Emily Says . . . . ‘MFDF18’

The Gin Lounge

In her tenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the MFDF’s Gin Lounge;

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2018 is currently underway, and as always, it has a fantastic range of new foods and drinks to offer. Created back in 1998 by Phil Jones, the original concept was to demonstrate that Manchester has much more to offer than just, I quote, ‘meat pies and gravy’! Over the last twenty years, MFDF has achieved a national status whilst watching the drinking and dining scene of Manchester be transformed into the incredible industry it is today.

Naturally, my attention was immediately stolen by the drinking side to MFDF this year, in particular the Gin Festival put together by the Gin Lounge. For two days only, The Gin Lounge held an exclusive event showcasing some of the UK’s favourite gins. With the number of gin distilleries soaring across the UK, the choice of what gin to drink is becoming endless, so The Gin Lounge put on display some new faces to the world of gin.
For any gin enthusiast, The Gin Lounge put on a spectacular event. Sponsored by Fentimans, a range of flavoured tonics were on hand at all times to mix and match with the different gins tasted, ranging from a standard Indian tonic to a Valencian Orange tonic. An ice and garnish station provided an array of herbs and fruits that were designed to complement perfectly each unique gin available. Gin cocktail stands and a gourmet food van finished off the event beautifully, offering something for every gin lover.

As a representative of the North and in particular, Manchester, I found myself leaning towards the Manchester-based distilleries that made an appearance at this year’s gin festival. Three major Manchester distilleries really caught my eye during my time here at the gin festival, so here are the ones that I would truly recommend in indulging in:

The Gin Lounge 2

Didsbury Gin
https://www.didsburygin.com/

Created in the heart of Manchester’s Didsbury, Liam Manton and Mark Smallwood went out to create a citrusy twist on the classic London dry gin under just two years ago. Inspiration was taken from the botanical gardens of Parsonage and Fletcher Moss that date all the way back to 1919 since been gifted to the people of Didsbury by a quintessential English village.
Using traditional artisan methods and infusing modern botanicals such as hand-peeled fresh citrus and juniper, Didsbury gin offers a zesty and fresh drinking experience, with strong notes of citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit. These citrus notes allow the gin to be easily drank neat, and is mixed beautifully with Fentimans Indian tonic water.
The Raspberry and Elderflower edition of Didsbury gin is something truly outstanding. Rather than a standard raspberry gin (or more commonly known as ‘pink gin’), the elderflower balances out the usual sweetness that is associated with raspberry flavours, delivering a fruity yet crisp gin.

The Gin Lounge 3

Thomas Dakin Gin
http://www.thomasdakin.com/

A Manchester gin that dates back centuries, Thomas Dakin is surely the household name for gins in the North West. All the way back in 1761, Thomas Dakin began distilling gin in Warrington at the age of twenty five. With Dakin’s inventive and modern outlook upon the distillation process, he created a high quality English gin, despite the negative attitudes towards the distillation of one’s own gin at the time.
Styled around the classic London dry gin, Thomas Dakin is a juniper-led gin created with the use of eleven botanicals. Those botanicals include juniper, orange zest, angelica, grapefruit and English coriander seeds. Whilst the recipe itself remains a well-hidden secret, the knowledge of the botanicals used backs up perfectly the drinking experience that Thomas Dakin provides.
Sweet and citrusy notes dominate the overall flavour, which are beautifully backed up by the spicy and earthy notes provided by botanicals such as angelica and coriander. Mixed with Fentimans pink grapefruit tonic water.

