Ounal Bailey Discusses How London Essence Has Shaken Up The Drinks World

Ounal Bailey Discusses How London Essence Has Shaken Up The Drinks World

Whether your cocktail calls for a tonic, ginger ale, or a crafted soda, chances are London Essence drinks will have just the mixer. The soft drinks company’s carefully balanced flavour profiles are made with the purest flavours from distilled botanicals. What’s more, the mixers are light in both sugar and calories.

Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura caught up with Ounal Bailey, Co-Founder of The London Essence Co., to discuss the range.

Luxurious Magazine: London Essence has an interesting history. Can you indulge us?
Ounal Bailey: London Essence Company was founded in 1896 on the banks of the River Thames and was a vehicle for developing high-quality essences and flavours for the leading perfume houses. In 2016, the London Essence archives were discovered, and the company was refreshed.

Today, using the craft and inventiveness born from the original firm, the company creates a range of mixers which have been crafted from distilled botanicals, which includes gingers, sodas and tonics to create a lighter and more tasteful experience, either on their own or paired with spirits.

A man pouring one of the company's bottles of ginger ale

LM: Where do you source your ingredients from?
Ounal: London Essence works in partnership with the world’s leading flavour houses to blend and layer high-quality ingredients to deliver a signature London Essence taste profile.

The mixers are made using an ensemble of botanicals chosen by flavour experts and gently distilled until their true essence is captured, meaning that London Essence delivers the purest flavours without adding artificial sweeteners.

LM: What makes London Essence drinks different from other carbonated soft drinks?
Ounal: The layering of quality ingredients, always finished with an aromatic distillate, delivers a more intricate experience. The ability to therefore create a finished product with lighter, low-calorie ingredients also sets London Essence apart.

This is evident through the artfully blended and balanced flavours in our finished products, whether it is classics such as the Original Indian Tonic Water and Spiced Ginger Beer or new and unique flavour combinations in the wider product range of elegant tonics, crafted sodas and distinctive gingers, of which the flavours range from Pomelo & Pink Pepper Tonic Water to Roasted Pineapple Crafted Soda and White Peach & Jasmine Soda.

The company's collection of tonics

LM: How do your mixers differ from other brands?
Ounal: By drawing from our heritage in supplying perfume houses, The London Essence Co. is the first brand to have a range designed to be lower in calories from inception.

As with perfume, we considered the enchanting combination of art and science to transform each ingredient into either a base note or top note, giving every mixer a unique flavour profile to deliver a more layered experience, enhancing the spirit it is mixed with.

This creates a diverse range of mixers, each with a unique flavour to cater to varying tastes. For example, our selection of tonics alongside classic mixers incorporates innovative flavour pairings, from refreshing Blood Orange & Elderflower to warming Pomelo & Pink Pepper.

In addition, our beautifully designed glass bottles match the quality drinks they contain for a premium drinks experience from start to finish, whether you are enhancing the spirit of your choice or enjoying a luxury, standalone drink.

LM: What kind of drinks can London Essence products be mixed with?
Ounal: London Essence’s range of mixers creates the perfect partner for your favourite alcoholic or non-alcoholic spirit or as an elegant standalone drink. The breadth of flavours found in London Essence’s range has been designed to support the creativity of top bartenders who use a wide range of wines and spirits to create alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.

From gin and vodka to tequila and vermouth, London Essence mixers have been created to elevate well-known serves but also be used for a contemporary take on classic cocktails.

Pink Grapefruit tonic being used in a cocktail

For example, London Essence Pink Grapefruit Crafted Soda mixes perfectly with tequila blanco to create a delicious Paloma cocktail. Perfectly balanced with fruity, sweet and sour notes, the combination of the spirit and mixer creates a cocktail that’s bursting with fragrant flavour.

Equally, the ‘NoLoma,’ London Essence’s non-alcoholic take on the charismatic Paloma, sees the vibrant, aromatic flavour of Pink Grapefruit juice infused with fresh lime juice, sweet agave syrup and Pink Grapefruit Soda.

LM: Do you think the sober movement has made consumers more interested in drinks like yours?
Ounal: Consumers seeking healthier alternatives to soft drinks and alcohol should not have to compromise on taste. Ensuring that London Essence’s range of products can be enjoyed as a solus drink or mixed with a non-alcoholic spirit is at the core of our brand and flavours.

According to an annual online study, YouGov commissioned by the Portman Group, over one in four (29%) UK drinkers now ‘semi-regularly’ consume low and alcohol-free products, with many purchasing these drinks for moderation and responsible drinking.

In addition, we continue to champion lighter drinking by inspiring consumers with more mindful cocktail recipes. The layers of flavour in every product have been developed to provide an elevated drinking experience with every sip.

Our recently curated Gemstone Collection recipes, developed by Jesus Ortega Neri, Head of Brand Advocacy Europe at London Essence, provide all the tips and experience needed to create show-stopping alcohol-free cocktails and can be found on our website.

A man pouring the Pineapple mixer

LM: Where can we see London Essence drinks being served, and where can we buy them for home consumption?
Ounal: The London Essence Company’s range is available in many leading venues and bars, including the Royal Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall, The Savoy, Scarfes Bar and NoMad. The range can also be purchased online in the UK from major retailers and online.

LM: Do you have any plans to launch new flavours?
Ounal: This year, we have been committed to expanding the availability of our full product range and maintaining our commitment to sustainability through how our range is packaged.

This has included the launch of London Essence White Peach & Jasmine and Pink Grapefruit Crafted Sodas into convenient small cans, perfect for those looking to take their drinks al fresco for picnic and barbeque season, but also are just as convenient for those looking to create a premium drinks experience at home.

We also have some new flavours launching later this year, so more details on those are coming soon.

London Essence – Where and How?

For more information on London Essence and the full range, visit www.londonessenceco.com/en/.

Read more interviews and profiles here.

A close up view of the bubbles in a cocktailOunal Bailey Discusses How London Essence Has Shaken Up The Drinks World 2

Sabi Phagura

Deputy Online Editor

Sabi Phagura is a health, fitness, travel and lifestyle journalist with over 14 years experience in both print and broadcasting media. With Luxurious Magazine, Sabi has travelled the world and experienced some of the finest things that it has to offer. Sabi is one of our most eager and enthusiastic journalists regularly finding unique and exciting destinations. She always creates articles that showcase the subject in the best light via her wealth of knowledge in the luxury travel and dining sectors.

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