I was recently gifted a bottle of Aloha 65 to try to review. I had hoped it would encourage the summer on its way after the pretty poor start to the year. Did it?
Aloha 65 is the newest summer drink to grace bars everywhere. Described as ‘A drink so different, bold and unforgettable we couldn’t keep it to ourselves’ it is certainly unique. It’s a spirit drink infused with fresh pineapple, lemon, ginger, scotch-bonnet chillies and carefully selected herbs and spices. It doesn’t fit into any specific spirit category such as ‘gin’ or ‘vodka’, instead paving the way for a new brand of spirit… the ‘awesome’.
Stephen Thorp is the inventor of Aloha 65, created as a tonic for pals when he owned and ran a bar in the USA in the 1990s. But after revising the recipe during the lockdown, it proved to be a hit with friends getting together on video chats. Because it had been so popular, he decided to bottle the blend and Aloha 65 has now gone on sale.
Like gin, it all starts with a neutral grain spirit. However, rather than distilling it, they infuse it with raw botanicals, leaving each botanical to macerate slowly in its own separate spirit base to infuse before being blended together to create the unique taste. It took 65 attempts to get this right, hence the ’65’ in the name.
At 27% it doesn’t pack a punch, rather it warms the body slowly while giving all the summer vibes. For me there is nothing worse than the burning sensation of alcohol so this is perfect. Sweet, with a little hint of spice, it really is unlike anything I have ever tasted before. A quick mix with tonic or lemonade, and a slice of pineapple, and you have the quickest cocktail known to (wo)man. It is also vegan and gluten free, ticking another box for drinkers.
I also believe that the infused botanicals left over from bottling the spirit are the base for the Aloha hot sauce, ensuring no wastage and even more innovation in terms of product.
The Aloha 65 works really well in any drink. Whether you like a shot, a long drink or even as a prosecco topper, this worked. I love the fact that Aloha creators have designed a cocktail booklet so that you can really experiment with creating your own masterpiece. It is bold, fun and worked especially well with ginger beer, adding some more heat to the already chilli infused spirit. Sunshine in a bottle.
As well as buying just the bottle, you can also buy gift packs, glasses, merch and hot sauce. One of the gift boxes would work fantastically for Father’s Day, the BBQ gift box. You receive a 70cl Aloha 65, along with 2 cans of Schweppes ginger ale, a bottle of spicy sauce, a spicy pineapple ‘detonator’ basting brush, bbq tongs, and a citrus reamer. You also get a cocktail guide so that you can create some wonderful cocktails from your own kitchen table. You can find more info HERE. Al for the sum of £35, what a bargain! They also do a ‘beach gift box’ containing a 70cl Aloha, ginger ale, a beach towel, bag and playing cards. I think these are really great gift bags and would be very happy if I recieved one.
I really enjoyed trying out Aloha. It is different to anything I have ever tasted and works really well no matter how you drink it. It is refreshing, fun, bold and bright, and immediately made me think of summer. Even though the weather hasn’t been great until the last couple of weeks, I still sat in the garden on the patio, soaking in the sun through my mouth. Would I buy this again? Yes, and I would certainly try a wider variety of cocktails with it too.