January has finally come to an end, which means for vast swathes of people the so-called dry January challenge has also ended.
Still, a new year needn’t mean slipping back into old habits. And that’s especially true when it comes to enjoying a drink or two.
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Every year thousands of new spirits, cocktails, and mixers flood the market. That means there’s always something new to try. We reached out to some of the alcohol industry’s rising stars to see the new drinks they’re launching in 2018 or recent launches.
So here’s some of the best drinks you can try in 2018 that you may not have heard of yet.
Beltane&Pop’s hot toddies
There are few companies who’ve made quite the splash in London as Beltane&Pop.
The British brand’s pop-up shop has made appearances all over the UK’s capital over the past year or so, launching their frozen yoghurt shop, Snog Frozen Yoghurt. However, they’ve also turned their attention to the world of drinking, launching three brand new products on Amazon Fresh.
These are a range of hot toddies, a traditional warming alcoholic drink enjoyed in the winter months. The drinks come in three flavours Mulled Wine, Spiced Cider, and Hot Whisky. The taste of the drinks stand out just as much as their pop-art bottles.
All of them have are delightfully warming, but each provide a bit of a twist on the classic flavours they embody. Verdict‘s personal favourite was the Mulled Wine which has a real kick – just the thing for a cold February day.
An Amazon Exclusive, Courvoisier Fontainebleau is truly sublime. The drink is aged in oak casks for ten years before being bottled. During that process, it is first aged in the French Limousin casks which are the standard for cognac. It is then re-aged in hand-crafted Fontainebleau oak casks from the royal forest in France.
That double-ageing process gives this brandy a deep, smooth taste. It’s much more floral than other cognacs, yet the flavour is smooth and mellow. The overall taste is woody with a soft lingering aftertaste of fruit.
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For fans of brandy and cognac specifically, it’d be hard to recommend anything else.
Aluna Coconut rum
Just launched in summer 2017, Aluna is really a brand new product on the market.
A coconut rum, this one is perfect for chasing the winter blues away and taking your mouth to a tropical paradise.
However, there’s one major difference from other coconut rums, and it’s sure to delight anyone who made a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds: Aluna contain a fraction of the sugar found in regular coconut rums.
Still, the taste is definitely there. This is sure to become a favourite for rum-lovers in 2018.
Black Cow vodka
Drinks enthusiasts might have seen this brand around; they’re actually available in plenty of stores.
However, the world’s first vodka made from pure cow’s milk still isn’t as well known as it probably should be.
Due to the aforementioned production method, Black Cow vodka is a deliciously smooth creamy vodka that goes great in plenty of cocktails. For our money, this stuff makes the best white Russian we’ve ever tried.
Seedlip alcohol-free spirits
Just because Dry January is over, why not kick the drinking habit for good? Seedlip really are the perfect way to do this. Seedlip’s so-called spirits are the luxury non-alcoholic spirit everyone is talking about this year.
Market-leading alcohol connoisseurs Diageo were so impressed they recently bought a stake in Seedlip.
So what do they do? Well, the options are Garden 108 and Spice 94. The former is a herbal spirit with peas, hay, spearmint, rosemary, and thyme. Meanwhile the latter is more aromatic with spice, cardamom, oak, lemon, and grapefruit. Both are best-served with Indian tonic water.
Even better, there’s no sugar and zero calories in the drink. For 2018 there are new 20cl bottles. Also, we’ve heard rumours that a new flavour is just around the corner.
Agnes Arber Premium Gin
These days everyone is drinking gin, but it takes something special to stand out from the crowd.
That’s what Agnes Arber is all about. This gin has just nine botanicals and unlike other market leaders has opted for an earthier, more grounded taste, rather than something sweeter.
For serious gin drinkers who’ve got sick of all the gin-based gimmicks, this might be the perfect tipple!
Carthy And Black Yorkshire Cream Liqueur
Launched in the British county of Yorkshire in 2017, these cream liqueurs are just beginning to make their way out into the wider world.
Yorkshire Cream Liqueurs from Carthy And Black are actually good friends with fellow Yorkshire brand, Slingsby gin, so there’s a real pedigree there.
The cream itself is from Paynes Dairies in Yorkshire. And for gin fans, the flavours of these cream liqueurs will be very exciting — there’s much more than just the classic Irish whisky flavours here: Original Cream Liqueur, Gin Cream Liqueur and Lemon Gin Cream Liqueur.
Old J Silver
Another rum and a top quality one at that. Old J Silver is flavoured with Persian lime and smooth vanilla to give it a softer, creamier texture.
Designed for cocktails, this rum isn’t quite as strong as regular rum so it goes down a little easier and is much better for blending.
Still, don’t let the comparative mildness put you off. Old J Silver is a real tour de force for rum lovers.
Hailing from the British county of Lancashire, Cuckoo gin is going to take the world by storm in 2018. Unlike most other gins on the market, the water used to make this one is from an artesian aquifer in the field next to Brindle distillery.
For all those who were interested in the raw water trend, this might just be the gin equivalent. However, unlike the foolishness of raw water, this gin is a carefully considered tipple.
The choice of botanicals for this gin are juniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, orange peel, oats, almonds, cardamom, chamomile and cinnamon (all ethically sourced!).
The taste is both classic and yet somehow very fresh. There’s also a spiced variety to help warm those cold winter nights!
Unicorn Tears Pink gin liqueur miniature
The perfect gift for any gin collectors, Unicorn Tears’ latest iteration really stands out on the shelf. Bright pink and filled with swirling, sparkling glitter, it’s a statement piece. Still, that doesn’t mean it can’t also be a top quality liqueur.
The gin is flavoured with citrus fruit, oranges, juniper berries, bunches of coriander, and sticks of liquorice, so it has a really fruity taste.
Unfortunately, for the time being Firebox have only made it available in miniature form, but for those who can’t get enough, bigger bottles are available, they’re just not quite as pink.
New flavours from House Of Elrick gin:
gin is a light and incredibly aromatic liquid that is perfect with tonic or as part of an artisan cocktail. Distilled with Scottish heather, rose, pink peppercorns and water from Loch Ness it is a new must have for the gin shelf. While the original recipe has cemented itself as a firm favourite for gin fans, there are two new flavours joining the line-up in 2018: Old Tom Original and Old Tom Coconut. These will be a celebration of classic Old Tom-style gin which is usually stronger than traditional gin. Both launch in March. House Of Elrick also told us there’s a further two new products launching this August though they didn’t provide any further details.
Exclusive Distillery flavours from Portobello Road Gin:
Portobello Road Gin’s home at The Distillery has been making some exclusive flavours for a long while now. However, up until recently, those flavours have been exclusive to customers at the Distillery. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and customers can buy all the new flavours online. This includes their ‘Celebrated Butter Gin’ was master distiller Jake Burger created after seeing a reference to the idea in a Charles Dickens novel. There’s also some non-gin-based drinks including some special vodkas. For those who enjoy Bloody Mary cocktails, there’s Worcestershire Sauce vodka and Horseradish and Rosemary vodka. There’s plenty to check out and we’d definitely recommend you do.