The DrinkList: all the gin, whisky and beer news you need to know
What is happening in the world of alcohol, soft drinks and more.
Welcome to the DrinkList, a place where we round-up some of our favourite bits of recent booze news. Here you’ll get up to date with all the biggest launches from the world of whisky, gin, beer and beyond.
Whether it’s a new blend, a redesign or a craft ale that’s caught our eye, we will let you know about it here.
As you (probably) already know, ShortList has been sampling the best drinks the world has had to offer for some time now, so if you are looking for a new tipple, then head to our best-of lists below.
- The best gin revealed
- The best whisky taste tested
- The best craft beer unveiled
- The best vodka for mixers and more
- The best rum, all batches tried
Brixton Brewery reveals 'Bring Your Nan To Enjoy A Can' scheme
Recently, Brixton Brewery launched Generation Pale Ale, the first purpose brewed beer for Age UK Lambeth, and now it is looking after the elderly again with its ‘Bring Your Nan To Enjoy A Can’ initiative.
From Thursday 29th July, a four-day celebration will begin that, according to the brewery, "aims to literally bring young un’s and elderly people together."
And if you don't have someone elderly to bring along, then "simply, turn up or book in advance for your chance to speak with one of the Age UK's lovely elderly members for FREE."
Beavertown goes in search of aliens
Beavertown has revealed that on the weekend of the 23rd/ 24th July, it is putting up a UFO installation in east London. The installation will allow you to look like you've been 'beamed up' into space via an optical illusion. To celebrate the installation, it will host a music and beer filled pop up party, complete with live DJ, hourly giveaways and free beer. Oh, and if you tag @BeavertownBeer on Instagram and Twitter with your snap, you could be in with a chance of winning some free beer. The installation will be open 12-8pm both days at the Dray Walk Gallery in Brick Lane.
Something & Nothing offers up seltzers for the curious
With the hot days finally with us, ShortList managed to sample the new Something & Nothing hard seltzer range in the sun, and they are decent. They mix up seltzers with quality wine and spirits and they taste great. We sampled both the French Rose & Hibiscus and Savignon Blanc & Cucumber flavours.
Endangered Brewing is a beer that's helping protect rare and vulnerable species
We've sample Endangered Brewing's signature craft beers - The African Wild Dog Lager and the Pangolin Pale Ale - and they taste great. But the best thing about this new range of beer is that every time you buy a can, 10% of profits go to the Born Free Charity.
Speaking about the new beers, Endangered Brewing’s Co-Founder and Biological Scientist, Alexandra Prebble, said “At Endangered Brewing we are passionate about two things: beer and beasts (or wildlife, if you prefer.) So we decided to combine the two! We’re very excited to be launching our first two signature craft beers for like-minded animal lovers and those who care about our planet. Every beer you buy will make an impact; helping us raise funds and support conservation efforts for our featured animals.”
Head to their site now and bag yourself some beers and find out more about their great initiative.
Cotswolds No 3 Wildflower gin packs hand-picked ingredients
Cotswolds No 3 Wildflower gin is a new gin from the Cotswolds Distillery. It has a load of lovely flavours in it, including juniper, coriander and angelica. But the big ingredients are the ones that have been hand-picked especially for the gin - these include genepi, mint and yarrow.
Head to their website now for the gin, which costs £34.95.
Korev lager is the coastal beer you need right now
We tried this one a while ago but now the sun is out it's a perfect time to tell you how lovely Korev is. It's a lager in the Helles style and it's made by St Austell Brewery. While the beer has been around a while - we're ashamed to say, that we only just sampled it recently - if you head to the website you can currently get a brand-new glass to accompany the drink.
Head to St Austell Brewery now for more information.
Tamdhu's latest releases are stunning whiskies to try
Out of all the taste testing we have been doing recently, the two drams that have stood out for us are from Tamdhu. We've been lucky enough to try both the Dalbeallie Dram 004 and the Tamdhu Club Single Cask and they are stunning drinks.
