Health bodies have slammed the burgeoning number of food-flavoured drinks hitting the market, accusing the drinks world of ‘misleading the public’, ‘cynical marketing’ and ‘making utter shite’.
‘I’m sorry,’ said Dr Pan Creatitis from the world Hysteria Organisation (WHO), ‘but there’s just no way that you should be making a hard seltzer flavoured with hot dog water.
‘And as for crab-flavoured whisky… we can only hope that there is a special circle of hell reserved for the numpties who came up with that one.’
Drinks producers, however, were standing by their new creations.
‘We’ve done everything we can with all the boring stuff like base ingredients and ageing,’ said Steve Rampage, whose Roquefort-flavoured brandy, Louis Cheeze, launched last week.
‘This is literally the only way to make something new.’
The fact that the food-flavoured variants were broadly undrinkable was, he said, not a problem because ‘by the time people find out, we’ve got their money and it’s too late.
‘I think it’s known as caveat vomitor in business circles.’
Meal in a glass
Market Research group Boozalysis told Fake Booze that the new food-flavoured drinks are giving producers some interesting opportunities.
‘We’ve seen them moving into the food space and marketing themselves as a meal,’ said Polly Prolix. ‘So you could have crab whisky with a corn-flavoured RTD and cabbage beer to make a kind of ‘meat ‘n’ two veg’ in liquid format.’
Others, she said, were mixing drinks to create actual dishes.
‘Apparently it’s possible to make a passable lobster bisque using seafood whisky, cream liqueurs and the right amount of pepper vodka seasoning,’ she said. ‘Though I haven’t tried it myself because I’m not an idiot.’
Putting the ‘lav’ into flavoured
Most high-profile of the latest food-infused drinks has come from Swedish vodka giant, Absolut.
Described as a ‘tribute to Nordic peasant culture’ Absolut Garbyj is flavoured with old turnips and cabbage.
Owners Pernod Ricard say it is best sampled ‘in small quantities or not at all’ or mixed with your sink’s disposal unit. But is proving highly popular with students as a punishment drink, and in Germany where people are used to food that tastes bad.
Cote (de boeuf) Rotie
While food-flavoured spirits and beers are well-established, wine equivalents have been more controversial, particularly the launch of a steak-infused Vin de France earlier this year.
Heralded as ‘a perfect food and wine match in a glass’ it was slated by sommelier groups who claimed that the steak was ‘imperfectly cooked’, ‘the wrong cut’ and ‘an unimaginative pairing in any case’.
‘The whole concept of creating pre-matched food and drinks is a disgrace,’ said Pierre Tire-Bouchon of the Global Association of Sommeliers (GAS). ‘It completely removes one of the key skills of our profession.
‘Namely: suggesting overpriced and unsuitable wines to people who don’t know any better.’