The Gin Lounge 4

Manchester Three Rivers Gin
http://www.manchesterthreerivers.com/

Manchester Three Rivers gin is exactly what the name says. It is named after the three rivers that ran through the city before Manchester’s famous canals took over: Irwell, Irk and Medlock. It was these rivers that pumped life into the city and allowed for its many industries to develop and thrive.
The distillery was located close to the banks of Irk, which is what inspired the name for this Manchester gin. The area has a rich history of creativity and production, and Three Rivers has certainly paid homage to the area with their fantastic creation.
Produced by hand in small batches only by master distiller Dave Rigby, Three Rivers is a well-balanced gin using eleven botanicals, including vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and almond. Overall, the gin delivers a smooth drinking experience with a slight sweetness on the tongue. It is finished with a spicy black pepper kick, all thanks to the use of cardamom. Three Rivers was mixed perfectly with Fentimans Connoisseurs tonic water.
Manchester Three Rivers also offers an exclusive Gin Experience, allowing one to distil and bottle their very own unique gin in the Three Rivers distillery.

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Chivas Champions Blended Scotch Category

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Chivas, the original luxury blended Scotch whisky, is causing a stir with its new global creative campaign, Success is a Blend. Rolling out through the line globally from October, the campaign celebrates the belief that blended is better, in life and in Scotch.

Chivas’ belief in blending was instilled by founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who pioneered the art in 19th century Scotland. Two centuries later, Chivas is still demonstrating how the art of blending can create a more complex and generous Scotch. Through Success is a Blend, Chivas looks to champion blended Scotch and demonstrate the cultural truth that our own unique blend is what makes us who we are – and when we collaborate with others we can achieve the greatest success.

The Success is a Blend campaign, created in collaboration with McCann London, marks a creative evolution from previous Chivas campaigns, with striking colour and bold text bringing a fresh look and feel for the Scotch whisky category. All Chivas products will be brought under the Success is a Blend campaign, keeping a common thread across the portfolio that talks to both product and brand values. The nature and design of the campaign allows flexibility for bespoke adaptation in markets around the world, with Success is a Blend being activated in over 45 markets in year one.

The campaign made its debut with the launch of the three-year partnership between Chivas and the world’s biggest football club, Manchester United. Just as Chivas Scotches bring together the best malt and grain whiskies, Manchester United brings together the world’s top footballers, a dedicated Club team and a legion of fans all around the world to create one of the world’s most successful teams. Together Chivas and Manchester United aim to show that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch.

Richard Black, Global Marketing Director for Chivas, comments: “Chivas has had a strong year, recording a return to growth with +5%* value worldwide. There is real momentum behind the brand and we believe this new campaign is going to take us to the next level. It’s a bold move for the category, but – crucially – one that speaks to the very heart of Chivas’ DNA.”

Chivas Raises A Glass To Manchester United’s 1968 Victory With Rare 50 Year Old Scotch

Chivas Icon - Bottle in Case LowResChivas, the original luxury blended Scotch whisky, has unveiled Chivas The Icon 50th Anniversary Limited Edition to celebrate Manchester United’s famous cup victory in Europe in 1968. Four bottles of the limited edition, 50 year old Scotch have been created, to represent each of the goals scored by Manchester United on the memorable night at Wembley.

The new Official Spirits Partner of Manchester United, Chivas, will be gifting the first bottle of the exquisite whisky to a fan who has passionately supported the Club through every high and low. To find out how to be in with a chance to win this priceless whisky, please keep an eye on Manchester United social platforms for further details on how to enter.

The second bottle in the limited edition release will be the only bottle in the world available to the public to buy, going on sale with world-renowned auction house Sotheby’s in an online-only auction from 23rd to 30th November. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Manchester United Foundation, reflecting Chivas and Manchester United’s shared belief in using success to enrich the lives of others. To find out how to take part in the auction and have the chance to get your hands on the only bottle of this celebratory whisky available to buy, visit the Chivas website where there will be details of the auction and how to get involved.

