Long Shot hard seltzers are a no-nonsense blend of fruit juice, alcohol and sparkling water. Having recently been given an Great Taste Award for their Raspberry and Blackcurrant Hard Seltzer, Long Shot are taking big steps into the growing UK hard seltzer market. Inspired by a booming drinks trend that’s been bubbling away in the US for the last few years, hard seltzers are now firmly in the mainstream, driven by a die-hard fan base, and a plethora of colourful options. Unlike a sugary cocktail or an uninspiring gin in a tin, hard seltzers are light, refreshing and full of flavour and exactly the sort of thing the Long Shot team had been looking to drink, but found that most were packed full of artificial ingredients and fake flavours.
Fuelled by a rebellious spirit, a thirst for adventure and a healthy dose of blind optimism, the founders quit their 9-5 jobs and set out to make their very own hard seltzer. After a bit of crafting and experimenting, Long Shot Drinks was born; a fruit-infused hard seltzer that’s low calorie, low sugar, vegan and gluten-free.
Hard seltzers first started making waves in the UK this Summer, as a lighter option for the modern-day drinker who is more conscious about what they’re drinking and how much of it. The UK has come a long way from the sticky and sickly alcopops of the 90’s, with the ready-to-drink market growing three times quicker than traditional off-trade options. Daring to branch away from the UK’s love of gin & tonics, the hard seltzer craze is just getting started, and it looks like they’re here to stay.
TechRound spoke to the founders of this new drinks brand to find out more…
Who are the Brains Behind Long Shot Drinks?
Not too sure about the brains part, but Long Shot is the tipsy love-child between old university mates George Blurton and Hugo Hodgson. We’d heard a bit about hard seltzers bubbling away under the surface, but it wasn’t until a chance trip to the US last year that we saw how huge it had become. We knew there and then that this was too good not to share with the fine folks back in the UK.
What Made You Want to Start a Drinks Company?
George had been working in craft beer for a couple of years and had seen how much passion and appetite there is out there for weird and wonderful drinks concepts. People love to try something new, so the more we thought about this new idea, the better it sounded! Making delicious, boozy drinks for a living seemed like a pretty sweet change from the corporate world for Hugo too. Once everyone caught wind of what we were doing we suddenly became everyone’s best friend, and the first name on the BBQ invite list; not too sure if that’s just because of the free booze though…
What Challenges Have You Had to Overcome as a Startup Drinks Brand?
How long have you got!?
Taking a leap and starting this business has been one massively exciting challenge for us and is actually where our name comes from. We brought forward our launch earlier than we planned (to May 1st), to try and bring people a slightly less calorific drink alternative whilst locked up at home. Launching in the middle of Covid went surprisingly well all things considered, but it did mean we couldn’t really get out there and spread the good word Long Shot in the way we’d have liked to.
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Why Alcoholic Drinks/ Hard Seltzers?
It’s always fascinating seeing what new trends are hitting the shelves in the drinks world so the more we learnt about this lighter new drinks concept, the more we saw it’s potential to really resonate with today’s more health-conscious, discerning drinkers, as soon as everyone starts understanding what ‘hard seltzer’ actually means! It’s a confusing term that come for the USA but it is simply just alcohol, fruit juice and fizzy water. Nothing else!
What Makes Long Shot Different to Other Hard Seltzers Out There?
There are some great new hard seltzers out there and we’ve loved spending some late nights ‘researching’ them all. But what sets us apart from the rest is our commitment to only using real fruit juice for our flavours, no artificial flavours of sweeteners, meaning they pour a distinct and unique colour, rather than transparent. They also only have five ingredients which is pretty low for an alcoholic canned drink.
Are We all Getting Fussier When it Comes to What We Drink?
I don’t think ‘fussy’ is the right word, but I do think people are thinking more about what they put into their bodies and that’s definitely a good thing! For some reason with alcohol, you don’t have to put the exact ingredients on the side of your drinks, which we think is really weird, so we proudly display exactly what goes into our drinks. More than ever people want to try something new, and like being the first to try something, which is great news for all new start-ups.
Does Longshot Being Healthier Open You Up to Any Additional Opportunities?
Whilst no alcoholic drink will ever really be ‘healthy’, we’re delighted to be able to offer a lighter kind of drink for a generation who still want to go out and have a drink but feel less of the guilt. Long Shot also helps to fill the gap for those people who might have intolerances such as Gluten, or perhaps they are trying to cut back on their sugar intake but don’t want to sacrifice drinking. Maybe you are none of the above and just fancy a refreshing drink.
Where Do You See Longshot in a Year?
We’ve already built up a loyal band of Longshotters, and the next year will all be about getting more cans out there to more great people and growing our tribe. We’d also like to look at experimenting with some new flavours as well, so stay tuned for that.
How Can We Find You and Order Some?
For all UK and Northern Ireland customers, the best place to go would be our website, where you can get a case of any flavour, or a mixed case to try them all out.
Visit Long Shot Drinks at https://longshotdrinks.co.uk/