Cannabis-infused products are paving their way across the globe. Recently, a young girl from London launched a cannabis-infused gin drink at an affordable price of just £1,300. Sally Wynter, a self-proclaimed foodie, from Haringey, this week unveiled Sweet Hibiscus, her debut beverage from her new sprit brand MUHU.
The drink is infused with cannabidiol or popularly known as CBD, the nonpsychoactive substance found in hemp plants, a cannabis genus plant. The CBD is imported from Canada, where production and sale of hemp is legal.
Since CBD is both flavorless and colorless, it doesn’t impact the quality or the flavor of the liquor, which is brewed in Birmingham.
Wynter, 24, says she first came up with the idea of a cannabis-infused drink at a beach party in Thailand. She started calling up distilleries when she got back home and asked about the process of making gin. With a shoestring budget backed up my freelancing work, Wynter managed to create, launch, test and get a distillery onboard all for about £1,300.
She said that Gin has been her long-time favorite drink, but she always thought that the flavors available in the UK market lacked excitement in them. Additionally, they also didn’t appeal to her very much as a young consumer. Wynter further added that Gin is a spirit and it is much easier to produce it as it can be made within 24 hours contrary to whiskey which often takes years to age and gives a flavorful taste.
The process of infused cannabidiol with gin was a trial and error method, however, with numerous attempts, Wynter and her team have finally discovered the perfect concoction- a delicious floral gin infused with the excitement of CBD.
Each shot contains only 52 calories and is naturally sugar-free as compared to some other leading brands of flavored gin which contain about 90g of sugar in each bottle. Inspired by the raw smells, colors, and sights of Asia, the product is made with natural ingredients instead of “cheap sugary” substances.
Wynter said that CBD is nothing like the usual ingredients she had been adding in her cocktails for the past year. She now feels more relaxed, both mentally and physically.
Price-breakdown of the MUHU products:
Label design: Initially quoted at £15-25,000 but paid £500 to a designer who worked remotely after searching competitor sites.
Trademarking: Initially quoted at £1,000 with the help of a trade lawyer but paid £230 after reading the guidelines on Gov.uk for the application.
Product development: Quoted £20,000 but got it done for free. Wynter did lots of trial and error in her bedroom before she found a distillery that carried out professional trials on the drinks after they liked her product.
Website: Quoted £1,000 by a professional agency but invested only £120 by buying a domain name and website template. This allowed her to make her own website without actually having to code.
Additional expenditures that could have been spent on agencies: An extra £50,000.
The label at the bottle features a wave design and has three print finishes. The purple and green colors represent the hibiscus and cannabis in the drink. One bottle of the MUHU cannabis-infused drink is priced at £34.99 for a 50cl bottle.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or widely known as CBD, is a naturally occurring substance found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is a non-psychoactive and anti-inflammatory drug that makes up one of 119 different cannabinoids contained in cannabis. CBD is being used across the globe in a wide range of products including pet treats, chocolates, gummies, lotion, oils, ointment, topicals, and much more.
From being a controversial substance with a very limited niche to the trending ingredient to add to a product, CBD has transformed the consumer market. A report by the Centre for Medical Cannabis estimated that the CBD market in the UK could be worth almost £1bn a year by 2025.
CBD is most popularly known in the UK for helping people reduce anxiety, but other reported uses also include inflammation, pain, and even hangovers.
Why use it with Gin?
Gin is the first choice of British drinkers when it comes to spirit. The market has seen a substantial amount of growth in the past three years. It now accounts for 68% of value growth in the spirits industry and the sales in the UK was valued at £1.9 billion.
A market report released by data consultancy CGA found that flavoring, in particular, is boosting the gin market, with sales up by 751% in 2018 as compared to the year before. Wynter added that although there are over 100 British gin brands on the shelves of stores now, there isn’t much variety. Most of the brand market themselves via limited availability, provenance or through British themes such as custard flavor and rhubarb, or with Queen Victoria as with Bombay. MUHU is disrupting the Gin market with an exciting flavor and lifestyle brand that encompasses millennial aspirations of spontaneity, independence, and travel.