Sandy Hyslop, Chivas Brothers Director of Blending, commented: “At Chivas we believe that blended is better – in life, football and Scotch – so we wanted to use our vast expertise to craft a truly unique blend that embodies the values of a truly unique team. To taste this whisky is to experience some of our oldest, most luxurious and rarest whiskies, some from now lost distilleries, hand-selected and brought together for their exceptional richness and fruity character. Ever since Chivas’ founding brothers, James and John, first perfected the art of blending, Chivas has never released a whisky more than 30 years old – this limited edition 50 years old blend really is an iconic piece of history.”

Presented in a hand-blown crystal decanter created by expert craftsmen at Dartington Crystal, the liquid is perfectly smooth with an intense concentration of sumptuous flavours, with rich notes of honey, vanilla and dark chocolate, balanced by subtle hazelnut influences from the cask that develop into an exceptionally long, lingering finish. Each bottle is decorated with a bespoke metal plaque, enshrining the 1968 victory to the bottle’s crest. The fine detail of the plaque has been hand-carved and carefully hand-painted to match the colour of the team’s iconic 1968 shirt, with touches in gold in a nod to their victory.

The third Limited Edition bottle will take pride of place in the Manchester United Museum, before being offered for private sale at an end season event, with proceeds again being donated to the Manchester United Foundation. The final bottle will be placed on display at Strathisla distillery – the home of Chivas in Speyside, Scotland.

Find out more about the Chivas partnership with Manchester United and why blended is better at Chivas.com

The Midleton Very Rare Legacy Continues With 2018 Edition

Midleton_box-open-on-white - sizeIrish Distillers, makers of the world’s most enjoyed whiskeys, has unveiled the 2018 vintage of Midleton Very Rare. The 35th edition in the renowned and highly collectable range, first unveiled in 1984, is a masterfully blended Irish whiskey, crafted at the Midleton Distillery, Co Cork, by Master Distiller Brian Nation.

Midleton Very Rare 2018 is the result of the careful blending of exceptional, rare and hand-selected single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys. Each cask has been matured exclusively in lightly-charred ex-Bourbon American oak barrels for between 12 and 28 years, imparting a vanilla sweetness which is in keeping with the rich tradition laid down by the series over the past four decades.

The 2018 edition offers a subtle floral note alongside a hint of fresh herbs and citrus from the Irish grain whiskey contribution, which is complemented by the spicier Irish single pot still whiskey characteristics of cinnamon, clove and black pepper. The vanilla sweetness contrasts with the charred oak to deliver a finishing touch of orchard fruit, green banana and a hint of barley sugar.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Midleton Very Rare 2018 is available globally from this month at the RRP of €180 in markets including Ireland, the UK, and the US.

Brian Nation, Master Distiller at Midleton Distillery, commented: “It is a great honour to have my signature on the front of each bottle of Midleton Very Rare, and this acts as the ultimate guarantee of quality from the Midleton Distillery. We set aside very small amounts of particularly fine single pot still and single grain distillates each year so that the Midleton Very Rare legacy can continue. This practice has been going on for over 40 years and today we are the proud custodians of the exceptional distillates with a duty of care to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the pinnacle of Irish whiskey as we do today.”

Spiced Dry Rum Club To Set Sail At Laki Kane

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A spectacular and exciting secret is tucked away above Laki Kane’s tropical escape bar, in the heart of N1. After months of development and refining, the Spiced Dry Rum Club will open its doors for its first official rum experience commencing Friday 12th October. The Spiced Dry Rum Club provides a truly unique rum re-distillation experience by utilising techniques that have not previously been made available to the public including nineteen copper alembic pot stills. Lead by a rotating team of London’s foremost rum experts, guests will embark on a voyage of rum discovery, experiment with flavours and design their very own bottle of rum to take home, completely bespoke to their own tastes.

A charismatic and charming 17th century inspired interior sets the scene for this unique 2.5 hour experience taking place daily at Laki Kane’s Spiced Dry Rum Club. Run by London’s most prominent bartenders and rum experts, rum-lovers and newcomers alike will be taken on a journey through the history of rum, indulge in premium rum tastings, learn about the key ingredients used in rum making and discover the perfect cocktail pairings for this exciting new style of rum.

