What's hitting the shelves? New beverage launches - from gin to ice tea

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

New beverage launches: Absolut vodka, Tsingtao alcohol-free beer and more

Related tags Npd Absolut vodka Vodka Beer Innovation Iced tea Gin Smirnoff canned cocktails RTD alcohol

From gin to ice tea, we take a look at some of the latest beverages launching around the globe.

Tokyo Dry Gin

Belfast-headquartered Drinksology Kirker Greer has launched a new small-batch crafted classic dry gin under its Ukiyo Spirits brand.

Traditionally distilled in copper pot stills, Tokyo Dry Gin (pictured above) is crafted using high-quality Japanese ingredients selected to stir the senses, and respect the country’s deep appreciation for balance, harmony, and equilibrium. The ingredients include indigenous rice grown in surrounding regions and five native Japanese botanicals; yuzu peel, mikan peel, sakura flower, sakura leaf and sansho pepper.

“These carefully-chosen ingredients combine to express the diverse terroir and tastes of Japan – resulting in an elegant and delicately aromatic classic dry gin offering warm and well-balanced citrus and spice notes, and a smooth finish,” says Ali Pickering, Chief Marketing Officer at DKG. “Tokyo Dry Gin is beautifully presented in Ukiyo’s iconic two–colour graduated bottle, a world-first design offering a stylish and uniquely Japanese aesthetic that reflects Ukiyo’s home by mirroring the mountains and oceans of Japan.”

Ukiyo Tokyo Dry Gin will be available to the on and off trade in the UK, Australia and the Netherlands from February.

It joins Ukiyo Blossom Gin (floral dry gin) and Ukiyo Yuzu (citrus dry gin).

Absolut Hunni

Absolut Hunni

Absolut Hunni – a new flavored vodka exclusive to the UK – has hit shelves and bars this month.

Absolut Hunni is made with natural flavor, contains no added sugar and delivers a premium, sweet vodka with the distinct flavor of golden honey, ‘providing a smooth, delicious taste that mixes perfectly with lemonade’.

Around 60% of UK vodka drinkers choose lemonade when drinking vodka, and honey is an emerging flavor in the UK spirits market, according to Mintel’s 2023 Flavor Tracker.

The packaging has bold black and yellow stripes emulating those of a honeybee. The launch with be supported by a 360 marketing campaign, which includes media, influence and PR campaigns, as well as in-store and in-venue POS to drive visibility.

Absolut Hunni launches in Tesco this month, and will roll out across the off-trade and on-trade in April with a retail price of £22.

6 O'clock releases Elderflower Gin

six o clock gin

6 O'clock Gin has introduced the latest addition to their Distiller's Archive Series: Elderflower Gin.

Following the success of the inaugural release, Spiced Orange and Cranberry Gin, launched in autumn last year, 6 O'clock Gin is a small batch blend of traditional botanicals infused with elderflowers, with an ABV of 40%.

Part of an ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of flavor exploration, the Distiller's Archive Series showcases the artistry of 6 O'clock Gin's master distillers. This series seeks to unveil unique and limited-edition gins that capture the essence of each season. 

Quintessentially English, 6 O’clock Elderflower Gin is available in limited quantities, directly from the distillery and through regional wholesalers. 

Smirnoff Ice Smash Tea

smirnoff smash

Smirnoff Ice Smash Tea launches two flavors: lemon tea and peach tea.

Rolling out in stores nationwide this February, the 8% ABV drink retails at $1.99 for a 16oz can and $2.49 for a 23.5oz can.

  • Smirnoff Ice Smash Lemon Tea is a ‘slightly sweet black tea notes, perfectly balanced by the bold and and robust flavors of bright, zesty lemon’
  • Smirnoff Ice Smash Peach Tea offers ‘earthy notes of black tea meld seamlessly with the luscious flavors of ripe, juicy peach’.

Celsius Space Vibe

celcius new flavor

Energy drink CELSIUS is launching two new flavors in its Space Vibe collection: Astro Vibe and Galaxy Vibe.

The two drinks join Cosmic Vibe: which launched last summer.

Astro Vibe is ‘inspired by the infinite adventure of space travel, with a vibrant can design and successful flavor journey for the ultimate refreshing experience’.

Galaxy Vibe is ‘inspired by the space-themed retro-galactical trend, with a delicious flavor combination delivering the ultimate experiential journey taking your taste buds to a vibrant mystic galaxy’.

Tsingtao 0.0

tsingtao

Paulaner Brewery USA – the US importer of Tsingtao – is preparing to celebrate Chinese New Year with the launch of Tsingtao 0.0.

Tsingtao Premium Lager experienced ‘exceptional growth’ in the US last year and is the top Chinese imported beer.

Tsingtao 0.0 will introduce a new, lower calorie beer (63 calories per bottle): bringing a ‘citrus flavor with slight malty notes at the back end of the taste experience… perfect for a  variety of beer drinking occasions.’

The drink is brewed and fermented with a gentle alcohol removal and blending process to achieve a fruity flavor with slight malty notes with an ABV of no more than 0.03%.

“The demand for Tsingtao Premium Lager has experienced tremendous  growth over the past two years and that trend is projected to continue beyond the New Year,” says Steve Hauser, CEO and president of Paulaner USA, the US importer of Tsingtao.

“With the launch of Tsingtao 0.0, we are tapping into consumers who are reaching for non-alcoholic drinks in their bid to lower their caloric intake. Tsingtao 0.0 provides a great tasting experience, and we’re confident that consumers will enjoy it.”

Spirited Brands launches Sokē and Soula

Soula Pinapple Chili (2)

Spirited Brands, a premium, female-owned beverage company, announces the debut launch of its two new all-natural canned cocktails: Sokē and Soula.

These premium, low-ABV, low-calorie drinks are infused with authentic flavor inspiration from Mexican and Asian cultures

Sokē is a unique blend of Junmai sake and soda, while Soula is a canned margarita-infused Mexican agave azul wine. Both cocktails come in at 5% ABV and 140 calories per 12oz can.

“Our vision is to create exceptional, premium beverages and to offer an experience in every can,” stated Melanie Nelson, President and Co-founder of Spirited Brands.

“Through co-founder Anita Goodson, our creative force behind our cocktails and who passionately draws inspiration from her Mexican heritage, we aim to celebrate various cultures by infusing our creations with authentic and vibrant influences.

"Furthermore, through Sokē and Soula, we aim to redefine the ready-to-drink cocktail market by providing consumers transparency of nutrition facts on each can and offering them low-alcohol and lower-calorie options without compromising on its full-bodied flavor.”

Related topics Retail & Shopper Insights