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Top 10 hybrid drinks

Pre-mix or “hybrid” drinks have been tipped to be the next big trend in the drinks industry, but which brands are at the front of this movement?

In a recent feature claimed that “hybrid booze” was one of the key drinks trends of 2013, writing that “almost all of the new hybrids are designed to target the nightclub scene.”

A recent report about hybrid drinks in Shanken Daily News, said that “one major player that’s found success in this area is Pernod Ricard USA with Malibu Red.”Josh Hayes, senior brand director for Malibu at Pernod Ricard USA, said: “We’re finding broad appeal, particularly with multicultural consumers.

“The idea that a product resides solely in one category is no longer true in consumers’ minds. People are more experimental than ever before.”

Whether this trend is an extension of the cocktail craze, or has come from people experimenting at home is unclear, but more and more drinks companies are bringing together drinks in hybrid brands.

As recently reported on UK distributor Bottle Green has made its first step outside the wine category by forming a partnership with pre-mix brand Nuba Cocktails.

Click through the following pages for our look at 10 hybrid drinks.

Malibu Red

When Pernod Ricard launched Malibu Red in 2012 it said that the drink would help “open up new opportunities for [Malibu] to be consumed, particularly in nightclubs.

Red is a blend of the coconut rum that is Malibu, with Mexican silver Tequila. For the launch Malibu established a global partnership with the R&B singer Ne-Yo, who “contributed with creativity to certain product development phases” and also to the brand’s “Smooth and Fiery” launch campaign.

The tagline “Taste the Smooth. Feel the Fire,” clearly generated good interest when the product was launched in the US as it has sold over 100,000 cases in its first 18 months on the market.

Desperados Tequila Beer

Another product that sees Tequila mixed with another drink in order to create, what has become, a popular hybrid drink.

This is possibly one that is the result of some home experimentation, which has been taken to another level. Desperados is a gold coloured, full bodied lager that has been given an extra kick by Tequila. Desperados was initially created by the Fischer Brewery in France in 1995 and is now sold in over 50 countries.

Courvoisier Gold

This is a combination of Courvoisier Cognac and French Moscato wine, offering “a smooth taste with notes of Moscato, honey, peach and floral orange blossom.”

This drink is actually the second hybrid to be released by Courvoisier, after it launched the Rosé drink 2011, which was a hybrid of Cognac and French red wine.

Gold was launched to make Cognac more approachable to consumers and it has a lower abv than Cognac, 18% as opposed to 40%, and van be served, chilled, on the rocks or in cocktails.

Megan Frank, director of Courvoisier at Beam Inc said: “Moscato is the fastest-growing wine varietal and mixed with Cognac, it provides a unique, smooth taste experience. We believe Courvoisier Gold will not only appeal to the many existing fans of our portfolio, but will also give new consumers a reason to try cognac for the first time.”

Absolut Tune

Another hybrid from Pernod Ricard, saw the drinks giant launch Absolut Tune, a combination of Absolut vodka and a crisp, sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The Absolut vodka for Tune is produced in Åhus in Southern Sweden using Absolut proprietary continuous distillation process and this was mixed with a sparkler from the Brancott Estate in NZ.

Tune can be drank as it is, chilled in a flute, or as a base in a cocktail, with Absolut recommending a splash of “a favourite liqueur such as raspberry, peach or blackberry.”

Bud Light Lime-a-Rita

As reported last month on, beer cocktails are becoming increasing popular and Budweiser have jumped on that trend with this drink.

Bud Light Lime-a-Rita is described as a “ready-to-drink Margarita with a twist of Bud Light Lime.” When launching the beer, Anheuser-Busch’s said that beer drinkers had been mixing Bud Light Lime into margaritas to create “beer ritas,” and so the company decided to simplify the process.

The Lime-a-Rita, which is 8% abv, was introduced in 2012 and earlier this year the Straw-Ber-Rita was launched, which combines Bud Light Lime with strawberry Margarita.

Kahlua Midnight

Kahlua Midnight is a hybrid of rum and coffee liqueur and it is lighter in colour and less sweet than the original Kahlua liqueur, it’s actually a stronger drink. The original is 20% abv, whereas Midnight is 35% abv.

Marketed as more of a shooter drink, Kahlua recommends that this drink is chilled before drinking. Some of the shooters recommended by Kahlua include mixing Midnight with Orange Curacao for a “Dark Side of the Moon”, the “Midnight Brew” shooter combines vodka and Guinness and the “Cherry Popper” combines vodka and cherry liqueur.

Wadworth Swordfish

Another beer hybrid, this one comes from the Wadworth Brewery in the south-west of England. This beer was developed to celebrate “100 years of naval aviation”.

Swordfish combines beer and Pussers Rum from the British Virgin Islands, which was the original Admiralty rum ration issued daily to sailors since 1665. The 5% abv beer has a deep copper colour, “with a gentle rum aroma and dark, unrefined sugar adding a rich smoothness.”

Twenty Grand Vodka

A belter of a hybrid drink, this really sounds like one to put hairs on your chest as Twenty Grand Vodka is a combination of vodka and Cognac.

US website said of Twenty Grand Vodka: “The cutting-edge mix offers a natural crossover to people who like Cognac and vodka since it tastes great neat or on the rocks.”

As well as being something that can be drunk straight up, Twenty Grand is also ideal for bartenders to use in cocktails, which takes us back to the original concept behind hybrid drinks, which was to extend brands into the nightclub scene.

At 40% abv it is a strong spirit drink, but most reviews do say that it is a “very smooth” hybrid, one review on warned: “It’s so smooth, but be careful, it will sneak up on you.”

Adam Carolla Mangria

The story behind this drink is that one evening US comedian Adam Carolla found himself half-a-glass short of red wine. Carolla wanted to fill in the space with an alcoholic beverage so he topped off his wine with a hefty pour of vodka. This created a strong and bitter drink so Carolla went to his fridge and added orange juice and other fruit to the drink and Mangria was born.

Before deciding to bottle and sell the drink, that recipe had to become firmer and the drink is now a mix of California red wine and “grape spirit”, with added fruit juices. At 20.9% abv it is much stronger than wine, but is said to be very easy to drink, which possibly makes it quite a dangerous drink. According to Esquire magazine, the strong but easy-drinking nature of Mangria has led to some fans calling it “college in a bottle”.


Possibly taking a lead from Absolut Tune comes, Nuvo, which is a combination of vodka and sparkling white wine. Nuvo is further infused with passion fruit nectar.

This combination “will dazzle your taste buds and delight your palette”, apparently. Again this liqueur has been designed as a drink that can be enjoyed straight up, but is also marketed as an ingredient for a wide of cocktails.

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