Only 1,000 bottles of the Dalbeallie Dram 004 have been made available and the whisky is sumptuous, with marmalade, pineapple and oak all swirling. This is one to take with a drop of water and it's cask strength. The ABV is 61%. You can get Dalbeallie Dram 004 for £95 a bottle. It's currently out of stock but the distillery is hoping to have some more limited edition bottles available soon.
If that wasn't special enough, the Scottish distillery has also made the Tamdhu Club Single Cask available. This one is very special, at £279 a bottle and hits you with pear, caramel and more than a hint of lemon zing. It's 59.3% ABV and only 582 bottles have been made.
Kopparberg’s new Strawberry Hard Seltzer arrives
Kopparberg has launched a new Strawberry Hard Seltzer in time for the sun. This strengthens it hard seltzer line-up which already includes Mixed Berries and Passionfruit flavours. At only 93 calories a can, the alcohol infused sparkling water with a hint of strawberry will means you can have a drink and not feel (too) guily about it.
It's available for £2 a can from Morrison's now.
Highland Spring has revealed the ultimate staycation prize
Given many of us can't get really leave the country right now, the idea of holidaying somewhere in the UK is something we all want right now. Well, Highland Spring is offering a lucky winner the chance to win exclusive use of a luxury tiny home on an idyllic countryside estate (as a holiday home) for a year. The home is in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and it comes kitted out with a double bed, wood burner, kitchenette and gas cooker, bathroom and firepit.
Rave Coffee's Cold Brew is hot stuff
If you still aren't convinced by Cold Brew, then we recommend trying Rave Coffee's Cold Brew. We sampled it recently and it has a fantastic freshness to it and it's easy to brew at home. Rave Coffee’s Cold Brew No. 9 can be purchased from ravecoffee.co.uk for £7.50 per 300g bag. If you haven't got a cold brew set, then that can be purchased for £29.50.
Previously on The DrinkList
BeerBods Gift Subscription
BeerBods Gift Subscription is more than just a beer subscription, according to those who send it. You also receive an email each week telling you the backstory behind that week's beer and there is an online tasting session every Thursday where you can share your views with other bods.
The gift certificate is emailed so is a great last-minute father’s day guide.
Camden Town has the ultimate Dad Box
Beer and socks. That’s what you are getting with the Camden Town Dad Box and we can’t think of a better Father’s Day gift.
This box contains:
1 x Jack Pint Glass
1 x Camden Logo Socks
12 x 330ml Hells Lager Cans, 4.6%
Aviation Gin offers up an ‘alternative’ Father’s Day 'cock'tail
The Vasectomy Cocktail has been created by Ryan’s Reynolds who just so happens to own Aviation Gin. The cheeky cocktail consists of the following:
45ml Aviation American Gin
30ml Cranberry Juice
15ml Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice
Garnish: Whole Orange
You can get it from Letter Box Cocktails now for £10.45 per cocktail kit. The cocktail comes pre-batched with Ryan Reynolds Father’s Day postcard included.
For those wanting to create the cocktail at home, you can watch Ryan preparing the Vasectomy cocktail here.
Compass Box Artist Blend & Glasgow Blend will make Dad happy
These two Compass Box whiskies are loved by bartenders around the world and are a great Father’s Day gift. Artist Blend "boasts a creaminess and lushness that makes it one of the most invigorating and pleasurable styles of Scotch whisky". While Glasgow Blend is "full, rich and smoky on the palate, with notes of sticky toffee pudding, Sherry wine character and impressions of a coal fire"
It’s £37 for a 70cl bottle. The ABV is 43%.
The World’s Smallest Aperitif Bar from El Bandarra
Give your dad the biggest smile with the smallest aperitif bar from Barcelona. This minibar gift pack is shaped like a vintage matchbox.
The El Bandarra Minibar gift pack is available from shop.elbandarra.com for £20.99. Unfortunately, a Miniwaiter is not included.
Get your dad this Retro Gin Fridge from That Boutique-y Gin Company
That Boutique-y Gin Company’s Retro Gin Fridge is a brilliant gin-based gift, containing 8x50ml bottles of some of the most interesting and delicious gins, including Spit-Roasted Pineapple Gin and Rhubarb Triangle Gin.
All of these bottles are housed in a bespoke-design, retro-inspired ‘fridge tin’.
