This winter, I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party for local pre-mixed cocktail brand Tails Cocktails. This, however, was a launch with a difference – the Tails brand began back in 2008, but the head office has only recently moved from Birmingham to Bristol’s Colston Street.
Sales of the “authentic, full strength, bar quality cocktails” began two years ago when the brand made its debut in Selfridges, and since then has expanded to include Harvey Nichols, Heals and a range of bars amongst its stockists.
The business’ owner, Nick Wall, spoke on the night about his fondness for Bristol, having spent time in the city as a student at Bristol University. The brand’s presence in Bristol is increasing rapidly (London and Bristol are their prime markets, says Nick) with the Colston Hall, Racks, Luna and, of course, Harvey Nichols in Cabot Circus all stocking the range.
Tails is a far classier cocktail brand than the premixed options you normally see on the supermarket shelves. Using premium spirits and liqueurs, natural ingredients and no preservatives, they’re also stronger than most mass market offerings at 14-16% ABV – and the differentiation doesn’t stop there.
I absolutely love the packaging of these cocktails. While other brands use bottles or pouches as a vehicle for their drinks, Tails have opted to sell their range (both the original 500ml size plus the 150ml miniatures) in recyclable plastic cocktail shakers. To serve, simply chill, add ice cubes if you like, shake, and serve.
But what about the drinks themselves? I tried two varieties on the night, both of which I’d have been more than happy with if I’d bought them in a bar.
The Cosmopolitan, a classic blend of triple sec, vodka, citrus and berries, was served with an orange zest garnish and certainly packed a punch! I loved the fairly strong citrus flavours too. The Mai Tai was probably my favourite of the two, however: light and dark Caribbean rum, pineapple, almond and lime, served with a fresh mint garnish on the night: refreshing and very moreish.
The Elderflower Collins and an Espresso Martini complete the range – I’ve not yet tried either, but bought a gift box containing one of each of the four miniatures on the night to try at a later date.
A great gift for cocktail lovers, you can find the full range in the Bristol Harvey Nichols store, priced at £13 for a 500ml shaker or £4.50 for a 150ml miniature. The gift boxes are also now available, priced at £22. You can see the full range on the Harvey Nichols website by clicking here, and for more information about Tails, visit their website by clicking this link.