Each guest will be seated at one of nineteen beautifully hand-crafted, copper alembic pot stills as the Spiced Dry Rum Club master distillers guide each guest through the re-distillation process, experimenting with spices and fruits to create their very own bespoke bottle of rum to take home.

The design of the Spiced Dry Rum Club has been influenced by the 17th century maritime rum trade, tales of large ships sailing high seas is etched throughout the upstairs bar with the main Pusser’s Rum Ship table seating twelve people and the Captain’s Table seating seven.

Experiences are available to book now from £119 (plus booking fees), which includes food and drinks during the session plus the guests own 700ml bottle of rum to take home along with a Spiced Dry Rum Club gift bag containing exciting products from Laki Kane and partners. Bookings can be made at lakikane.com/spiced-dry-rum-club and further bespoke packages will be available on request.

Speaking about the launch of the Spiced Dry Rum Club, Georgi Radev (Creative Director) says: “Rum is such an amazing spirit and to be able to offer others an opportunity to learn about the history and re-distillation process is something I have wanted to do for years. The Spiced Dry Rum Club is an unforgettable experience and one that will allow rum lovers and newcomers alike to be truly immersed in the wonderful world of rum.”

The Spiced Dry Rum Club follows the success of the downstairs Tropical Escape bar, which opened its doors at Laki Kane in early July 2018. The concept was created by life-long Islington resident and businessman Steve Kyprianou, Islington local finance and operations manager, Sam Robson, and ex-Mahiki bar manager Georgi Radev, a leading tiki, rum and cocktail expert with over 16 years experience managing bars and high end spirit brands.

National Calvados Week Returns This October

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National Calvados Week returns for the sixth time this October as UK bars and restaurants celebrate Calvados Père Magloire and Normandy’s world-renowned apple-based spirit. National Calvados Week runs from Monday 15th October until Sunday 21st October, marking the harvesting of the delicious apples for the production of Calvados.

During National Calvados Week over 100 bars, shops, supermarkets and independent retailers will have specially curated cocktail menus, Père Magloire range tastings, food pairing, and cooking with Calvados, and will be offering the classic serve of Père Magloire and tonic. To reward all pubs, bars and restaurants who participate within National Calvados Week, Emporia Brands, the UK distributor and creator of National Calvados Week, ask that Père Magloire and tonic be promoted to customers, with a complimentary case of tonic to support them.

Creativity is key too, with plenty of inspired serves needed to show off the Normandy spirit through a week-long promotional menu.

> Retailers can sign up by participating in the ‘National Calvados Week Best Retail Display’. By uploading their display to the campaign’s social media pages on Twitter or Facebook, the best display wins the retailer a bottle of the exclusive Père Magloire Memoire for their efforts.

> A bottle of Père Magloire Memoire is also on offer for the ‘NCW Most Creative Cocktail’ which is to be run on their venues’ cocktail menu throughout the week. An image of their creation is to be uploaded to the campaign’s social media pages of Twitter or Facebook where the winner will be announced at the end of the promotional week.

For more information visit http://www.emporiabrands.com/national-calvados-week

Activities already agreed include:

LONDON

> Calvados and Cigar matching at Soho Whisky Club, with Hunters and Frankau

> Special calvados drinks menus at Cocktail Trading Company, The Vault at Milroys, Frenchies, Merchant House, South Place Hotel, Trading House, Café Pacifico and others.

> In store tastings at Gerry’s and Hedonism

AROUND ENGLAND

> Special Calvados drinks menus at Milk (Reading), Wash House (Manchester), Petit Café (Liverpool), Jakes’s Bar (Leeds), Circle Lounge (Halifax), 33 Cank Street (Leicester), Wilderness (Birmingham), Boiler Maker (Nottingham), Jazz Café (Lincoln).

