Premium Mixers: The tonic for mixers

06 February, 2019

Premium mixers are becoming more important in both the on and off-trade as they appeal to consumers drinking less alcohol. Tracy West reports


THE GROWTH IN POPULARITY of premium spirits, coupled with an increasing appetite for cocktails, means there’s much more of a spotlight on the drinks we mix with them. The bog-standard tonic on offer at the cash and carry will no longer do as punters demand brands with a bit more panache.

One such brand is, of course, Fever-Tree, which just keeps on innovating and, as a result, growing its sales.

Earlier this year, it joined forces with Patrón tequila to launch Fever-Tree Citrus tonic water, a mixer specifically designed to pair with the spirit.

The success of the Fever-Tree brand is, in part, due to the lengths the company goes to to get the right ingredients for its drinks. Co-founder Tim Warrillow says the team travelled across Mexico to discover the “passionate producers growing the finest citrus fruits” to couple with the tequila. So the limes they used came from Colima and Michoacán, the tangerines from Vera Cruz and the bitter oranges from Yucatán.

Fever-Tree international marketing director Richard Cuthbert says: “Simple mixability for the on-trade is increasingly important and is at the forefront of every innovation at Fever-Tree. Our full range of products has been developed to appeal to a wide range of taste profiles as well as to complement premium spirits. Due to the range of premium mixers we offer, bartenders can make a simple, yet delicious, long mixed drinks with four simple ingredients. By elevating a serve in a Copa or Highball glass using plenty of high-quality ice, a premium spirit, a Fever-Tree mixer and a fresh garnish, venues can charge a premium and provide a better drinking experience.”

Another spirit and mixer tie-up comes from Raisthorpe, which marked its 10th anniversary by launching a range of six Yorkshire tonics to go with its botanical gins and vodkas as well as its traditional dry gin.

The tonics are made at Raisthorpe’s farm on the UK’s Yorkshire Wolds by blending local water with a range of citrus and fruity botanicals. The botanicals are all natural ingredients so the company has already had a lot of interest from spas and health clubs, as well as bars.

“A premium mixer is the secret weapon in the bartender’s cocktail armoury,” says Raisthorpe sales and operations director Oliver Medforth. “To make a delicious cocktail you need the best quality spirits, freshest ingredients and beautiful glasses, but all of this can be undermined by the use of a less-than-spectacular premium mixer.”

He says the new tonics elevate the natural qualities of the gin without overpowering them: “The aromatic tonics have been carefully developed to enhance the flavours of spirits. For example, the Strawberry & Pomegranate is an ideal top-up to our Rhubarb gin, while the premium tonic is a perfect accompaniment to our full range of gins and vodkas, as well as other premium Yorkshire gins and vodkas.”

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