The Art of Crafting Signature Cocktails: A Mixologist's Guide

What's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches

The Beach Boys’ co-founder launches Club Kokomo Spirits

Newly launched premium spirits brand Club Kokomo Spirits has debuted its first four products, a line of RTD canned cocktails.

Named after The Beach Boys song Kokomo, Club Kokomo Spirits is a project by Mike Love, co-founder of group, and San Diego distillery Seven Caves Spirits (now a subsidiary to Club Kokomo Spirits).

Club Kokomo launches with four premium RTD cocktails, all at 10% ABV and inspired by the Kokomo spirit and the song’s strong connection with the tropical islands of the Caribbean. The debut cocktails are:

  • Kokomojito – ‘ This cocktail delivers a smooth blend of lime and mint with subtle hints of lemongrass’
  • Mystique – ‘A bright rum cocktail featuring tropical flavors of guava and lychee with jasmine tea infused rum’
  • Afternoon Delight – ‘This combination of citrus, maple, ginger and allspice can be enjoyed cold from the can, over ice or served hot toddy-style for sipping on chilly days’
  • Excitation – ‘This fresh and crisp gin cocktail has unexpected notes of black cherry, passionfruit and citrus’

The concept for Club Kokomo came to life years ago as Love enjoyed a particularly well-made Mojito. He hummed the chorus of his co-authored hit song Kokomo and his penchant for wordplay took over as he uttered the word 'Kokomojito.'
“Club Kokomo is an idea that I’ve had in mind for many years,”​ said Love, who has authored more than 140 songs and eleven Top 10 singles in his more than 60-year career, including Good Vibrations, I Get Around, Surfin' Safari, Help Me Rhonda, California Girls and the Kokomo.

"It’s amazing to see the concept finally come to life alongside family and friends, old and new. The song ‘Kokomo’ was number one on the charts when it was released in 1988 and it’s still one of the most popular ‘sing-alongs’ at our concerts today.”
Club Kokomo Spirits is available now in multiple retail locations across San Diego, and plans to expand to new regional and national markets during 2023. Several additional RTD cocktails are slated to be released throughout the next few months, with Club Kokomo Spirits planning to expand its product offering to include flagship bottled rums in 2023.

Club Kokomo Spirits has become majority share owner of Seven Caves Spirits to help quickly expand its footprint and products. Seven Caves’ founder and distiller Geoff Longenecker will now act as Head of Distillery Operations for both brands; and Club Kokomo Spirits will exclusively use Longenecker’s spirits in its products.

British distillers launch aquavit​

Bristol-based, Psychopomp Microdistillery; Orkney Spirits Limited, (Orkney, Scotland) and Silver Circle Distillery (Monmouthshire, Wales) have joined forces to launch ‘British Aquavit’.

Aquavit is a popular spirit in Scandinavia which is traditionally enjoyed straight with food and for celebrations. Aquavit/Aqvavit/Akvavit is a botanical spirit, with the spelling and specific flavor profile varying depending on the country. It is produced in the same way as gin, but with dill and/or caraway as lead botanicals, instead of juniper. 

“As the first distilleries to make it here in the UK, we recognize that there is a lot of potential for Aquavit, particularly as a cocktail ingredient. We want to share this delicious spirit with as many people as possible and spread the word about what Aquavit is!​” says Sara Sanna Marketing Manager at Psychopomp Distillery based in Bristol. 

Each of the three independent distilleries produces their own expression (Orkney Akvavit, Psychopomp Aqvavit and Silver Circle Aquavit) but ‘share a love for Aquavit’s savoury flavour profile and versatility - and especially what it brings to cocktails.’

“Across our three distilleries, we’ve all got different styles of Aquavit, but there are common similarities - just like when you look back at the heritage of traditional Aquavit in Scandinavia. They all have their own idiosyncrasies - which means there is plenty of room for people like us to experiment​.” said Stephanie Peck, head of Operations at Psychopomp Micro-Distillery. 

Vitamin Vitality

Nix & Kix, a UK natural drinks company, has launched Vitamin Vitality, a new range of sparkling drinks with vitamins B6, B12, C and D.

The range – available in Orange Passionfruit and Tropical - combine sparkling water, fruit juices, a zing of cayenne and added vitamins B6, B12, C and D, which support a healthy immune system, a healthy nervous system, growth and repair of body tissue, and regulate calcium for strong teeth and bones. 

Vitamin Vitality, with 23 calories per 250ml can, is available in WH Smiths and are 100% plant-based with no added sugar, artificial flavorings or additives and are suitable for anyone following a vegan diet. 

Nix & Kix started trading in 2017 after co-founders and friends Kerstin Robinson and Julia Kessler spotted a gap in the market for a healthier soft drink with a twist: with drinks now stocked in Holland & Barrett, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose and Ocado.

Non-alcoholic wine

US non-alcohol retailer Boisson has launched its first in-house beverage, Boisson Blanc.

Boisson Blanc was curated by Boisson in partnership with winemaker Johannes Leitz of German wine brand Leitz, which has been advancing the quality of non-alcoholic wine making in Germany.

“Boisson Blanc is a crisp white wine that features a blend of multiple white varieties grown in Germany and Spain, including Muller-Thurgau and Airén, all sourced specifically for their characteristics successful to non-alcoholic preparation. The resulting taste provides a delicate balance of natural acidity and bright, citric fruitiness,” ​says Boisson.

Daily collagen matcha

Great Lakes Wellness has launched Daily Collagen Matcha Latte Peptides: a powder featuring ‘Great Lakes Wellness’ crowd favorite grass-fed collagen infused with a hint of umami and earthy grassy notes from authentic matcha green tea grown in Japan’.

The quick dissolving powder with collagen provides a natural boost of caffeine and is lightly sweetened with monk fruit. Each serving (the powder is mixed with a little warm water and then added to a hot or cold plant-based or dairy milk) offers a combination of 18 amino acids and 12g of type I and III collagen and 30-40mg of caffeine.

Available in the US, Daily Collagen Matcha Latte Peptides is gluten-free, paleo-friendly, KETO-certified, iGen Non-GMO-tested, halal and has no preservatives​.

Princes launches Botanical flavors

UK juice maker Princes is launching a new line of botanical beverages under its name-sake brand.

The company, a large co-manufacturer for private label juices, is bringing out Princes Botanicals as a ‘first of their kind for the brand’.

The line-up of flavors includes apple, pineapple and lemongrass; alongside apple, mango, passionfruit and cardamon. The range is made from not-from concentrate juices and accounts for one of the five-a-day.

Each drink has a RRP of £2.50 and can be found in the long-life juice aisle in Tesco and Morrisons.