Conscious Cocktails is the spirits trend taking the world by storm, but what does the term conscious cocktail even mean? In short, these are cocktails that focus on wellness and guilt-free products, allowing punters to indulge in beverages usually loaded with sugar, to experience an alternative with only natural flavours and ingredients, ensuring that what you’re drinking helps and not hinders your body.
Here at Fine Wine Delivery, we have never stocked the ready to drink products available on the market. They are most often filled with artificial ingredients and sugar, and therefore do not meet our quality standards. Not only this, but they are often targeted towards a younger audience and encourage quantity over quality. We have never found a product that aligns with our quality expectations and values.
The pre-packaged market has been continuously growing for some time now and in recent years has been expanding rapidly. Seltzers, or “hard water” have been one of the biggest growing trends worldwide, with a beverage that gives the drinker carbonated water, alcohol and often fruit flavouring – but without the calories. This category has doubled its market share in a year – taking off particularly in the US. Just because it is low in sugar or calories, however, does not mean that the finished product is of high quality or tastes any good!
Many alcohol producers have recognised the growing popularity of wellness products worldwide, and the lack of real quality available on the market, and thus the category conscious cocktails was created. These are cocktails that focus on low sugar and calories, but high-quality ingredients and a finished product that would stand proudly at any bar.
Noticing these wellness trends worldwide and interest from our customers, we decided to have a look into the pre-packaged, conscious cocktails available in New Zealand. This meant we had the very hard job of tasting through a range of over thirty pre-packaged spirit beverages, all low in sugar and calories. It wasn’t enough for these products to simply tick the wellness box, we also needed them to stand up to our normal quality standards and pass our rigorous tasting panel.
For Fine Wine Delivery, a conscious cocktail is a pre-packaged cocktail of extremely high quality. The base spirit in these products must be a product we range, or whose quality meets our ranging standards. All flavours and ingredients are to be natural, and the finished product is to be of bar level quality, with low overall levels of added sugar. Once we set these standards, it was then easy for us to find products that might be suitable for our shelves, and ultimately, we found two brands whose flavour and quality were undeniable.
The first of these was Denzien x No Ugly Conscious Cocktails. No Ugly is certainly a household name and started when Aaron and Jo Taylor realised people were becoming more aware of the importance of good nutrition and overall wellness as a concept. They noticed people were saying ‘no’ to things they perceived as being bad so they started to explore the concept of a wellness brand that was a call for people who rejected ‘ugly’. The result was No Ugly sodas, a range that embrace the healthy lifestyle. Each bottle of their soda contains at least 25% of recommended dietary intake of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins B1/B2/B3/B5/B6/B12, vitamin C, and vitamin E and is low in sugar (only 5.5 grams/500mls).
Their sodas have been used by consumers as mixers for some time, and so they began looking for a partner to transform their high-end sodas into a pre-packaged cocktail product. It was then that they came across Denzien Gin. They make craft, small batch Gin in the heart of Wellington City. Their flagship Gin uses organic native botanicals and is classic London Dry in style, steeped with Kawakawa, Horopito and nine other botanicals. Last year, it was awarded Best New Zealand Gin and Best Overall Gin at the New Zealand Spirits Awards.
They decided that their sustainable, high end, small batch products would work perfectly together as a cocktail release; the Denzien Gin is versatile enough to be the perfect partner for their sodas and ultimately the conscious cocktails. Ensuring that they stayed in line with a wellness approach, their cocktails have less than 99 calories per 250ml bottle, and only 2% of natural sugar.
There are four flavours available; Yuzu and Cucumber is the ultimate refreshing cocktail – providing a burst of zesty citrus yuzu with the ultimate Gin accompaniment cucumber which gives a refreshing finish. The driest of the four cocktails, this is the perfect option for the classic G&T drinker. Ginger & Blood Orange is a classic twist on an alcoholic ginger beer, with the blood orange providing a citrus twist on the spicy ginger. Plum and Pomegranate is for those who like things a little fruitier, with juicy stone fruit and a slight underlying sourness from the pomegranate seeds. Lastly, the favourite amongst our staff, is Cranberry and Brazilian Lime which begins with a hit of sweet cranberry and a zesty lingering lime finish. Can’t quite make up your mind? Then simply get our mixed four pack and decide for yourself which flavour tickles your fancy the most!
If classic cocktails are more your thing, then Curatif will be right up your alley. The best thing to come from Australia since Steve Irwin, Curatif Cocktails focus on premium authenticity and undeniable luxury in all their cocktails. Their pre-packaged high-end cocktails focus on quality, convenience and sustainability; providing bar standards in a convenient can cocktail in the comfort of your own home.
When tasting through these two products, we were hugely impressed by the quality. One of the world’s most popular and simplest cocktails is a perfect Gin Negroni. The ideal Negroni should taste, smell and feel like a pure Italian experience, from the Campari to the Vermouth. The unmistakable rich and fruity taste that subtly stabilises the bitterness to create the perfect aperitif. This is a perfectly composed Negroni, which balances an exceptional base of Four Pillars Spiced Negroni Gin, made especially for this cocktail with the fruit notes of sweet Vermouth and Campari, to create the best pre-packaged version you have ever experienced. No added ingredients, sugar or flavourings - this really is a true Negroni and conscious cocktail, and it tastes like it too.
Their Espresso Martini is a rich, creamy and luxurious cocktail. This incorporates specialty brewed coffee from industry renowned Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters, blended with the distinguished craft distilled Archie Rose Original Vodka, which is a hugely sought-after Australian craft Spirit. This blend delivers a seamless harmony of ingredients to create a pre-packaged Espresso Martini of unparalleled quality. Simply shake for twenty seconds, hold, tap the can and pour directly upside down, making sure to squeeze the can for that classic Espresso Martini froth. The result is of bar quality, with a delicate balance of sweet and roasty. For a more toasted coffee-driven experience, do not drink straight from fridge and allow those coffee flavours to shine as it warms slightly.
Today we launch these two brands in our conscious cocktail category in stores and online, give them a try and take the first step towards all-natural, wellness cocktails in the comfort of your own home!