Not Father’s Day but still cool...
Brew//LDN is still going ahead
Despite Covid-19 trying to scupper events the world over, Brew//LDN has told ShortList that its event is still going ahead and that 50 additional independent breweries will be joining the 2021 edition from 29th - 31st July at Printworks, London.
Brew LDN will have the biggest collection of craft breweries to take part in a UK beer event since the previous Brew//LDN festival in February 2020.
Find out more and, more importantly, get yourself a ticket now.
Bombay Sapphire tries to bottle the sun
Bombay Sapphire has been busy of late. Not only has it enjoyed a successful launch of its Bombay Sapphire gin cans - which we’ve tasted and they are well worth a purchase - it has also introduced the limited edition Bombay Sapphire Sunset. It uses Indian white cardamom, turmeric and Murcian sun-dried mandarin peel to offer up a taste of the sun - something we all need right now.
Head to Bombay Sapphire’s official site to nab yourself a bottle.
Beefeater also joins the pre-mixed G&T crew
Beefeater’s new ready-to-drink cans have arrived. The new drinks from Beefeater are available in Dry Gin & Tonic, Pink Strawberry Gin & Tonic and Blood Orange & Tonic, from supermarkets and independent stores nationwide for just £2.
Previously on The DrinkList...
Brixton Brewery wants you to raise a can for your gran
Brixton Brewery has launched a new beer that is in aid of Age UK Lambeth. According to the brewery, the new IPA has been “designed to bring people, of all ages, together”. Called Generation Pale Ale, the design and the name of the beer has been officially approved by Age UK and proceeds from the sales will go “towards managing an increase in demand for the charity's services from 21,000 to 70,000 people in lockdown - a growth of 233%”
The beer costs £2.65 (6-pack £15, 12-pack £28, 24-pack £48) and you can buy it from Brixton Brewery’s website, or you can head to its taproom.
The Shackleton Whisky offers up a unique off-grid experience
The Shackleton Whisky is celebrating the news that we can all get out and about once more and has created what it’s calling “a unique private experience, set up at a hidden location in the wild”. Essentially, you can book up for the experience - for free - on the brand’s Instagram page but you will only find out where you are going after booking and you will have to undertake a mini-adventure to get there.
This is one for those who love the outdoors, as the retreat will have no phone signal or electricity, dinner will be locally foraged and you will be doing things like paddle boarding, hiking and biking.Oh, and there will also be a well-stocked, Shackleton whisky bar. According to The Shackleton Whisky, this is all part of the launch of a new go off grid map, which features all the best offline staycations in the UK.
Kahlua’s got a new look, celebrates with takeaway martinis
Kahlua has gone and got itself a new look and to celebrate it has designed a new ‘takeaway’ martini cup. Oh, and it is giving away free coffee cocktails in London.
According to Kahlua, it is “blurring the lines between bar and coffee shop, by partnering with local coffee shops across the UK to add coffee cocktails to the menu and offering free Espresso Martini cocktails” To get one, head to E Pellicci in East London on the 21-22 May.
Pinkster gets its spritz on with new spirit drinks
The folks behind Pinkster Gin have launched a brand-new drink. Pinkster Spritz is a lower alcohol spirit drink that comes in two flavours” Raspberry & Hibiscus and Elderflower & Raspberry.
It’s been “made with gin-soaked raspberries left over from producing Pinkster” and it is bottled at 24% ABV. The drink is designed to be the ideal base for spritz so let’s hope the sun comes out soon.
Pinkster Spritz is available online from Master of Malt and costs £28 a bottle.
Ocean Beer is a drink that helps clean up the world’s waters
Ocean Beer is a new craft beer that really is making a difference to the world. 100% of its profits are going to ocean conservation and ocean clean-up. There are three craft beer available: Ocean Lager (33cl, alc. 4.8%), Surfer IPA (33cl, alc. 4.8%), and Ocean Beer 0.0 (33cl, alc. 0.0%) and as you can imagine, sustainability is at the core of the drinks.
Jura celebrates Fèis Ìle in the best way possible - launches a new drink!
