A global movement towards healthier lifestyles and a desire to know more about what we are putting into our bodies has inspired London start-up ILLOGICAL DRINKS, an alcohol company made up of four drinks experts (see below), to release Mary, a deliciously fresh low calorie, lower alcohol botanical blend made with responsibly sourced garden herbs.
Sales of No alcohol and Low Spirit alcohol are growing rapidly, significantly outperforming the Total Spirits category in value sales. It is also forecasted to increase even more during 2020.
So, Mary has come along at just the right time!
At just 6% abv and only 9 calories per 25ml serving, Mary is the world’s first low calorie, lower alcohol botanical blend, perfect for those wanting to moderate their drinking but not give up alcohol completely. You would need to drink six Mary & Tonics to equal one Gin and Tonic!
By adding just a small amount of alcohol, Mary still has a sophisticated feel that elevates it above a zero-alcohol or soft drink option, but doesn’t carry the heavy effects of a traditional spirit.
From the very beginning, every effort was made to ensure that Mary was a responsibly produced delicious premium beverage that has a light touch on your body, mind and the world.
Mary’s deliciously fresh, but sophisticatedly dry taste is derived from sustainably sourced plants including basil, thyme, sage, coriander seeds, angelica roots, pine needles and juniper. It is designed to match perfectly with tonic water.
It is also vegan, sugar free, zero carbs and only 9 calories per 25ml serving!
The packaging is also 100% recyclable – using as little plastic as possible while actively looking for solutions to eliminate it altogether.
There are a lot of pressures in today’s world. People are making lifestyle changes – including what they are drinking. So far, many new drink options are focused on zero alcohol, but not everyone wants to be a teetotaller or have a full-strength drink.
Some people want to simply moderate how much alcohol they put into their bodies and balance their lifestyle – but most of all they want to feel good about their choices. We made Mary, a drink you can feel good about by being lighter on you and on the world.
We wanted to offer something different. At 6% abv and 9 calories per 25ml, there is no one like us out there. As the world gets back to a new normal, we wanted to release Mary now so that drinkers have another option – in between full strength and zero alcohol.
We have also just been shortlisted by Food Matters Live in their “New Drink of the Year” category, which is great news for us!
– Eric Sampers: Managing Director of ILLOGICAL DRINKS
How did they decide on the name ‘Mary’ – as opposed to any other name?
We wanted a simple name, easy to remember, English (as the brand is made in London), easy to understand in many languages and that would make for a good brand call (Mary & Tonic). We also thought: There’s enough booze brands called Jack, Johnnie, George, William etc.!
So Mary came up quite naturally and we like the fact that there’s a lot we can play with (Bloody Mary etc.).
– Eric Sampers
Mary is now available online at drink-mary.com, and on Amazon.co.uk at the end of September, at a retail price of £23.90 for a 70cl bottle.
How to drink Mary?
Mary’s taste is designed to go with tonic. Try it with soda for a lighter drink, or any of your other favourite mixes. Mary also works great in Spritz style recipes with Kombucha, ginger beer or tonic.
A mix of 1-part Mary, to 2 parts tonic water with lots of ice and garnished with cucumber & lemon thyme works very well!
Or maybe change the garnish to something savoury like sage and black pepper, or something citrusy like orange.
The folks at Mary have sent me some to try (thanks!) So, what did I think? Here are my tasting notes …
Tasting Notes: “Mary” – Low calorie, low alcohol botanical blend (6%)
Colour: Lime green!
Nose: Neat: Ginger & lots of it! Woody pine and savoury herbs.
Adding ice: herby citrus flavours – predominanetly lime.
Palate: With ice and the suggested tonic water: Very nice and refreshing with a big citrus hit! I also added some cucumber garnish which gives it a lovely clean, crisp, tasty edge. There’s also a little sweetness to compliment.
Finish: The herbs make it slightly savoury – akin to a good gin with lots of botanicals – which has bags of flavour and interest.
Overall: A light drink – without the heavy alcohol hit of standard strength drinks – which is actually very morish and refreshing!
Additionally, it doesn’t have that after-taste bitterness that you can often get.
All-in-all I liked it!
About ILLOGICAL DRINKS:
London start-up ILLOGICAL DRINKS is an alcohol company that wants people to drink less and drink better – for the first time in history that might not be so illogical. Started by four drink’s industry professionals and entrepreneurs, who want to quench the thirst of consumers who want to drink with a lighter touch on their body, mind and the environment.
Eric Sampers, Managing Director at ILLOGICAL DRINKS and former Global Brand Director of Beefeater Gin at Pernod Ricard, with over 16 years of international experience in the alcoholic beverage industry. Eric led the team that brought Beefeater back to double digit growth globally.
Angel Garcia, Business Development at ILLOGICAL DRINKS and former Marketing Manager of Beefeater Gin at Pernod Ricard with over 15 years experience in alcohol marketing, sales and distribution for Pernod Ricard across Spain, UK, US and other global markets. Angel led the development of Beefeater Pink – a strawberry flavoured gin that became one of the most successful NPD in Pernod Ricard history.
Michael Scantlebury – Marketing Director at ILLOGICAL DRINKS and founder of Impero, The Drum Creative Agency of the Year, with 15 years of global drink marketing experience across spirits, wine, beer and soft drinks.
Ade Chong – Design Director at ILLOGICAL DRINKS and a multi award-winning Design Director with 13 years of agency experience launching global brands. Recently named Campaign’s Future Leaders of 2019.