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King of Soho freezes spirits prices

West End Drinks-owned The King of Soho says it has held its spirits prices since the UK government’s duty increase took effect, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

Alex Robson is co-founder of West End Drinks
Alex Robson is co-founder of West End Drinks, which owns the The King of Soho brand

In the 2023 spring budget, UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that tax on spirits would rise to 10.1% from 1 August, the largest duty hike in recent decades.

Alex Robson, CEO of The King of Soho, said: “I am proud to say that we’ve been able to hold our on-trade and off-trade pricing without changing the ABV of our spirits, without altering our recipes, and without changing our high-quality bottles in any way.

“Some have tried to adapt and modify their products or packaging to avoid losses because of this unwelcome hike in duty. Here, at The King of Soho, we’ve remained firm.”

The brand recently announced the launch of its first vodka, Copacetic Vodka. Made using English wheat, the vodka has an ABV of 40% and is distilled in small batches. Its tasting notes include toasted crumpet, apples, lemon zest and black pepper.

Copacetic Vodka joins The King of Soho’s other expressions, London Dry Gin and Variorum (Berry) Pink Gin.

The King of Soho London Dry Gin features 12 botanicals including juniper, coriander, grapefruit peel, angelica root and cassia bark.

The brand’s 700ml bottles have an RRP of £34.95/US$43 (London Dry Gin), £33.95/US$42 (Variorum) and £34.50/US$43 (Copacetic).

The King of Soho sells at high-end bars and other venues, and through online retailers including Amazon and Master of Malt, as well as Gerry’s Wines & Spirits.

“We’re conscious of our duty as a small, British, family-owned company to support the retailers and hospitality venues who have been loyal to us,” said Robson. “The brand was inspired by the original ‘King of Soho’, Paul Raymond, and because of our Soho heritage, we actively support the local community.

“We back Soho businesses by offering a trade discount as well as sponsoring community groups such as the Soho London Independent Film Festival.

“We may be expanding on the international front, but we believe that being true to our roots matters,” Robson added.

The London-based brand will celebrate its 10th anniversary next month. It takes its name from co-founder Howard Raymond’s father, Paul Raymond, who played a key role in the cultural development of Soho.

The King of Soho appointed JBE Imports as its distributor in January this year.

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