Jura Single Malt whisky has revealed that its Distillery Cask Fèis Ìle Edition 2021 will be available on the official day of Fèis Ìle on 6th June. This special single cask release will, for the first time, support the vital annual Jura Music Festival - £25 from each bottle sold will go to the festival.
The whisky has been maturing for 18 years in a single refill sherry butt from Jerez in Southern Spain and is said to have sweet aromas of candied almonds, toasted marshmallows and Scottish tablet. Flavour-wise, there’s chocolate orange, treacle and Demerara sugar come through on the palate with a sticky sweet-salted caramel to ﬁnish.
The single cask release is offered at a cask strength of 57.1% ABV and there will only be 340 bottles available. for £145.
Camden Town Brewery’s Double IPA celebrates Arsenal’s 1971 double win
Arsenal fans may have had a season to forget but Camden Town Brewery is here to bring a smile to your face, with the launch of the new Double Hells Lager - a commemorative beer inspired by the 1971 Arsenal double win. We’ve taste tested and there’s a lovely bitterness there (and, no, that didn’t come through just because we are Chelsea fans) and at 7.1% it’s got something of a kick.
Camden Town Brewery’s Double Hells Lager is available now for £30 from Camden’s official online shop.
Oh, and while we are on the subject of Camden Town Brewery, it seems the brewery has ‘accidentally’ pasteurised 50 cans of their Hells Lager. Anyone who finds one of these recalled cans will need to ring the ‘ALWAYS-FRESH-BUT-NOT-THIS-TIME’ hotline on 0333 335 5959 and will be compensated with a year’s supply of fresh beer (a 24 pack of beer delivered to them monthly).
Bob Dylan teams with Redbreast for a brand-new whiskey
Bob Dylan’s collection of American whiskeys, Heaven’s Door Whiskey, has collaborated with Redbreast Irish Whiskey for a new whiskey that will be heading to the UK and Ireland in September. This limited-edition10-Year Aged Bourbon has been finished in Redbreast casks and has been named The Master Blenders’ Edition.
The Master Blenders’ Edition will be available in the US in June before reaching UK and Irish shores in September. The Master Blenders’ Edition is offered in Heaven’s Door’s signature bottle, featuring a new gate design created by Bob Dylan in his Black Buffalo Ironworks studio, as well as Redbreast’s iconic Robin.
This one is strictly limited edition so keep an eye out for it come the Autumn. Head to ReserveBar for more information.
This GlenAllachie 30-year-old has been created by the legend that is Billy Walker
Speyside Distillery GlenAllachie has revealed its oldest core expression - the 30-year-old Cask Strength Batch 1 - and this one is very special. It’s been created by master distiller Billy Walker and matured in nine hand-selected PX, Oloroso and Chinquapin Virgin Oak casks.
It’s cask strength is 48.9% and is available from £475 with just 2,000 bottles being made available. This is the first of what will be a number of 30-year-old releases from GlenAllachie.
Speaking about the release, Walker said: “I always had an ambition to create a memorable 30-year-old expression, presented at natural cask strength, that would truly blow away whisky connoisseurs across the globe. It’s a small-batch single malt that undoubtedly captures everything I’ve learned along the way in my career, and thus is a bottling I’m particularly proud to release.”
Fok Hing Gin sounds rude but it would be rude not to try it
Fok Hing Gin is a new premium craft gin that is on the joke when it comes to its name - but reckons that the brand has been inspired by “the UK and Hong Kong’s past-colonial relationship”. Oh, and it’s also an anagram of ‘Gin Of HK’. It may be a new gin but it has just been awarded a Silver medal at the 4th London Spirits Competition and can be bought now for £38.
Buffalo Trace is here to save your Bank Holiday BBQ
Buffalo Trace has revealed that it wants you to have the best Bank Holiday possible, by giving you some fantastic tips on how to spruce up your BBQ skills.
The distillery is giving its drinkers the chance to book an exclusive slot to get a personal one-to-one live session from Marcus Bawdon, who is a BBQ expert and Editor of the UK BBQ Magazine.
