The Sunday Times Food


The Sunday Times Food

At first glance, the Smith & Sinclair bar in the John Lewis store in Westfield White City looks like any other drinking establishment...

The Sunday Times Food
Written by: Darren Wilson | Posted: 14 July 2018 | Modified: 25 October 2018

At first glance, the Smith & Sinclair bar in the John Lewis store in Westfield White City looks like any other drinking establishment. Take a closer look, though, and you’ll see that something’s different. Among the martinis and mojitos is a new kind of booze: alcoholic sweets.

“We make adult life more fun,” says Melanie Goldsmith, co-founder of the pop-up and online store. “Each of our gummies contains half a shot of alcohol. Flavours are carefully layered to create sweets with the same taste as cocktails you’d normally drink. You can’t drive after five of them, though!”

Sweets aren’t the only way to get deliciously tipsy: you can now buy chocolate espresso martini ice cream, bellini popsicles or gin-infused popcorn. There’s even prosecco jam, giving boozy brunch a whole new meaning.

These pairings are carefully planned and often a reflection of what’s popular at the bar. “Flavours are always riding on the back of trends,” says James Barber, from the online food store BoroughBox. It stocks more than 20 kinds of alcoholic condiments, including strawberry daiquiri jam. “The drinks industry has seen a huge spike in interest in prosecco, gin and rum. As people get excited about a taste or flavour, they look for new ways to enjoy it, such as in spreads.”

Are the days of the chocolate liqueur over? “They’re a bit outdated and don’t necessarily appeal to younger generations,” says Lee Caulfield, co-founder of the alcoholic ice-cream company Cheers. “Plus, there’s very little booze in liqueurs. Our mojito ice cream is 8.4%.”

Edible alcohol is even stocked in supermarkets. Since launching in 2014, the boozy ice-lolly brand Pops has sold 2m popsicles, including bellini and Pimm’s flavours. They can be found in the freezer aisle of Tesco and Ocado. “Our popsicles’ combination of classic childhood memories with the fun elements of adult life makes them irresistible,” says Pops’ Ellie Leek. Cheers to that.