Nearly a year after its launch, Willow, the low-alcohol spirit from Ladies & Gentlemen bars, has reformulated to take advantage of the CBD boom and further boost its commercial potential by switching to just 0.5% alcohol.
Previously at 4.4% ABV, the apple spirit base of the drink now features a 15 mg broad spectrum CBD infusion which has been complemented with the addition of English strawberry juice. Its other ingredients remain pineapple, kaffir lime, cracked black pepper and cherry tomatoes.
Distilled to 80% ABV, the mix is then diluted down to 0.5% using natural spring water from the Lake District, creating a sophisticated drink designed for mixing with tonic or soda water. The reduction in ABV is a direct result of feedback from larger commercial partners Willow has recently entered discussions with.
The resultant liquid maintains the viscosity and citrus bite of its previous incarnation, but is now rounded out with a stronger fruit ‘punch’ and the added mellow smoothness of the CBD.
William Borrell, owner of Ladies & Gentlemen bars (and Vestal vodka) says the inclusion of CBD is a deliberate move to ‘game change’ the no and low-alcohol category:
“Dropping the ABV makes commercial sense; it’s what consumers want. However, we’re less about being evangelical and more about taking a distinctively laid-back and recreational approach to no/low – hence the CBD! There’s little or no point in trying to be preachy – people just want to chill out and enjoy an adult drink. By tapping into the benefits of the world’s most famous functional plant, Willow enables them to do just that.”
Borrell added that the brand’s marketing “Will reflect a more light-hearted and edgy attitude in this sector – and that includes the message across Social Media that Willow’s #ChillAF.”
Willow Low-Alcohol (0.5% ABV). RRP. £16.00/70cl. Stocking enquiries: www.chalierichards.co.uk