SCOTLAND

Tasting at Blue Blazer, Edinburgh

> Meet the Maker event at Harry’s Bar

> Calvados Cup and Voodoo Rooms

> Special Calvados drinks menus in Edinburgh at Red Teapot bars, Bullard and Worth, Nightcap, La Petite Mort, Panda & Sons, Hoot the Redeemer, Blue Blazer, Nauticus, Miss Woos and others.

> Pop up menus in Edinburgh at Harry’s Bar and Kin.

> Special Calvados drinks menus in Glasgow at Five March, The Parlour and others.

> Pop up menus in Glasgow at Atlantic, Kelvingrove Café, Porter & Rye AND Finnieston.

Lakaz Rom – Your Go-To UK Rum Search Engine And Price Comparison Site

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Rumming.co.uk has launched Lakaz Rom, the UK’s first search and price comparison website exclusively for the world’s most versatile and incredible spirit, rum!

Aggregating prices and information for over 4,700 rums across 10 major UK online spirits merchants, Lakaz Rom allows rum drinkers, connoisseurs and bargain hunters to compare online rum prices in a single visit, with purchase as usual through the retailer. Users can browse rums by country of origin and the site also features ‘Rum of the week’, ‘Discounted Rums of the Day’ and ‘Rums with Free Shipping’, all giving a different view of our vast rum database made accessible in a user-friendly way.

We want to help dispel the myth that rum is a cheap pirate drink, and to do this we will be working with rum brands and retailers to promote this wonderful cane spirit, which most rum lovers can tell you should be on par with the finest and most respected spirits out there. You can also envy the most expensive rums from our database, by visiting ‘Some Expensive Rums…’, you might be surprised! Chris Mathurin, co-founder of Rumming.co.uk and creator of Lakaz Rom said: “I always wanted to become a ‘rumtrepreneur’, and Lakaz Rom combines my day job as a web developer with my love of rum and finding a good deal. We would not want to miss a good rum deal, so our ‘rum bots’ try their best to get the latest prices on a daily basis, ensuring the site is up-to-date with the latest information. More retailers will be added in the near future to bring even broader coverage and price visibility.

“Our favourite feature is ‘Discounted Rums of the Day’, as this lays out the largest discounts in one place instead of trawling through different websites on the off-chance of finding a reduction.

“There’ll also be spaces for ‘Rum of the Week’ and a ‘Featured Brand’. We always take the opportunity to get involved with the rum community and Lakaz Rom gives us the opportunity to partner with brands to promote their rums in a new way. Lakaz Rom is a search and comparison site for the rum people. “

Visit https://lakazrom.co.uk/ and start searching!

Here Is The World’s Best Aquavit Cocktail In 2018

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Linie The Journey is an international cocktail competition where bartenders from throughout Europe compete for the prestigious first-place award. The international final
was held on Monday, 27 August, at Ingierstrand Bad in Oslo.

Linie The Journey
The story of LINIE started in 1805 with the remarkable journey to Indonesia. It was then discovered that sailing around the world, crossing the equator twice, gave the aquavit a smooth and unique taste. The premise for Linie The Journey is to create a cocktail with Lysholm Linie Aquavit as the main ingredient. The cocktail should also be inspired by the countries along Lysholm Linie Aquavit’s route around the world: Norway, Germany, England, USA, Panama, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan and Mexico.

International coverage
The competition has drawn a lot of international attention since aquavit is growing in popularity. Aquavit has taken cocktail enthusiasts by storm, and it is clear that many are very committed to bartending, Lysholm Linie Aquavit and the competition. “We are seeing considerable interest in aquavit among young, up-and-coming bartenders, and this national spirit comprises an exciting base in cocktails. We have received more than 200 suggestions for this year’s competition, and quality and creativity are high among participants,” says Romain Jourdan, Category Manager for International Premium Spirits at Arcus and the driving force behind the competition.

