can play with different spirits and drinks (such as calvados, cachaça, coffee etc), because it’s not only what a new flavour can offer, but it’s how other drinks interact with it.”

However, Gerrera says the most important factor of all remains how the drinks are produced. “The market is being flooded with new recipes and flavours that have a short life and only a few of them will survive. In our case, as manufacturers, we prefer to be consistent in what we make.”

He says the strength of the company’s 1724 tonic water is its gentle bitterness, fine bubbles and citric hints, which enhance the aromatic and palate profile of such different spirits and drinks.

Premium mixers are often served straight, as soft drinks but, however they are served they command premium prices, which is good news for a bar/hotel’s bottom line and it seems that consumers don’t mind paying more for quality.

“We do not believe pricing is an issue. Consumers are willing to pay more for a better, all-natural product, therefore Fever-Tree is continuing to grow both in the UK and internationally,” says Cuthbert.

Dimitris Dafopoulos, co-founder of Three Cents Artisanal Beverages Co, believes that over the past few years consumers have learnt to distinguish the vast differences between mixers and are therefore choosing better ones to mix with their drinks. “The amount someone is prepared to pay is not clear to us yet, but I believe that anyone would spend £2 for a tonic to mix with their super-premium gin,” he says.

IMPORTANCE OF SERVE

Obviously the actual serve is crucial in communicating that drinkers are getting a premium beverage – with or without alcohol.





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