Nine mixer brands to have in stock
It’s never been more important to ensure that you’re stocking the right mixers behind your bar – the Highball trend isn’t going anywhere, and nor is the growing demand for low-ABV serves, not to mention zero-alcohol options.
UK bars have plenty to choose from when it comes to mixer ranges, and there’s been no shortage of developments recently, from new flavours to entirely new brands entering the market. Below is just a selection of the brands to watch.
One of the more established brands on the scene – going since 2005 – and arguably the one that wrote the book when it comes to premium mixers, Fever-Tree isn’t resting on its laurels. The brand expanded beyond mixers into soft drinks last year, introducing a canned trio of adult soft drinks that tick the boxes when it comes to current trends, including being low calorie. The three variants, all in 250ml cans, are Ginger Beer, made with three varieties of ginger, Sparkling Mexican Lime, with Tahitian limes from Mexico and yuzu oil extract, and Sicilian Lemonade. A good option for customers choosing to not drink alcohol, but there’s nothing to stop you using them as mixers too, of course.
Back in mixer territory, Fever-Tree’s latest seasonal variant was its Damson & Sloe Berry Tonic, recommended for use with London Dry Gin. The latest permanent addition to the range was Spanish Clementine Tonic Water, a versatile mixer that Fever-Tree recommends pairing with vodka or gin.
The London Essence Co
Another UK on-trade stalwart, The London Essence Co has an extensive range of premium drinks, including tonics, sodas and lemonades. These have been created to pair with premium spirits, as well as work well on their own. The brand works with top bars and bartenders around the world – the Connaught uses London Essence White Peach and Jasmine soda in its non-alc Ripple cocktail, pairing it with Everleaf Forest, chicha morada and a clementine and tonka shrub.
London Essence unveiled its modern, top-end take on lemonade last year, part of its Exquisite Mixers range. With lemon and lime as the base, the Crafted Lemonade also includes a kumquat distillate. The brand suggests using it as a mixer with vodka, gin or whisky, pairing it with white wine, or using it to elevate a Pimm’s serve.
Sanpellegrino Italian Sparkling Drinks Mixers
A household name when it comes to soft drinks, Sanpellegrino entered the premium mixer category in the UK last year, strengthening its link with the Italian aperitivo hour and the drinks associated with it. The new range, in 200ml bottles, includes a couple interesting takes on tonic – namely a Tonica Citrus and Tonica Oakwood, the latter including oak extract. There’s also a Ginger Beer, and a couple that are already familiar Sanpellegrino flavours, namely Limonata and Aranciata.
For customers concerned with their calories, and looking to avoid sugar, Greek mixer range Three Cents has a number of options. The brand’s Zero Sugar range has become a major focus, with four variants, namely Tonic Water, Pink Grapefruit Soda, Cherry Soda and Mandarin & Bergamot Soda.
The team behind Three Cents – who all have backgrounds in hospitality – are serious about carbonation, aiming to create a range of mixers that maintain their fizziness. The core range includes all the essentials, such as soda water and tonic, as well as some more interesting tonics like their Aegean Tonic with cucumber and herbs, and other sodas such as Pink Grapefruit and Pineapple. Three Cents joined Cask Liquid Marketing’s portfolio in the UK last year.
If it’s important to you, and your customers, that the mixers you stock are doing what they can to make the world a better place, Lixir is worth your consideration. The UK-based mixer brand became B Corp certified late last year, a certification that covers various aspects of its social and environmental impact. The first premium mixer range in the UK to gain the certification, Lixir also works with water charity Just a Drop, is certified carbon neutral, and is certified by PlanetMark too.
The brand unveiled new packaging last year, covering its range of low-quinine, low-calorie and low-sugar mixers. There’s a variety of tonic flavours to choose from, starting with Classic Indian, and also featuring a Rhubarb & Ginger, Elderflower & Lemon and Pink Grapefruit Tonic. There’s also a Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer, as well as a Soda Water.
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Poachers Premium Irish Mixers
Irish mixer brand Poachers draws on local ingredients and flavours to create its range of tonics and other mixers. The range was created with the hospitality industry in mind – co-founder Brendan Colbert’s family have been involved in food and drink since 1812, when his ancestors set up a pub in a village in Wexford.
The range includes all the basics, such as tonic water, ginger ale and ginger beer, as well as a few original creations such as Poachers Wild Tonic, with Irish elderflower and lemon. There are plans for some additions this year, including a grapefruit soda.
Marlish Tonics & Mixers
Building on its spring water brand, as well as its flavoured spring waters, Northumberland-based Marlish unveiled a full range of tonics and other mixers last year, all made at Marlish Farm.
Among the noteworthy mixers in the range is Marlish Distiller’s Choice Tonic Water, said to have been created by master distillers to pair with premium gins, and featuring a straightforward combination of citrus and quinine notes. More adventurous is the English Tonic Water, with lemon and rose notes, and the brand’s Dandelion & Burdock Tonic Water.
New for 2023: Schweppes Soda Mixers
Launching in March 2023 (and available to try at Schweppes' stand at Imbibe Live) will be their new soda mixer range. Bringing a taste of summer all year round the range features two soda mixer flavours: Peach Coconut and Melon Watermelon.
Schweppes Melon Watermelon Soda has a fresh, fruity flavour with a dry and crisp finish, while Schweppes Peach Coconut Soda has a tropical peach flavour with subtle hints of coconut, finished with floral notes. Drop by the stand and sample Schweppes’ Soda’s signature serves – Watermelon Rouge Twist with Schweppes Melon Watermelon Soda, Gin, Campari and a Sprig of Rosemary and Peach Opal Fizz with Schweppes Peach Coconut, vodka and peach puree...they're like sunshine in glass!
The team at Swedish Tonic do things a bit differently – their Original Tonic has a touch of colour from its natural ingredients, unlike most colourless tonics out there. Then there’s the striking packaging, including some geeky information about the pressure that each mixer has been bottled at. The range itself features tonics in various flavours, such as Rosemary, Raspberry and Grapefruit, and there’s a range of tonic syrups too, with a variety of cocktail applications.
While many of the mixer brands on this list are primarily concerned with tonic water, Two Keys is dedicated to Pink Grapefruit Soda and, as a result, the Paloma. What was once a range of mixers is now wholly focused on this one soda, made with real Spanish grapefruit juice. If you’re making Palomas in your bar – and if not, why not – it’s worth considering this specialist brand. You’d be joining a list of venues that includes Sexy Fish, Soho House, The Coral Room and more.
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