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New cocktail mixers from Sekforde and Funkin

Funkin and Sekforde have released new mixers, featuring skinny alternatives and botanical inspired offerings.

Two entrants to the skinny cocktail market have been introduced by Funkin. Its Funkin Skinny Mojito and Funkin Skinny Sex on the Beach mixers offer under 100-calorie cocktails when used with its recommended spirit.

The range is available this month across the on-trade.

Initially launching with skinny versions of Mojito and Sex on the Beach, the mixers are formulated with Stevia, a zero-calorie sweetener extracted from natural sources. These new products enable Funkin to deliver top-quality mixers from all-natural sources responding to increasing consumer demand for low-calorie cocktails.

Funkin claim that more than half of UK cocktail consumers know the term ‘skinny cocktails’ and 29% prefer to order a skinny cocktail.

Funkin Skinny Mojito uses Persian limes from Mexico and aromatic English mint and Funkin Skinny Sex on the Beach uses oranges, cranberries and peaches, with Sicilian Lemons.

Funkin managing director, Andrew King, says: “Funkin’s Skinny Cocktail Mixers are an exciting addition to the existing range of award-winning mixers for the on-trade. These great-tasting mixers do not compromise taste and have been carefully crafted with the finest ingredients from all-natural sources. The new range of Skinny mixers provides operators with the opportunity to offer low-calorie versions of the UK’s most popular cocktails allowing them to capitalise on this growing consumer trend.”

Funkin’s Skinny Cocktail Mixers are available in packs of six, one litre cartons. Each carton has an ambient shelf life of up to twelve months unopened and ten days in the refrigerator once opened. All feature no artificial colourings, flavourings, preservatives or sweeteners.

Sekforde has also revealed its new additions to the market, with the launch of Sekforde Bespoke Botanical Mixers.

The all-natural mixers are designed to complement the flavours of rum and whisky without overpowering their character, helping operators capitalise on the continued strong growth of premium spirits in the on-trade. Family-owned start-up business Sekforde is targeting both pub and bar groups and independents.

Sekforde for Rum is made with aromatic lime, while Sekforde for Whiskey includes delicate orange. Both use a subtle, balanced blend of natural botanicals and English spring water, with each lightly carbonated 200ml serve containing fewer than 40 calories. That means customers stay under 100 calories with a standard spirit single and under 150 calories with a standard double. They also come in well below the proposed sugar tax threshold, with no artificial sweeteners, flavours or preservatives.

The two recipes were created on Sekforde Street in London, giving the business and brand its name. Founder Talula White's husband Tom originally combined fruit and herbs with natural spring water to develop mixers which are as refreshing when combined with dark spirits as tonic water is with gin.

Talula White says: "Sekforde mixers are the first to be individually designed to complement and enhance the flavour profiles of rum and whiskey, not crowd them out. Creating a bespoke mixer for each spirit, as well as developing new flavour combinations, is a genuine innovation and reflects people's increasing desire to enjoy the flavour of craft spirits in new ways."

"Unlike tonic waters, there is no quinine in our recipes. Without the need to balance this strong flavour, we use less than half the sugar found in a conventional mixer."

White adds: "Our taste trials show that consumers welcome new ways to enjoy dark spirits, especially with new and interesting botanical flavour combinations, rather than drowned in sugary cola or ginger ale. For operators, we're expanding the serves for rum and whiskey - including both bourbon and Scotch - and the occasions when they can be enjoyed.

"Our approach is to honour the traditions and dedication which go into making premium whiskey and rum by pairing them with our dedicated Sekforde mixers, crafted with the aim of enhancing the beautiful flavour profiles in these spirits we love."

Taking bar staff skills and speed of service into account, Sekforde is as easy to mix behind the bar as a G&T, creating a refreshing long drink in seconds, with the sophisticated profile of a cocktail in a simple serve. Branded glassware and POS promoting the serves are available.

20 February 2017 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, news editor