The online session is taking place Saturday 29th May from Midday to 5pm and each session will last 30 minutes. It’s not just about BBQ, as you will also learn how to make a bourbon cocktail and a Buffalo Trace bottle will be sent to you.Bookings are available now.
Previously on The DrinkList...
Bud Light Boxheads are a Euros winner
Bud Light has revealed some fantastic new packaging for its beer cases. Bud Light is the Official Beer of England for the upcoming Euros, and its Boxheads are a brilliant way to start celebrating the build up to the footie tournament.
Each pack contains 12 x 300 ml bottles of Bud Light (3.5% ABV) and can also be 'worn', with the face of an English footballer adorning each box.
Featuring England stars Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker and Jordan Pickford, Boxheads are available to buy now and have had us laughing ever since a case was delivered to ShortList Towers.
- Buy a Bud Light Boxheads pack now for £9 from Amazon.
Beavertown's pop-up bar is coming to a London park
If you are fed up of not getting a space in a crowded beer garden, then the Beavertown Park Pub may well be for you. The craft beer maker is setting up its own pubs in London's leafy parks this weekend (8-9 May) and you won't have to book to get yourself a beer!
The 'pubs' are set to have their own pub signs, furniture and bouncers checking IDs so you will feel right at home. The only caveat is that the location for these pubs are currently under wraps - we reckon you should keep an eye on Beavertown's Twitter feed though, as it may throw up a clue or two.
The Alchemist Cocktail Book will turn you into a mixologist
A new cocktail book has hit shelves and it looks fantastic. The Alchemist Cocktail Book – Master the Dark Arts of Mixology is celebrating 10 years of The Alchemist and has over 100 cocktails inside that mix booze, chemistry and theatre.
The book is packed with beautiful images and the tricks you need to learn to help you mix the perfect cocktail at home.
The book is available now - it usually retails for £16.99 but there's currently 30% off the hardback on Amazon.
Bombay Sapphire Sunset arrives in time for summer
Bombay Sapphire has revealed a new special edition gin. Called Bombay Sapphire Sunset, it has been made with three new botanicals - golden turmeric, Indian white cardamom, and Spanish mandarin.
This is Bombay Sapphire's first time in the spiced gin market and it reckons it tastes best with some ginger ale and a slice of orange, and can even be used to make a decent negroni.
The gin is available now for £23 - and you can get it from Ocado and other stockists.
Crodino is an non-alcoholic Aperitivo you need to try
A bottle of Crodino, from Campari, was delivered to ShortList Towers this week so it has already been taste tested and it is a great non-alcoholic Apertivo.
A blend of 15 botanicals and spices - including nutmeg, cardamom, coriander and cloves - give it a nice kick and it's best served in a tall glass with ice and a slice of Orange.
You can buy a three pack of Crodino now from Amazon for the decent price of £4.50.
This Fabergé Celtic Egg and whiskey set is 'world's most expensive whiskey'
Okay, we’ve checked our bank account and this one is way out of our league. The Craft Irish Whiskey Co, in partnership with Faberge, has revealed the rarest, triple-distilled, Single Malt Irish Whiskey in the world. It comes in a highly limited box which includes the first-of-its-kind Fabergé Celtic Egg and bespoke 1/1 Fabergé watch, as well as a humidor with two ultra-rare Cohiba Siglo VI Grand Reserva (2009) cigars. All of this is beautifully presented in a dark walnut experience box. In an auction, the package sold for a whopping $2million USD.
This release supersedes The Devil’s Keep which, on release, was “the oldest ever triple distilled Irish single malt whiskey and the most expensive first release in the history of whiskey”. It cost a jaw-dropping €10,000 per bottle.
The 29 year-old bottles of The Devil’s Keep are very rare. There are just 333 bottles available right now. There is further 666 planned for release in 2021.
The Devil’s Keep is tripled distilled, having been aged in 200 litre ‘first fill’ American oak casks, 100-litre French Oak barrels and finished in expensive virgin Hungarian oak. These have created a rich vanilla, wild honey and toasted maple syrup flavour profiles.
Head to Craft Irish Whiskey Co now if you fancy an expensive tipple.