With early rounds in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Norway, respectively, more than 200 participants competed to earn one of the 11 spots in the final.

World-class jury
The jury is headed by Monica Berg and also includes the king of mixology, Alex Kratena; the star bartender from Paris, Carina Soto Velasquez; and Arcus’s own Master Blender, Ivan Abrahamsen. The jury weighed four criteria in its assessment of the drinks and the finalists: appearance, taste, story and, most importantly, originality.

Women outscore the men in mixology
This year’s Linie The Journey is the third consecutive competition, and the first two both
crowned female champions. And this year it happened again!

German Peggy Knuth, one of two women in the final, went home Monday night with the coveted first-place award in Linie The Journey 2018 with her cocktail Eastcoast Park. Knuth is the Bar Manager at Salut! Bar in Berlin. Despite her love for Norwegian spirits and Lysholm Linie Aquavit, this was the first time she competed in – and made an impression at – Linie The Journey.

“This year’s Linie The Journey was larger and better than ever, and the winner, Peggy, had a very personal and excellent presentation, but perhaps most importantly – she had a fantastic drink! Lysholm Linie Aquavit was accentuated well, the flavours were balanced, and it was really a drink that you would want to have again! It sounds cliché, but simplest is often best!” says the head of the jury, Monica Berg.

I did not expect to win.
“I naturally hoped on some level that I would win, but I really did not expect it. But, in my opinion, Lysholm Linie Aquavit and Pandan are the perfect partners, just like lovers, and I am so pleased that I was able to incorporate my own preferences in a drink and that the judges liked it. I also think it is incredibly fun – and exciting – that I now have the opportunity to create my own Linie Aquavit with Ivan Abrahamsen, and it is a thrill that it will be sent on the same journey as Lysholm Linie Aquavit. I have to say, I am very satisfied with the evening’s outcome,” said Knuth.

Self-crafted aquavit on first-class journey 
The finalists in Linie The Journey were not just competing for the prestigious first-place ranking, but also a unique opportunity: the possibility to craft their own Norwegian cask-matured Linie Aquavit. Knuth, together with Master Blender Ivan Abrahamsen, will
now create her own personal blend, which will head out on the same journey that Lysholm Linie Aquavit has undertaken all these years – across the equator twice.

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THE winning cocktail: Eastcoast Park
60 ml Linie Aquavit
30 ml lemon cordial (homemade*)
7 drops Pandan Extract (homemade**)

*Homemade lemon cordial
60g lemon peel
1000ml water
500g sugar
20g citric Acid

**Homemade pandan extract
50g dry Pandan leaves (chopped)
200ml neutral alcohol
Leave it for min. 2 weeks

 

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Bring Global Members Together With Virtual Tasting

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In celebration of its 35th anniversary, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) will be bringing their spiritual home in Edinburgh, The Vaults, to members across the world through a unique virtual tasting.

The tasting will be streamed live on the SMWS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thesmwsuk) at 7pm (UK time) Monday 24th September with members invited to join in the tasting of five special drams from across the Society’s flavour spectrum. To get involved, visit http://bit.ly/2MHPrOF

Join in the live tasting from around the world

Limited edition five-dram Discovery Packs are available to members for £35 to ensure that everyone taking part, regardless of where they are in the world, will taste the same hand-selected drams during the live tasting hosted by Master Brand Ambassador John McCheyne.

SMWS are also offering these Discovery Packs as part of an exclusive membership offer, which includes the five-dram 35th Anniversary pack and Society membership, for £89 here: http://bit.ly/2MHRZMq

This is the first time that the SMWS will be hosting a tasting event that will encompass all of its global members, therefore creating a rare opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts worldwide to have a shared whisky experience and interact directly.

SMWS Master Brand Ambassador, John McCheyne, said: “It’s not often we get the opportunity to bring our global members together, so we’re really looking forward to having this experience and celebrating the last 35 years.

