All good to go!

There are few things in life less lip-smackingly refreshing than a quality cocktail or spirit mixed with that just-right, Goldilocks-effect accompaniment. With ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs), it’s easier than ever for shoppers to enjoy a taste sensation


Brand Central

25 August 2022 | 0

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We’ve all seen the influx of new ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) products that have hit Irish shelves in recent years. Considering the popularity of RTDs today, it can be hard to believe hard seltzers as a category did not exist in Ireland in 2019.

RTDs are unique in that they resonate with consumers across all demographics, thanks to their convenience, refreshment, and flavour. Now that RTDs have firmly established themselves in the market, they are beginning to evolve to include a wider array of more experimental and sophisticated spirits based RTDs and hard seltzers.

New figures compiled by Drinks Ireland show the RTD spirits category, which includes hard seltzers and RTD cocktails, took the global market by storm during the pandemic, with the volume of sales up by 14% in 2021 and 26% in 2020. A trend mirrored here in Ireland where last year, sales of cocktails and long drinks grew by 60% and hard seltzers were up by 46%. The majority of sales were imported RTD products, but a number of local producers have entered the market, with sales of Irish RTD brands up by 7.4% between 2020 and 2021.

For retailers, it’s certainly worth checking out the different brands and ranges available to ensure you don’t disappoint customers on the hunt for no-fuss premium refreshment.

Bring poitín to the party

Little & Green is made with two of Ireland’s leading poitín brands, Mad March Hare and Bán

Straight from the heart of Dublin, Little & Green is a new Irish drink that dares to bring poitín to the party with a bold approach. Inspired by local flavours tailored to an Irish palate, Little & Green’s sparkling canned cocktails are proudly made with poitín, created with the drink innovators at Bar 1661 and Craft Cocktails, for bold moments, on the go, cold from the can.

Ireland’s native spirit has a rollercoaster reputation – the drink of the people has a few stories to tell. Today poitín is an exciting craft spirit, driven by fierce and fearless poitín pioneers on the island. Little & Green dares to bring poitin back with a bang with this range of ready to drink cocktails made for a ‘no invitation required’ good time. Little & Green was created with the award-winning team at Bar 1661, home to the world’s largest selection of poitín and the palates behind the bestselling Irish brand Craft Cocktails. The name Little & Green references the corner where Bar 1661 is located, at the intersection of Little Britain Street and Green Street in Dublin 7, where the idea for the brand was born – to bring poitín to the people with an Irish statement that won’t blend into the background.

Made with two of Ireland’s leading poitín brands, Mad March Hare and Bán, the range launches with a pair of big on flavour sparkling cocktails. Sneaky Orchard is a refreshing Collins, a harvest festival of ripe pear, crisp apple, and elderflower flavours. Shady Bramble is inspired by Ireland’s deep, dense hedgerows and is bursting with flavours of wild juicy blackberry, raspberry, and violet.

Little & Green is proud to be the first range of canned cocktails to be made with poitín. They contain no artificial sweeteners and are vegan and gluten free with an ABV of 5%. Distributed by Intrepid Spirits, Little & Green is available from in 12 packs of 300ml cans priced at €42 with free shipping. Follow @littleandgreen on Instagram to stay in the know.

Sessionable above all else!

Southern Comfort is a unique blend of sweet spice and fruit notes with American whiskey

New look, same great taste! The refreshing taste of Southern Comfort is now available in a convenient, ready-to-drink format with Southern Comfort & Lemonade.

Southern Comfort & Lemonade takes one of the world’s most called for drinks and places it in the palm of your hand; ready to drink, and ready when you are. Consumers can simply enjoy it with ice or from the can straight out of the fridge. Refreshing and sessionable above all else!

Created in 1874 by legendary bartender M.W. Heron, Southern Comfort is a unique blend of sweet spice and fruit notes with American whiskey. The brand has been perfecting the recipe for over 140 years, so knows it tastes good! Southern Comfort originates from the city of fun itself, New Orleans, a place like no other; a city of optimism, creative self-expression, and togetherness where everyone is welcome and there is a party around every corner.

Crafting Southern Comfort for over 140 years, the team have been perfecting the recipe to create the unique blend of whiskey, fruit, and spices. Southern Comfort & Lemonade is one of four great flavours including Apple, Peach & Cola.

Offering something X-tra

A new 7% ABV drink, WKD X draws on the success of the energy drinks category, presenting a credible alcoholic option to 18 to 24-year-olds

WKD, the number one ready-to-drink (RTD) brand in Ireland, is launching WKD X, a new 7% ABV drink, containing caffeine, guarana and taurine.

Available in two variants, WKD X Blue and WKD X Gold, WKD X draws on the success of the energy drinks category, presenting a credible alcoholic option to 18 to 24-year-olds.

With energy drinks currently the fastest-growing segment of the soft drinks category**, SHS believes that WKD is perfectly placed to bring a highly regarded brand to the fledgling ‘enhanced RTD’ category.

“WKD is synonymous with delivering great flavours and even greater times,” says Brendan Loughran, head of Business Unit (Ireland) at SHS Drinks. “The brand has always been about delivering for different consumer moments and needs across a spectrum of usage occasions, and WKD X will take our offering to another level.

“WKD X is where the WKD brand meets the lust for life; it’s an energetic fusion of the best of both,” he adds. “Consumers are already well versed in mixing alcoholic drinks with energy drinks – what WKD X delivers is the convenience of a pre-mixed format, in a 500ml can, from a brand that consumers know and love. For wholesalers and retailers keen to focus on where incremental RTD category growth will come from, WKD X marks the spot and is available in trade cases of 12 x 500ml single cans.”

Cash and carry displays, off-shelf in-store features, extensive influencer activity and consumer PR will support the launch.

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack NI Take Home RTD volume (L) & value (£) MAT to 26.02.22)
**(Source: NielsenIQ soft drinks context report 14.08.21)

Shaking things up!

Available from Noreast Beers, the Shake Baby Shake cocktail range is an exciting new option. Inspired by the most loved cocktail liquids being served in the coolest bars, Shake Baby Shake delivers high quality cocktail liquids in an easy to drink, on the go sleek 25cl can with four fantastic flavours.

Perfect for meeting with friends in the park or beach or garden parties with BBQs, it’s available in Passionfruit Martini, Raspberry Mojito, Tropical Daiquiri and Watermelon Daiquiri varieties, which are all a must for the summer.

Back with a bang!

Also available from Noreast Beers, the legendary Hooch is back! Hooch has created what some have called ‘the beverage of the people’. An easy going, smooth drinking, no nonsense, boisterous alcoholic lemonade.

Hooch is a smooth drinking, no nonsense alcoholic lemonade

It’s available in two varieties:

Hooch Lemon: With very little change from the liquid that rocked the world of drinkers back in the 90s; Hooch Lemon gives a big sharp citrus hit followed by some sweet lemony goodness. This sparkling alcoholic lemon brew is made with real lemons and natural lemon flavours. Outrageously refreshing, it can be enjoyed ice cold or as the foundation for lemon-based cocktail.

Hooch Pink: A satisfying sweet alcoholic raspberry lemonade with that signature Hooch citrus kick. Made with real lemon juice and natural raspberry flavours. Deliciously, zesty, and tangy, Pink Hooch is a badass addition to the Hooch family, and the brand is confident it’s an absolute winner in the RTDs space.




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