Reviewed by Kathryn Carr
When it comes to having a drink in the house or choosing an alcoholic beverage to take to a party, I always seem to come unstuck. I enjoy a glass of wine, the occasional spirit and mixer but more often than not, I crave something different, more refreshing and a little exciting. When I’m out and about, I’m partial to a cocktail or two so when I heard about an offering from a company called Happy Down, I’m sure I heard the glasses in the drinks’ cupboard clink in excitement.
Happy Down have created what they call ‘crafted, sparkling cocktails’. Two guys fed up with the ‘samey’, artificial, somewhat unsophisticated selection of pre-mixed drinks on the market, did their research, a hell a lot of tastings and took a journey to create a new, grown-up, premium alternative.
The Happy Down collection offers three flavours and I couldn’t wait to try them out. The funky, colourful cans house equally colourful drinks; a pink lychee, guava and chilli concoction with real bite, a second pink number flavoured with raspberry, pomegranate and basil that offers a slow warmth and thirdly, an unusual, luminous green lemon, cucumber and mint offering that tastes fresher but just as tangy as it looks, with a mean mint zing.
All three of the Happy Down flavours feel unique and definitely less artificial than their closest competitors. Easy to drink and certainly full of taste, fortified wine is the alcohol component that gives these beverages their abv of 4%. If you’re not a huge fan of the taste of alcohol but fancy a drink, then Happy Down could be for you. Had it been a blind tasting, I’m not entirely sure I’d have been aware that they were alcoholic. Perfect for me.
The different and beautifully combined, all-natural flavours make an ideal drink for someone whose taste buds are partial to more complex, distinctive tastes.
I enjoyed my drinks poured straight out of the can – you can’t get easier than that. They can simply be served chilled or if you prefer, on the rocks. If you like to feel the alcohol in your drinks and you’ve got a favourite tipple that needs an accompaniment, any of the Happy Down collection makes for an unusually delicious mixer. I loved the lemon, cucumber and mint in my gin.
The cans are perfect for popping in the fridge and their colourful, arty designs make them intriguing, talking points when fetched to gatherings. If you’ve a cocktail fan or just someone who likes to try out new drinks to buy for, for Christmas, a Happy Down selection would make a much-appreciated gift.
These carefully hand-blended, pre-mixed drinks are following in beers’ footsteps down a route that leads to better craft products.
What’s more, these authentic tasting drinks are free from preservatives, are gluten free and contain just 44 calories per 100ml.
RRP: £2.00 for a 330ml can
You can buy Happy Down products in Tesco. Find out more at www.happydown.co.uk.