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The best drinks-based April Fools in 2019

World’s first traditional method sparkling wine bottled under screwcap launches

First up in this year’s list is Hampshire winery Hattingley Valley, who claim to have launched the world’s first traditional method sparkling wine bottled under screwcap closure.

Using new “screwcap technology”, the seal is able to withstand up to 50 bar of pressure, apparently.

Head winemaker, Emma Rice, commented: “Innovation has always been widely encouraged at Hattingley and for the past two years we have been working in close partnership with leading industry scientists to ensure the bottle and closure can cope with the pressure of traditional method production processes.”

Simon Robinson, owner and chairman, added: “Some people report difficulty in opening cork with wire-hood closures on sparkling wine so this scientific development, whilst controversial, will make it easier for everyone to enjoy our award winning wine. The scientists behind the invention ensure us that the closure can withstand up to 50 bar of pressure – now that will get the party started with a bang!”

Anti-theft glitter technology for whiskey unveiled

We all know the Jameson Caskmates range, but the Irish distiller is bringing something new out of the bag this April Fools Day. Launching a new ‘anti-theft glittershot technology’, the brand says the concept was born out of the belief that whiskey should be shared and not stolen.

With one twist of the cap, thieving friends will be covered in a spray of green glitter. Users need only switch the cap to ‘Glitter Shot Active Mode’ and watch as over “10,000 local, hand-crafted emerald green glitter particles,” that have been selected by Jameson’s distillers, shoot out of the cap, ensuring maximum coverage.

The Jameson Catchmates technology is capable of emitting the glitter via a carbon-loaded spring at a speed of 10 metres per second.

Beer Goggles Breathalyser App launches

Stag do organiser StagWeb has launched an app to help remedy alcohol-fuelled decisions that are later regretted in the morning. The app tells users how drunk they are and “informs them whether they are in any fit state to judge a potential sexual partner’s suitability”.

Users must first breathe into their phone’s microphone port, after which the app will then measure the alcohol content in their breath.

StagWeb’s head of operations Steve Roddy said: “As weekend specialists we know the devastation that can be caused when men and women are blinded by their beer goggles and come to do something (or someone) that can’t be ‘undone’. We believe that at £1.49 the app is so much cheaper than a getaway Uber or buying the silence of the one mate who saw you leaving the club with Ugly Betty’s less attractive sister.”

Gin for dogs flavoured with haddock launches 

Chilgrove Spirits is launching its K9 Edition Gin today, available exclusively from pet shops nationwide.

Inspired by thirsty team member Yossarian the labrador, the distiller decided collaborated with veterinary scientist Dr Joy Long-Kin from the Gal Shu Institute in Shanghai.

Made without ethanol and other substances harmful to dogs, the ‘gin’ is flavoured with juniper, coriander, lime, kibble and haddock.

Co-founder of Chilgrove Spirits, Dr Celia Beaumont-Hutchings, commented: “Exactly one year ago today, our beloved Labrador Yossarian (@thegindog) joined the Chilgrove Spirits team. Since then he has devoted much of his time to trying to steal gin.

“We initially considered wasting a lot of time and effort on attempting to train him but decided instead to come at the problem from a different angle.

“So, with the help of leading veterinary scientist Dr Joy Long-Kin from the Gal Shu Institute in Shanghai we set about developing a new gin, designed purely for dogs. Our real breakthrough was discovering that we could tweak the distillation process by using the lesser-known Allis Proof method and therefore ensure that there are no compounds in the resulting liquid that could be harmful to dogs, such as ethanol.”

Chilgrove recommend serving the tipple either in a bone-dry Martini or shaken over chicken stock ice cubes before straining into a chilled Mason Cash dog bowl, garnished with half an apple core. The ‘gin’ can also be consumed by guinea pigs, horses and rabbits.

Limited-edition crocodile tears gin hits the shelves

While the gin world is no stranger to ‘animal tears’ and other bizarre ingredients, but sadly the latest release from Manchester’s Disbury Gin is not real.

The distiller claims to have teamed up on a new exotic sip which is flavoured from hand-foraged crocodile tears imported from Australia.

