The Original Free Drinks Company has launched Highball Cocktails, its 0% ABV cocktail brand.
Drinks of the moment
Pink gin has been a driving force for the spirits category in the past several years. The value of the UK's gin market increased by a staggering 751% in 2018, according to the Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).
It looks like the pink gin bubble will not burst anytime soon, with spirits maker Pernod Ricard UK (PRUK) suggesting it could add more flavoured gins to its portfolio after the success of its strawberry-flavoured product.
Aperol Spritz has also garnered a cult following among pubgoers, with it being billed as a drink especially suited to the summer months.
Drinks maker Campari has seen its sales driven by its brand Aperol, the main ingredient in the wine-based cocktail, over the past couple of years.
Its product range – Classic G&T, Pink G&T, Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Italian Spritz and Ginger Dram – is available in single-serve bottles, cans and on tap.
It said it was the first alcohol-free cocktail range and the first company to offer alcohol-free alternatives to an Aperol Spritz and Pink G&T.
The mixes were developed with spirits expert and cocktails book writer Ian Wisniewski and made with natural ingredients, including fresh juices, bitters, extracts and agave nectar.
The Hampshire-based supplier said it wanted the drinks to be as close to their alcoholic counterparts as possible, but with less than half the calories.
Its co-founders said they felt there had not been much innovation in the alcohol-free ready-to-drink category, despite low-and-no products experiencing fast success within beer and spirits.
Kate Johnson, co-founder with her husband Red said more classic cocktails would be added to the range in addition to some original recipes.
She said: “We are passionate about providing great-tasting and healthy alcohol-free alternatives that do not require a compromise, allowing consumers to have confidence in their positive alcohol-free choice.
“Our Highball Cocktails set a new standard in 0% flavour experience and we will continue to add more classics to the range, as well as introducing original cocktails of our own.”
Fellow co-founder Red Johnson spoke of the opportunities presented by the category.
He said: “High-quality, alcohol-free drinks with great brand recognition are in real demand, but are still under-served.
“Highball Cocktails is the first brand to create alcohol-free alternatives to Aperol Spritz or Pink G&T, two of the most popular cocktails right now.
“Our experience of working with brands such as Seedlip and Big Drop Brewery shows us that there is a growing global market for premium alcohol-free drinks and the UK is pioneering in this category.”