Craft start-up launches CBD rum and gin into UK market

Craft spirit start-up Top Beverages has launched its first spirits, a gin and a rum infused with CBD – but each bottle costs more per ml than the majority of the most expensive gins on the UK high street.

Top Beverages is aiming to disrupt the ‘staid’ gin and CBD market with its new CBD spirits

The new drinks, which are distilled in small batches in Scotland, comprise a 54.4% Navy Strength CBD Craft Gin, which is distilled with juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelic root, orris root, elderflower, lemon and lime peel, Valencian orange, and a navy strength CBD Craft Spiced Rum, spiced with cassia bark, orange peel, ginger and Indian vanilla pods.

Both drinks contain 10 mg of premium full spectrum CBD (Cannabidiol), the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and are bottled in heavyweight Italian glass bottles, and has a recommended retail price (RRP) for £30 for a 100ml bottle.

The hefty price tag is almost three times the price per ml of Waitrose’ most expensive gin, Beefeater Burrough Reserve, which retails for £75 for a full-size 70cl bottle, with nearly half (36 out of 74) of Waitrose’s extensive online gin collection retailing for £30 or less for a full 70cl bottle.

However, the company, which was founded in January this year by former music marketing executive Saf Ali and US-born lawyer turned entrepreneur Nicholas Pullen, said the drinks and packaging were very high quality, navy strength and the CBD gave them a unique selling point in the market.

Aiming at the luxury market, and primarily focussed on selling the products online, the drinks are intended to “disrupt two staid markets– spirits and CBD”, it said.

“We have a created a brand new marketplace that heretofore never existed,” Ali said.

“In the spirits and CBD world everything more or less looks and feels the same, or companies are simply chasing fads. We embrace classic ideas of simplicity and minimalism and combine them with elegance and artistry, because we know through personal experience that consumers are willing to pay for originality and true craft quality.”

However Ali added the gin could sit with “the best out there in the market, with or without the CBD”.

“Its authenticity comes through in every aspect of its robust taste, created with natural ingredients, Navy Strength ABV, and a dose of CBD,” he said.

The last 12 months has seen a slew of international companies jump on the CBD-infused drinks band wagon and the US market has been tipped to top the US$1 billion mark within four years, according to a report out in February.

Earlier this month, Cornish spiced rum brand Dead Man’s Fingers announced it was launching one of the drinks industry’s first hemp rums in the UK, which will retail for £22 for a 70cl bottle, while UK-based wellness company OTO started selling “high strength” non-alcoholic cocktail bitters infused with cannabidiol (CBD) in May.

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