Top 10 spirits launches in March 2023
From drams to pair with your summer barbecue to boozy collaborations with iconic food brands – these were the hottest spirits rolled out in March.
As White Claw moved from hard seltzers into hard spirits, and an iconic 90s brand made its 21st century comeback, one celebrity singer released her debut gin brand, and a global fashion house moved into ready-to-pour cocktails.
Keep reading to learn about the top 10 spirits launches from March 2023.
Want to read about more product launches from this year? You’ll find the biggest launches from February here.
Cygnet 22 gin
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins OBE has performed on some of the world’s biggest stages, gracing our ears with beautiful melodies. But last month she switched up her sensorial offering with a gift for the tastebuds by launching her own gin – Cygnet 22.
“I love gin and I come from a family of lots of strong women who love their gin,” Jenkins told The Spirits Business in her first exclusive interview for the brand.
A key botanical used in Cygnet 22 distillation is Manuka honey, an ingredient Jenkins uses daily for its health properties. Other botanicals used include juniper, calendula, cassia bark, white peppercorns, bee pollen, lemon balm, sea salt, rose petals, hibiscus and heather. It sits at 44% ABV.
Pea Pod Vodka
British peas are at the heart of this new vodka from spirits distributor Ten Locks.
Pea Pod Vodka is inspired by nature, and rests at 40% ABV. Speaking to The Spirits Business, Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, explained that the pea was “chosen for its flavour characteristics, but also for the fact that peas are quintessentially British, growing plentifully right here in the UK.”
With sweet, vegetal pea notes and a touch of citrus, alongside light savoury tones and a ‘silky’ finish, Pod Pea Vodka intends to ‘reinvigorate the vodka category’ by offering a flavour-forward spirit. It is fermented, distilled once “to retain the flavour”, and bottled at Ten Locks’ partner distillery in Manchester.
Belvedere Miami Edition
LVMH-owned Belvedere welcomes you to Miami with its latest release: a bottling inspired by the Florida-based city’s coastal lifestyle.
The new bottle is the first from the brand to be based on a US location, and its design features pink and green colours inspired by the city’s ‘vibrant hues and sunny disposition’.
The bottle was released in time for Miami Music Week and ahead of the Ultra Music Festival, and the limited edition 1.75-litre bottle can now be ordered in Miami restaurants, bars and clubs.
Sangam Indian whisky
Radico Khaitan revealed Sangam World Malt Whisky, the latest whisky from India’s Rampur Distillery during ProWein last month.
Bottled at 43% ABV, the whisky officially launches this month, and will retail for RRP £54.99 (US$67) per 700ml bottle.
Tasting notes include aromas of tropical fruits, including lychee, green apple, pear and apricot. The palate is said to be ‘complex’ with more fruit and ‘delicate peaty and salty notes’. The finish is described as pleasantly long.
Louis XIII Rare Cask range
Rémy Cointreau-owned Cognac Louis XIII has unveiled 775 special edition decanters as part of its Rare Cask Collection last month, selected by cellar master Baptiste Loiseau.
Clocking in at 42.1% ABV, the Cognac is presented in 700ml bottles, and the striking decanters will be available to purchase globally from June 2023.
While the RRP has not been revealed, each of Louis XIII’s tierçons – handmade casks that are larger than a standard cask – are made from French oak trees that take over 100 years to reach maturity, and contain eaux-de-vie sourced from Grande Champagne’s terroir, so you can expect this to make for a special purchase.
Absolut x Heinz pasta sauce
Though not a typical product launch from the team at Absolut, this launch from the Pernod Ricard-owned vodka brand in partnership with Heinz certainly didn’t go unnoticed in March.
The Heinz x Absolut Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce has been inspired by a spicy vodka pasta recipe that went viral on TikTok and Instagram in 2020. The brands say the vodka intensifies the ‘rich and creamy tomato, basil and cheese’ sauce as when cooked, the vodka is reduced, boosting the flavour compounds in the tomatoes.
A limited number of Heinz x Absolut Vodka Pasta Sauce jars will be available to purchase in the UK from mid-April, priced at £2.50 (US$3) per 350g jar.
White Claw vodka
Having conquered the hard seltzer market, White Claw launched a range of premium vodkas and ready-to-drink canned cocktails last month.
White Claw Premium Vodka is the ‘world’s first’ triple wave filtered vodka – a process that uses ‘tremendous pressure’ that is said to be equal to three 30-foot waves to create a vodka with ‘distinctive taste, aroma, and smoothness’.
The brand’s Premium Vodka is made with 100% American grain and distilled five times in columns with copper plates, which is then filtered through activated carbon from charred coconut shells. The result is a minimal yet complex combination of aromas and sensations in the mouth and nose, with subtle initial notes of citrus, before leading into grain, before ending with a velvety finish.
Did someone say barbecue season? Oh yes – Ardbeg did, with the launch of its barbecue-inspired whisky, called BizarreBQ.
Created by the brand’s director of whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, the liquid boasts flavours of smoky barbecue with a ‘meaty, peaty punch’.
The innovative release clocks in at 50.9% ABV, and is a single malt that is said to complement both whisky making and barbecuing. On the nose, the whisky delivers aromas of charcoal and soot mingled with smoky wood and aromatic herbs and spices, while the palate presents flavours of barbecue ribs, ginger, and aniseed.
Elisir d’Elicriso by Gucci
Luxury fashion house Gucci released its first collector’s cocktail in partnership with Connaught Bar mixologist Giorgio Bargiani last month, called Elisir d’Elicriso.
The cocktail, which has now launched in the UK, was first presented in Italy last summer to celebrate the newly opened Gucci Giardino 25 bar in Florence.
“Elisir d’Elicriso encapsulates the flavours and aromas of our Tuscany, with a touch of faraway allure, for an elegant serve that captivates the palate and the senses,” said Bargiani. “I am very excited to see that this creation is now available in London, my second home.”
The 21% ABV cocktail is made with Tanqueray No.10 gin, 1757 Vermouth di Torino extra dry, Podere Santa Bianca Liquore No.4, Muyu vetiver gris liqueur, white balsamic vinegar, Podere Santa Bianca Elicriso essential oil, and Guidalberto Tenuta San Guido.
SunnyD Vodka Seltzer
Get ready for a 90s flashback with this ready-to-drink release, as last month orange juice phenomenon SunnyD made a 21st century comeback – with a twist.
SunnyD (Sunny Delight) unveiled to the US market a vodka-based hard seltzer, available now in select Walmart stores, priced at RRP US$9.99 for a pack of four 12oz (350ml) cans. Each can sits at 4.5% ABV and contains no sugar, and 95 calories.
“SunnyD Vodka Seltzer is meant to be enjoyed with friends, when it’s time to connect and chill out,” said Ilene Bergenfeld, chief marketing officer, Harvest Hill Beverage Company. “We have developed something we know adult SunnyD fans and hard seltzer enthusiasts alike will be proud to enjoy.”