13 drinks we really want to see in the UK

By Robyn Black

- Last updated on GMT

Left Hand Brewing's Milk Stout Nitro is just one of the drinks we'd like to see in the UK
Left Hand Brewing's Milk Stout Nitro is just one of the drinks we'd like to see in the UK

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From cider-flavoured whiskies to sparkling rums and margarita beers there are lots of exciting new drinks in the world. So, here’s a list - in no particular order - of some recently launched drinks that aren’t yet available in the UK, but which we’d like to see gracing our back bars and fridges sooner rather than later.

Miller Fortune

Is it a beer or a spirit? Brewer Miller Coors launched this mash-up in February, a 6.9% ABV beer designed to be served in a rocks glass like a whisk(e)y.

Currently only available in the US, the aim is to win back some of the drinkers beer has lost to spirits in recent times, and to keep beer as part of the drinks mix later in the evening.

J&B Urban Honey

Inspired by the success American whiskey has had adding flavours to the spirit – see the launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, not to mention the success of Jim Beam’s Red Stag and Honey variants – Diageo risked the wrath of whisky purists by creating this 35% ABV honey-infused Scotch.

It is due to launch in Spain this month, so there’s no ad to show as yet, but take a look at this instead:

Nitro Beer

American craft brewery the Left Hand Brewing Company was both the first American, and the first craft, brewery to perfect bottling a nitro beer without a widget.

It introduced its most successful beer, Milk Stout (which comprises 60% of the brewery’s sales) to the format in 2011 and has since added Sawtooth Nitro and Wake Up Dead Nitro to the line-up.

Founder Chris Lennert, recently in the UK to attend and speak at the PMA’s Beer Innovation Summit, told us he was looking to bring his beers to the UK, so watch this space…

Malibu Rum Sparkler

Designed to tap into the US craze for coconut water, this 11% ABV blend of rum and coconut water comes in either peach or coconut flavours. It was launched in January this year and is currently only available in the US.

It is the latest in a line of brand extensions for Malibu - including the tequila-infused Malibu Red, which launched in 2012 - since owner Pernod Ricard designated it as a key growth brand for the business last year.

Jose Cuervo Cinge

Backed with a whopping $10m launch campaign, this cinnamon-infused tequila was released in the US last October.

Owner Proximo Spirits told the PMA at the same time, that it would be looking to bring the variant to the UK, as part of its plans to boost the brand and reinvigorate the tequila category over here. Plans which also include a revival of the Margarita and to give the rum-based Mojito and pink tequila twist…watch this space.

Red Stag by Jim Beam Hardcore Cider

We’ve seen ciders infused with spirits (aka spiders) and now there’s spirits infused with cider.

Beam Inc launched this cider, bourbon and spice mix to US drinkers last summer, following its success with other Jim Beam variants, including honey tea and cinnamon spice, currently only available in the US, as well as Honey and Jim Beam Red Stag, which are available in the UK.

The company recently unveiled actress Mila Kunis, best known as the voice of Meg Griffin in Family Guy, as the face of the brand.

Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack

Another spirit brand looking to tap into America’s growing love for cider (see Red Stag by Jim Beam Hardcore Cider above), this blend of apple cider liqueur, Jack Daniel’s and spices is designed to be served warm.

The variant was launched as a seasonal offer in 30 American states and Canada last October, following a successful trial in New Hampshire in 2012, and was available through the winter months.

The taste is said to be, “reminiscent of apple pie complemented with Tennessee Whiskey and seasonal spices, with a finish of toasted oak and vanilla.”

Captain Morgan White Rum

Said to be inspired by the pristine waters of the Caribbean, Diageo is taking on the might of Bacardi with this launch.

The “slightly sweet and creamy” rum with its, “hints of lush fruit and green apple,” is aimed at fans of the ubiquitous mojito and the booming piña colada.

Launched in early February in New York, the company went all out to create a splash, advertising in the 50th​ Anniversary edition of Sports Illustrated, and shooting an ad set to a soundtrack by M.I.A.

Coca Cola Life

Years of research went into this latest variant of coke, currently only available in Argentina and Chile.

Launched in 2013, it is the first version of the soft drink to be made with natural sweetener Stevia and touted as a “natural” and “mid calorie” option of the drink

The company has remained tight-lipped about plans to launch in other countries but rumours suggest that its European debut should happen in France later this year.

Bud Light Lime-A-Rita

It’s been two years since brewer AB InBev launched this margarita-inspired malt-based beverage in the US. Such has been its success that the brewer added to the range with a seasonal Cran-Brrr-Rita, a strawberry variant and two more permanent flavours to the line-up last month: Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita.

There’s still no sign of the range in the UK however, where the brewer launched a rum-flavoured beer, Cubanisto, in March.

Three Olives Vodka

Although it’s distilled in the US, the brand trades on its Brutishness, making much of the English winter wheat from which it is made.

Owned by Jose Cuervo-owner, Proximo Spirits, the brand comprises a raft of flavours, including some weird and whacky offerings such as S’Mores (chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers) and Supercola.

Its latest launch, Elvis Presley Coconut Water Flavoured Vodka, honours the “King of Rock and Roll,” with a spirit that is said to reflect his love of Hawaii.

Cruzan Peach Rum

Unveiled in the US just last month, this is the latest addition to the rum’s 14-strong line-up of flavoured rums, which includes a raspberry rum, a guava rum and a key lime rum.

Owner Beam Inc said the peach variant was the latest innovation in the brand’s search for the “freshest flavours…to appeal to loyal fans of our rum” and that it was a versatile mixer with fruit juices.

It is currently boosting the brand with a campaign promoting a more relaxed attitude to life: Welcome to the Don’t Hurry.

Smirnoff White

A super premium version of the biggest spirit brand in the UK was launched in March of this year – for duty free only.

Filtered at -6°C and passed through charcoal filters to create an “exceptionally smooth” flavour, the vodka taps into the wider premiumisation trend.

In the UK, owner Diageo released Smirnoff Gold last August to tap into the trend for gold-flecked, cinnamon flavoured liqueurs and to take the brand into the growing shot market.

There’s no specific campaign as yet, instead remind yourself of this:

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