Previously on The DrinkList
Antenna Gin is well worth broadcasting about
Brixton’s botanical rum is an award winner
Beavertown’s Luchanaut is beer built for the summer
Bowl Grabber wine grabs our attention
GlenAllachie’s latest mixes whisky with wine
Swap lockdown running miles for air miles, thanks to Michelob Ultra
Grey Goose cocktails in a can arrive
Penrhos swaps gin for rum with latest launch
Kopparberg launches flavoured vodka and new tropical ciders
The feeling of summer is definitely in the air for Kopparberg, with not one but two launches this week. The first sees them enter a whole new alcohol category: vodka. Flavoured vodka to be precise.
It has launched three new vodkas with fruit twists - Lemon, Passionfruit and Strawberry & Lime. According to Kopparberg, the vodka is in retaliation to the 'bland' offerings available right now, so expect these to pack a fruit punch. ABV is 37.5% and bottles will be available before the May Bank Holiday.
Kopparberg has also revealed a new cider flavour. It's a limited edition Mixed Fruit Tropical Cider that is a mix of pineapple, passion fruit and mango. The new cans will be available from 28 April, so keep an eye out for them in Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys, Co-op and Morrisons.
BiGDUG brings the party with this pop-up Tiki Bar
This is fun. Swapping storage solutions for the great outdoors, home and business specialist BiGDUG has created a limited edition pop-up Tiki bar. For those who haven't quite managed to get their names down to sup a drink in a pub garden, the pop-up Tiki bar is easy to assemble (there's only 3 steps to make it, apparently) and is made of fully recyclable material. And to get you in the party spirit, the kit includes a tropical bar skirt, decorative leaves and flowers, pineapple cups, coconut cups, straws, cocktail umbrellas, 6 grass skirts and 12 flower garlands. Fancy.
Camden Town Brewery reveals new Bavarian-inspired beer hall
Inspired by Bavarian beer halls, Camden Town Brewery has announced its opening up a new beer hall that will have 24 taps on the bar, so lots of beer to choose from! The Camden Beer Hall is launching just in time for summer at the original Camden brewery site, which means that the beer will be brewed right next door to the bar.
It's not just about drink, either, with a menu of small dishes created by chef Theo Randall available to buy too.
“We’ve been making beer under the arches in Camden for 11 years now, and serving beer onsite has always been an important part of what we do, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our regulars, beer fans and local community back in to see what we’ve done with the place," said Jasper Cuppaidge, Founder of Camden Town Brewery, about the new bar which will be open from early June.
Fortnum’s ‘Ready to Pour’ Cocktail range arrives with the Espresso Daiquiri
Fortnum & Mason has debuted the first of its ‘Ready to Pour’ Cocktail range. These hand-crafted luxury cocktails are ready made and ready to buy, all beautifully packaged and designed to be enjoyed fresh from the bottle.
Its first release is an Espresso Daiquiri, "a handcrafted reimagining of the late, legendary or iconic British bartender Dick Bradsell’s iconic Espresso Martini – to which a homage is scripted on the back of each bottle," according to Fortnum's
Fortnum’s Espresso Daiquiri swaps vodka for rum and is blended, aged and diluted to the perfect serving strength before being packaged, which cuts down on your prep time and gives you more time to drink.
You can buy Fortnum’s Espresso Daiquiri now for £28.50.
Small Beer reveals new organic IPA
The 2.3% Organic IPA is available from Abel & Cole and through Small Beer's official website. Price wise, it's £55 for a 24 x 350ml case, or £2.55 per bottle.
Dalston’s Soda Co launches hard seltzer range
Dalston’s Soda Co known for its rather tasty fizzy drinks has delved into the world of alcohol with two new hard seltzers. Keeping it simple, its range includes just three simple ingredients: real squeezed fruit, sparkling water and triple distilled vodka. There's a grapefruit and rhubarb version available and both are gluten free, as well as being only 89 calories.
You can buy them now from Dalston's site, with a mixed 12 pack costing £26.
Fightback Beer needs your backing!
It's the last day to chip in to fund Fightback - a beer and cider brand on a mission to save music venues with support from across the live music industry
Head to CrowdCube for more details.