Our January Mindful Drinking Festival is just days away, so we thought we’d tell you about some of the new drinks you’ll be able to get your hands on at the event. As usual, there will be beers, wines, soft drinks, kombucha, cocktails and much more. Here are just some of them:
The original Adnams Ghost Ship was inspired by one of Adnams pubs – The Bell at Walberswick – which was said to be haunted. This pours a pleasant golden shade and has plenty of fruit character, citra hops shine through with lots of bright citrus which also brings a moderate bitterness. This is really smooth, and has a solid malt backbone with some bready notes. They’re selling this on keg as well as in bottle, so keep an eye out for this on draught. Very close in flavour to the original beer, which weighs in at 4.5%. You can find it on their website here.
Dvees offer carefully crafted food and drink products using West African flavours. Chapman is an absolute delight, from the aesthetic to the aroma and colour. The story goes that a Nigerian bartender created a cocktail for a British expat named Chapman. This rose pink pour has flavours of cucumber, a touch of blackcurrant and plenty of sweet tangerine. The aroma is botanical, and there’s the suggestion of angostura bitters in here too, the aftertaste is mellow and spicy. This is refreshing, and conjures images of warm holidays and good times. You can order it from their website here.
Another favourite amongst British ex-pats – this time starting in Hong Kong – was Gunners cocktail. GUNRZ is a version of it served in a 500ml can, and I’m glad because this is thirst quenching and morish. Soft warming ginger is the base here, with some zesty citrus acidity and bitters too. What I love about this is the balance, the heat of the ginger keeps the sugar under control. It tastes grown up, I drink mine over ice with a simple orange slice garnish. You can order it from their website here.
Sekforde mixers are labelled according to which spirit they complement. However we find they are so flavoursome that they are great served as stand alone drinks. What stands out about these mixers is how considered the flavours are, they are sophisticated and taste natural and light.
Gin & Vodka – This is so floral, if pink had a smell, this would be it! Soft ripe raspberry flavours with fragrant rose. There’s no quinine here so bitterness is low, it tastes light and leafy. The carbonation is very fine. This is a lovely pour for sunny days in an English garden.
Tequila & Mezcal – A gentle honey aroma and a very delicate prickly pear flavour. Just a hint of sweetness, and once again a soft fine carbonation.
Rum – This is a great alternative to a mojito. Fresh mint and just a touch of bright lime acidity. This is crisp and clean.
Whiskey – This has a touch of orange as expected, but a surprising hint of lime also. There is something just a little bit earthy about this too, it’s complex and refreshing.
Greene King have been busy developing their new low alcohol beer. They aimed to produce something as close in flavour as possible to the full strength beer, and they’ve done a tremendous job. That classic malt base really comes through, with just a hint of caramel and toffee. A touch of bitterness from the hops maintains the balance, stopping that malt sweetness from becoming overpowering. This would work really well with Sunday dinner, or a good pie! A real traditional bitter. You can order it from their website here.
Nirvana Brewery have taken things to the next level, blending their alcohol free Tantra Pale Ale with Kombucha. This has all the soft acidity of a good Sencha kombucha, but with a lasting malt backbone. A touch of bitterness kicks in right at the end, giving a nice long finish. I’ve never tried this blend before, and I reckon Nirvana are onto something good! You can find it online at Dry Drinker, don’t forget to use your Club Soda discount code CLUBSODAVIP for a 5% discount.
Lucky Saint puts me in mind of a solid Czech Pilsner. It has a pleasant savoury character to it, a touch of bread and light graininess. I can imagine this being the perfect BBQ beer, it’s crisp and clean and full of flavour. Very impressive balance and a good body to it too. I’d go so far as to say this is one of my favourite alcohol free lagers. You can order it from their website here.
DRGN is a pungent pour with big tropical aromas. You have flavours of pineapple, black pepper and spice. This is both warming and refreshing at once, and leaves your palate tingling with ginseng. An unexpected burst of flavours. Turmeric is renowned for it’s good qualities and is said to promote healthy joints and liver function, so cracking a can of this feels like a little treat for your body. You can order it from their website here.
We tried both the Rwanda and Peru brews from Far Side Coffee. Before we even think about taste, I have to tell you that this is some of the most beautiful drinks branding I’ve seen, opening my fridge to find these waiting for me was a pure delight. The Peru is rich and surprisingly fruity, a little citrus note with smooth chocolatey undertones. The Rwanda is a little more bitter in flavour, with rich roasty character and a hint of molasses. Both are sugar free, dairy free and vegan friendly. If I could start every day with one of these, I would! Check out their online store here.
If you are coming to the January Mindful Drinking Festival, you can join one of six “Beer Tours” – guided tours of the drinks (not just beers either!) hosted by top drinks writers and sommeliers Jane Peyton, Emma Inch and Pete Brown. You will find the drink tour details here.
We also have special discounts at two online shops for low and no alcohol drinks: Dry Drinker and Wise Bartender both have a wide range of beers, wines, ciders, and soft drinks. Have a browse, and when you check out, use code CLUBSODAVIP (same code in both) for 5% off your shop!