Diageo may be planning to launch “sparkling spirits” in the UK after applying to patent a method of making spirits naturally sparkling. It is similar to the system used to put bubbles in Champagne.
The drinks giant says that it is committed to developing innovation where a clear opportunity exists and that it invests a significant amount of money on new product development.
A spokeswoman adds: “Therefore, as you would expect, we are continually investigating various opportunities driven by in-depth consumer research and insight. However, there are no plans to launch any sparkling spirits in the UK at present.”
The patent, filed by Diageo and three of its research scientists, describes how the new method involves mixing a spirit with a yeast and a fermentable carbohydrate, which creates the sparkle. It is understood that the process works with spirits of up to 30% ABV, although the optimum ABV level seems to be between 8% and 12%. Diageo’s researchers describe tests with gin, vodka and whisky.
There are a variety of flavoured alcoholic beverages that are sparkling but these are made by adding CO2 to a flat beverage.
There have been previous attempts to launch sparkling spirits. Two years ago, International English Distillers tried to launch a sparkling vodka, Vodka O2, but was challenged by the mobile phone operator O2. The company’s trademark was revoked by the Patent Office.
Another recent Diageo patent application relates to a multi-chambered bottle, which would allow a number of liquids to be stored separately but poured simultaneously, creating a layered effect in a glass.