The Bartenders' Brand Awards, now in its fourth year, is CLASS’ annual product testing - by bartenders, for bartenders.
Next up is the highly competitive softs and mixers category.
The BBAs follows a three-step process to mirror buying behaviour, with each product blind-tasted, judged on value for money and finally by design. For more on the methodology behind the BBAs, read more here.
As last year, it was a ginger-based mixer that took the title of Category Champion. Double Dutch Ginger Beer took the top score on taste (natural ginger, spice notes, cardamom) achieving a strong silver medal (36/50). With a unit price of just RRP 78p for 20cl, the panel was even more impressed in the value for money assessment, giving the ginger beer the gold stamp of approval. It completed our three-step process with a silver medal for bottle design.
Last year’s champ, Fentimans Ginger Ale, took second for 2021, scoring a silver medal on taste (aromatic ginger and galangal) and following it up with silvers in value for money (£1.50 for its new 20cl bottle) and design for its classical looks.
Fever-Tree’s new White Grape & Apricot Soda made for an interesting new addition too the category, with judges picking up on “fresh stone fruit flavours” and immediately pairing it with Calvados. Joint second with Fentimans Ginger Ale and Bottle Green Ginger Beer on taste, Fever Tree’s new soda took silvers in all three measures.
Fentimans Rose Lemonade, combining citrus and rose oil, was a hit too, with bartenders recognising the style immediately and remarking at the product’s “balance”. The pink-hued lemonade saw silver medals achieved across our three assessments.
Double Dutch Cucumber & Watermelon completed our top five of what was a busy category, taking a silver for its delicate, fresh flavoured soda, with a high sliver on value for money and 30/50 on design taking it to 100 points out of 150.
Medal guide: Gold: 41-50/50, Silver: 31-40/50, Bronze: 21-30/50, No medal: 1-20/50