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April Fool’s Day: best and worst spirits pranks

From an XO rum liqueur aged in coconuts to a dog-friendly cocktail range, these April Fool’s Day jokes aren’t fooling anyone (we hope).

Mr Dogg's
A dog-centric bar is among some of the questionable press releases that landed in our inbox…

It’s the one day – or morning – of the year where paranoia runs high among media professionals. Every press release that pings into the inbox must be carefully assessed: is this real news, or an April Fool’s prank?

Year after year, brands, bars and blogs team up for some light-hearted trickery for April Fool’s Day on 1 April.

This year, we’ve seen everything from a dog-centric bar opening to a coconut-matured XO liqueur.

Scroll down to read some of the best (or worst – you decide) April Fool’s pranks in the drinks trade this year.

Malibu XO

Malibu-XO-Mark-FrancisPernod Ricard-owned Malibu tried to pull the wool over our eyes with a Malibu XO expression – a ‘must-have collector’s bottle’. The limited edition XO bottling was matured for 12 years in coconuts – yes, coconuts – said to have imparted ‘incredible depth of flavour’.

TV star Mark-Francis Vandelli (pictured), of Made in Chelsea fame, got in on the action: “I am delighted to announce the launch of a much-anticipated product. A drink for only the finest connoisseurs. A story so enchanting it appears entirely make-believe.

“Aged for 12 years in a temperature-controlled environment within coconut caskets, Malibu XO is the first and only liquor of its kind.”

Malibu XO is limited to 100 fictitious bottles, priced at £104 (US$135) each.

Marnie Corrigan, brand director at Pernod Ricard UK, added: “We’ve been working on this new expression behind the scenes for a while now and are thrilled to finally be able to announce the addition of XO to the Malibu family.

“As Chelsea royalty, we thought Mark-Francis was the natural choice to gift a bottle to, freshly delivered from the Caribbean, and we can’t wait for others to try it out. Whether you’re already a Malibu fan, or looking for something a little more luxe, Malibu XO is a deliciously decadent drink to savour this spring.”

We’re not so convinced…

Mr Dogg’s

Mr Dogg's spiritsInception Group, the company behind much-loved London bar chain Mr Fogg’s, has, apparently, opened a dog-friendly, experience-led cocktail bar in Mayfair.

Designed to be the ‘most dog-friendly bar in the UK’, Mr Dogg’s apparently follows the same adventurous, eclectic design the Mr Fogg’s venues are renowned for.

The ‘dog-tail’ menu serves canine pals everything from the Paw-Star Martini, the Woofsky Sour, and Barkardi Mojitos.

Charlie Gilkes, co-founder and director of Inception Group, said: “I am so excited to finally be able to combine my love of hospitality with a love of animals, and open Mr Dogg’s.

“Our pets got so bored during lockdowns, and it’s great to be able to open up a space for them to socialise and enjoy some delicious drinks.”

Pinkster Snifter

Pinkster Snifter April Fool'sThe Pinkster team has perhaps been sipping a little too much gin in the lead up to April Fool’s Day. Ever heard of ‘bluetooth nosebuds’? Us neither – until now.

The gin brand teased us with the Pinkster Snifter Bluetooth nosebuds, designed to help fans ‘sniff’ out the perfect Pinkster and tonic, registering both alcoholic strength and suitability of garnish.

The nosebuds can(not) be connected to a smartphone app using UBnNAD technology (analysing UVB light and natural aromatics detection). Hang the ‘Snifter’ nosebud on the glass, and watch the screen as it reveals the results. Pinkster Snifter is (not) ‘available in all good bars’.


Myxd Pet CocktailsAt-home cocktail deliveries and subscription services have soared in popularity because of lockdown. And with the popularity of pet-friendly tipples such as ‘puppucinos’ and ‘pawsecco’, we were disappointed to see Myxd play on our April Fool’s Day paranoia with its latest ‘release’.

Pooches and pets were once again the target of this April Fool’s Day prank: a home-delivery cocktail range for cats and dogs.

Grant Murray, Myxd co-founder, said: “I’ve been making cocktails for humans for so many years now, so it really feels like the right time to embrace a new challenge. Cats and dogs are a huge part of our families, but we know not all pubs are pet-friendly, so it seems only fair that they get to enjoy the luxury of cocktails at home too.

“At Myxd we’re known for our big, bold flavours – so for our new animal-friendly range, we’ve married some fur-miliar pet food tastes with fresh fruit to give them a real zing. When we set our mind to a new cocktail concept, anything is paws-ible.”

So what will your pets be ordering? Perhaps the Kitty Kat Kosmo, a ‘tantalising’ blend of blueberries and salmon. Or maybe the Old Fashioned Rover, a ‘rich, meaty beef gravy with a hint of tropical banana’, or Feline Fury, a ‘delectable’ pairing of fresh watermelon with the ‘intensity of tuna’.

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