UK company launches ‘high strength’ CBD-infused cocktail bitters

A UK-based wellness company has started selling “high strength” non-alcoholic cocktail bitters infused with cannabidiol (CBD) to cater for a growing demand for cannabis-infused drinks.

A single measure of OTO’s bitters contains 50mg of CBD (Photo: OTO)

A single measure of the bitters (the company recommends this as three dashes) contains 50mg of cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant widely used in the health supplements industry, and fast becoming popular with drinks companies looking for ways to tap into a rising interest in low and no-alcohol beverages.

According to figures from the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of cannabidiol consumers in the UK doubled from 125,000 in 2017 to 250,000 last year.

The cocktail enhancer was developed by a team of industry leaders including food scientist, Dr. Ketan Joshi; Antonia Jamison, a founding director at Sipsmith Gin, managing director of OTO, Gemma Colao, and James Bagley, CEO of DMD Ventures, which owns drinks retailer 31 Dover.

The CBD is extracted from organically grown hemp plants, while the bitters are also infused with botanicals have been selected to “complement the effects of CBD”, such as: liquorice, cardamom, and cacao.

The resulting flavour profile is “herbaceous, citrus and with a hint of floral”, according to OTO, and can be used both to enhance traditional cocktails or as a functional and flavourful alternative to alcohol.

“The drinks market is entering a really interesting stage where the non-alcoholic alternatives are now just as exciting and complex as their alcoholic counterparts,” Antonia Jamison, director of OTO, said.

“However, just because people are adopting a more balanced approach to drinking, doesn’t mean that they don’t need a bracer to help them unwind and socialise. This is where OTO’s non-alcoholic CBD bitters come in.”

(Photo: OTO)

OTO has also recruited Camille Vidal, brand ambassador for St Germain and a partner in HealthyHospo – a non-profit organisation that promotes wellbeing for service industry workers – to create signature range of no and low-ABV cocktails with the CBD bitters, and run a number of events for both industry and consumers promoting the new product.

Vidal said the bitters allow bartenders to create “an enjoyable cocktail experience even when the customer isn’t drinking alcohol, making the cocktails delicious and with purpose.”

The company said it also plans to launch a line of 50mg CBD shots later this year.

The bitters are available to pre-order from OTO’s website, retailing at £98 per bottle, and will be shipped from 10 June.

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