Tears from 13 different species of crocodile have been used in the spirit, which is described as “sharp and slightly salty”.

According to the brand the “tears foraged from the crocodiles are only ever tears of joy or happiness which means the new expression is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.”

Liam Manton, co-founder of Didsbury Gin, said: “My mum’s uncle lives in Perth so we got chatting to him about how we could make this happen, and he offered to forage the tears from his local reptile park. He has been making the crocodiles at West Australia Reptile Park cry tears of happiness every Tuesday, before we import them back here to Manchester to create the gin.”

Mark Smallwood, co-founder of Didsbury Gin, added: “Jimmy Nail’s 90s hit Crocodile Shoes recently made it’s way onto the office playlist, so this feels like a natural progression.”

Smashed avocado tonic water released

British soft drinks brand Lixir Tonic decided to make light of the millennial obsession with avocados with a fake product launch.

Set to “smash the competition out of the (tonic) water” , the new tonic water has a nutty aroma and a butter finish, pairing particularly well with gin and brunch dishes, including charcoal-activated pastries – yes, they do exist.

Using “the ripest Peruvian avocados”, Lixir adds lemon peel and cayenne pepper to the mix to create a “truly robust tonic”.

Jordan Palmer, co-founder of Lixir Tonic, said: “We’re always working to come up with innovative new flavours for our range and we can’t wait for customers to taste the fruits of our labour with this one. Some may think we’ve gone gin-sane, but in our eyes this is a fantastic way to ‘pip’ up the classic G&T.

What’s more, with millennials getting stick for wasting money on ‘trendy foodstuffs’, we can now offer the perfect way for them to have their avocado and drink it too.”

Lewis Hayes, manager at Merchant House of Bow Lane, added: “We can’t wait to start Smashed Avocado tonic to our customers. We know other bars will be green with envy when they see millennials queuing out the door to order this”.

Actor Jack Black appointed brand ambassador for Scottish craft brewery

Edinburgh-based craft brewery Stewart Brewing has appointed actor, musician and “self-confessed Stewart Brewing fanboy” Jack Black as its new brand ambassador, and has also named a beer in his honour.

Known for his roles in films including School of Rock and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Black has endorsed the brewer’s beer and will be visiting the brewery in June to film a series of promotional videos.

Stewart Brewing is also planning a meet and greet opportunity at the brewery’s taproom.

Co-founder of Stewart Brewing, Jo Stewart, said: “We are so excited about our new partnership with Mr Jack Black. It’s always exciting to get a celebrity endorsement, but with someone so famous, we felt the need to go that extra step further, and rename his favourite beer after him!”

Raspberry-flavoured dissolvable gin tablets launched

No strangers to the April Fools Day round-up, Cambridgeshire’s Pinkster Gin has once again pulled out all the stops with its Pinkster Phizz, a raspberry-flavoured dissolvable gin tablet.

The pocket-sized tube is available for £45 for 15 tablets.

Will Holt, director at Pinkster gin, explained: “After months of studious experimentation, working in conjunction with local university colleagues, our in-house research unit has developed what we believe to be a world first in ginnovation.

“This followed focus group research showing that the time-pressured, modern consumer, with a short attention span, increasingly seeks instant gratification. Many confessed to juniper cravings on-the-go, whether at their desk, out shopping, at the cinema or during school plays.

“Condensing the delicate flavour of Pinkster with its raspberry notes into an effervescent tablet format was extremely challenging but, by jove, we’ve cracked it.”

The Wine Society abandons tasting notes in favour of interpretative dance 

In an effort to make its wines more accessible, co-operative UK wine merchant The Wine Society has taken the unusual step of moving from tasting notes to interpretative dance.

In a statement on Twitter, the merchant wrote: “After 145 years of writing tasting notes, we have decided a rebrand is long overdue. Interpretive Dance will now be used to convey wines’ aromas and flavours instead. We hope you find this development inspiring and that you enjoy the new note for our California Old-Vine Zinfandel.”