“Creating a community of whisky lovers was something that the Society was founded on and we continue to pride ourselves on that. This virtual tasting is a fantastic opportunity to see the scale which that community has grown over the years.”

Experience the event in person

There is the opportunity to experience this historic moment first hand, by attending the tasting live at The Vaults in Edinburgh. The price of the event ticket includes the five-dram Discovery Pack.

The tasting will also be streamed simultaneously to the Society’s Queen Street and Greville Street Member’s Rooms in Edinburgh and London respectively, giving people the opportunity to enjoy this historic experience in the company of fellow members. For more information on screenings of the event see here: http://bit.ly/2MCnG9T

Separate tastings will take place to allow to different time zones and will be screened to members in other countries, including Australia.

Members taking part in the virtual tastings are encouraged to join the conversation and share their experience of the event using #SMWSat35.

From Idea To Tesco Shelves In Two Short Years

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Three years ago the founders of HappyDown™ had an idea for a ready to drink crafted cocktail that could go global. That idea started to become a reality in summer 2017 when the low ABV drink launched in Morrisons stores nationwide. After only two months in Morrisons, distribution has already doubled with the announcement that Tesco is now stocking HappyDown™ nationally. The brand is also currently speaking to several other major supermarkets about full national listings.

With a listing with Amazon and Ocado secured recently, the brand is also currently speaking to several other major supermarkets and convenience retail about full national listings. HappyDown™ has also received two global awards: a Silver each at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (2018) and at Global Spirits Masters (2017) that proves the brands credentials in their industry.

This all goes to show what can be achieved when the right people create the right product at the right time. A lot of people have been involved in the meteoric rise of HappyDown™, from industry contacts to one of the best flavour houses in the U.K., but it is the founders, Paritosh Bhandari and Vishal Mair, who made the initial leap of faith. Leaving their high-paying corporate jobs was a risky move, involving a certain amount of instability (for Paritosh especially, who spent 10 months living in Airbnbs as he travelled the world in search of the winning formula).

The move was a calculated one, however, as both founders bring a huge amount of relevant experience to the table. Paritosh is an award winning marketer having spent 10 years in the drinks industry launching and managing global brands in India, such as Peroni and Fosters. For his work with HappyDown™ it is not surprising therefore that he recently won the UK Government’s “Global Entrepreneur Program”. He also launched India’s first super premium vodka, Artic Vodka, and super premium whisky, Rockford Reserve Whisky, starting by himself and then building the team and business up from scratch.

Vishal meanwhile has spent much of his career consulting, often for well known beverage brands at market entry.

Both men knew, from day one, that they never wanted to limit themselves by creating an
Indian brand for the Indian market or an Indian brand for the world market; they wanted to create a global brand that would work anywhere. They had witnessed the shift towards more natural, craft products, but also the trend amongst millenials and Gen Z to drink less. For those who wanted that moderate drinking experience, however there were not many great tasting options available.

This is how the idea of HappyDown™ was born and its home was the white space within the premix category. In Tesco previously, for instance, you would find own brand gin & tonic, rum & cola and other standard mixer options, as well as a few very sugary alcopops. There was no beverage containing natural ingredients, that was low ABV and which had adult oriented flavour combinations. The HappyDown™ product solved that problem and was given a further sophisticated edge through the infusion of herbs and spices to create three unique and exciting alcoholic drinks: Lychee & Guava infused with Chilli , Lemon & Cucumber infused with Mint and Raspberry & Pomegranate infused with Basil .

Not overwhelmingly complex, but also not prohibitively simple, HappyDown™ is the perfect contemporary cocktail for modern moderate drinkers on the go. Not only are the flavours delicious and refreshing, but each 330ml can is only 4% ABV. Its unique and innovative offering is surely why the brand has experienced such a meteoric rise. For a start up that is only one year old to see their product on the shelves of Tesco within two months of launching is unheard of and sets the tone for their continued growth.