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15 great new English drinks you've (probably) never heard of

15 great new English drinks you've (probably) never heard of

15 great new English drinks you've (probably) never heard of

The Irish have their Guinness. The Scots have their whisky. The Welsh have whatever you can muddle leeks into.

But what about the English? Well, frankly, between a burgeoning craft beer scene, raft of boutique spirits and a populace no longer turning its nose up at home-grown wines, there's too much to choose from.

Almost. Here are the coolest tipples you need to know about...

Sipsmith Gin

When it opened in 2009, Sipsmith was the first copper-based distillery to start up in London. Six years later and the super trendy spirits brand is still going strong, making some of the best gin around. They sustain their extraordinary quality by producing just a few hundred bottles each time. But much more important: it's what the cool people drink.


Despite sounding like a messy amalgamation of two MLS teams, this company has established itself as England’s foremost sparkling wine producers, and while that may not have meant very much in the past, it certainly does now. The competition is fierce and Nyetimber regularly emerges top not just in England but also in blind tastings when up against some of the biggest names from across the Channel. While not strictly 'new' new, having been around for two decades, it's finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. Also, it’s a very reasonable £23.98 a bottle. Get popping.

Chase Marmalade Vodka

Yes, you can pick your jaw up from the floor now. England does vodka. And in this Herefordshire-based outfit, Britain’s first and only single estate distillery, voted the World’s Best Vodka by the prestigious San Francisco Competition, we clearly do it quite well. Goes well with ginger beer too. Oh, and in your face, Russia!

Sandford's Red Cider Devon

The sheer fact it refers to itself as “genuinely quaffable” should be all the reason you need to find a bale of hay, grab a glass and unwind with this Devon cider, viewed by many experts as the best in the land.


Another young entrepreneur making waves in British booze is Cosmo Caddy, who founded Devon Distillery in 2012 to produce his take on Italian Grappa named, Dappa. Traditional Grappa is made from grape skins and Caddy sources all his from English vineyards like the nearby Sharpham Estate. This extremely English take on an Italian classic has now caught the eye of Mar Hix, who serves it in his restaurants.

The Duppy Share

Wait, bear with us. We know you're probably outraged that this is a 'Caribbean Rum', but while the ingredients are, it was founded in 2014 by George Frost, son of legendary broadcaster Sir David Frost, and you don't get much more English than that. He's pulled off a blinder too: Duppy Share is a rum drink blended using a five-year-old Barbados rum from the Foursquare Distillery, and three-year old Jamaican rum from the Worthy Park Estate. It’s now stocked in Selfridges, Geronimo Inns and The Chiltern Firehouse, so at least we know every celebrity in London has probably got pissed on it by now.

Portobello Gin

Chosen by OXO Tower London's Head Bartender, Sophie Bratt:

“Beautifully balanced with crisp refreshing citrus finish, this makes the G&T to end all G&Ts. We serve it with a chunk of pink grapefruit, which people love.”

Ilkley Brewery’s Siberia

Chosen by OXO Tower London's Head Bartender, Sophie Bratt:

“Innovative and daring with their brews, the team behind this Yorkshire ale house get better and better. The 5.9 per cent Rhubarb Saison, the brand’s most popular export which mixes sour rhubarb with vanilla and even gets a little zing from Grains of Paradise, is just sublime."

Timothy Taylor Ale

Chosen by OXO’s Head Bartender, Sophie Bratt:

“Once described to me as ‘a temperamental bitch’ in a barrel. This classic Yorkshire pale ale is great served ice cold (don’t tell the Yorkshire folk) with a slight carbonation in bottles. It’s a great nod to the heritage of Ale especially with so many newer beers now available.”

Digby sparkling wine

Chosen by OXO’s Head Bartender, Sophie Bratt:

“Producers of Harvey Nichols English sparkling wine, hurrah to the Brits we made a fizz to celebrate and celebrate with. Made the same way as champagne with the same grape blend. Its delicious, its fizzy, its English – be proud."

Weird Beard's Black Perle

10 down, 5 to go.

To finish this list off in style, the team of experts at There's A Beer For That have picked a few cracking English craft beers for us, starting with this caffeinated gem:

"Packed full of roasty malts and brewed exclusively with Perle hops, this versatile milk coffee stout is brewed in alliance with South London coffee roaster Alchemy. A stout rich and almost reminiscent of a latte, with a sweet and slightly creamy finish. As one the UK’s best low ABV stouts, the gentle floral qualities mean you might even before to get away with one before midday."

Little Valley Stoodley Stout

Chosen by the team at There's A Beer For That:

“This dark 4.8 per cent stout contains chocolate and crystal malts mixed with oats and wheat, to deliver a rich and creamy roasted flavour. Notes of orange and citrus burst through, complementing the malts and making this a deliciously rich craft beer well worth time.”

Siren Craft Brew’s Soundwave

Chosen by the team at There's A Beer For That:

“Bursting with flavours of grapefruit, mango and peach, this hoppy IPA is dry and subtly bitter. Soundwave's zesty lemon scent is paired with its fruity flavours to deliver a clean, moreish finish."

The Wild Beer Co Bibble

Chosen by the team at There's A Beer For That:

“Brewed with Vienna Malt and oats, and both Mosaic and orange Amarillo hops, this topical and fruity brew is naturally hazy. With a little bitterness complemented by flavours of tropical fruit, this delicious pale ale is a hidden gem.”

Magic Rock’s Rapture (Only sold in kegs)

Chosen by the team at There’s A Beer For That:

“Rapture is a full-bodied, hoppy red beer containing five types of malt, and six different hops to make a truly exhilarating 4.6 per cent brew. Fragrant aromas of grapefruit and pine, merged with subtle bursts of orange equalize the rich and malty taste. A perfectly dry and crisp finish, this brew is a little taste of paradise. And of Huddersfield, where the brewers have now expanded operations after frenzied demand."

Now go and bloody drink some

Big thanks to London's OXO Tower, serving the very best of British cuisine and cocktails high above Southbank daily, and There's A Beer For That, whose Beer Explorer is worth spending a few hours on.