See below for the video of someone cavorting in a purple morph suit…

Bin Laden Vineyard falls into disrepair

Image: The Onion

According to US satirical news sites The Onionthe Bin Laden Vineyard, once owned by the late al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s family, has fallen into disrepair.

Resident Harriet LaHood told the site that the 72-acre property, based in the Napa Valley and known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and lively polo matches, “produced some of the finest Napa Valley wines”.

“It’s a shame to see such an astounding institution wither away due to our neighbour Osama’s passing,” she added.

“Osama began learning how to tend the grapes when he was just three years old, with his father hoping that one day the boy would become a legendary vintner in his own right. Unfortunately, that legacy came to an end not long after the bin Ladens won the Wine Spectator Readers’ Choice Award for best Merlot back in ’09.”

Sources told The Onion that they were hopeful that the vineyard’s fortunes could be reversed after spotting Osama’s son Hamza bin Laden assessing the vines accompanied by a group of men carrying Kalashnikovs.

SodaStream and astronaut Scott Kelly release new technology which turns excess CO2 into sparkling water

Called SodaStreamMe, the new device allows users to carbonate their drinks simply by blowing into it. The device is being marketed as a cure of people who suffer from excess gas. Fans can also purchase a snoring adapter for the device.

Kelly later explained that burping in space is actually impossible.

Matti Yahav, chief marketing officer at SodaStream, said: “April Fools’ pranks have become a SodaStream tradition. We took this one to the next level by rooting it in scientific research conducted with a legendary astronaut, making the prank more credible. Unfortunately it’s not real – we can’t solve your gas issues – but with SodaStream you can definitely make sparkling water at the touch of the button while caring for the planet.”

Scott Kelly, engineer and former astronaut, added: “Excess CO2 is a real issue in space and this could have been a life-saver had it actually existed. I’m thrilled to partner with SodaStream on this prank because one thing you learn from living in space for as long as I did is you have to have a sense of humour. I hope everyone gets a nice chuckle out of this video, I know I did making it.”

English vineyard launches left-handed screw tops

Like Hattingley Valley, Hidden Spring in East Sussex has also released a closure-related April Fools. As it gears up for the bottling of its 2018 still wines, it has revealed that it’s fitting 10% of its bottles with left-handed screwcaps. The bottles will be available on request.

App developed that uses facial recognition to match drink to mood

Drinks delivery service Drinkly has developed facial recognition technology that matches your drink to your mood.

The Edinburgh-based start-up said the software uses biometric markers to detect multiple facial expressions including happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, fear and disgust as well as friskiness, humourlessness and foolishness.

The algorithm used by the app takes into consideration your daily screen time average as well as other factors including day of the week, time of day and the weather forecast/

John Robertson, founder and CEO of Drinkly, said: “Sometimes I just don’t know what I want [to drink] and this app removes all that time wasted procrastinating when your order could have been delivered by the time you got round to deciding – our average delivery time is just 31 minutes!

“This app can read your mood better than you can and we’ve road tested it on a number of people – hard to believe but there’s a lot of frisky fools out there who were delighted when their chilled mimosa pack arrived!

“We want to get to the stage where our tech can read people’s minds by getting under the skin of what’s going on under our skin.”

Tablets that turn water into wine launched

Boozy sweets specialist Smith & Sinclair have joined Pinkster in the fizzy tablet April Fools game this year.

Having launched tablets that turn Prosecco into a cocktail in October last year, they decided to turn water into wine for April Fools.

The tablets are allegedly made using the freeze-dried waste from a Merlot wine barrel. The tablets also claim to contain the sugars and yeasts required that “allows fermentation to happen in a matter of minutes not days”.

Despite being fake, the company has already had over 100 enquiries from people fooled by the prank.

And finally…Prince Charles unveils plans for eco-distillery at Clarence House 

Drinks companies aren’t the only ones sending out April Fools. Today, we decided to give it a try. Did you fall for it?

While we wish it were true, Prince Charles is not, to the best of our knowledge, building his own eco-distillery to power the Royal Family’s fleet of cars. Nor is he considering to release his own whisky, though we can imagine that the concept of musical maturation would appeal to him.

Read our full story here. 

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