Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Inventing and reinventing drinks

I've turned up rather late at the party for a new-ish drinks brand called Andalö, presumably because I don't attend enough hip events. However, a friend brought me a bottle to a 'Brexit Blues Party' - long story - and I was intrigued.

Drinks marketing these days is a subtle game. People want something new, but they must have the feeling that they've discovered or rediscovered something authentic. Maybe this is why one of the few survivors from the cocktail craze of the 1980s is Malibu. Amid all those faux brands (remember Shakers?), Malibu could at least claim a Caribbean heritage going back to the 19th century.



Andalö also claims to have its origins in the 19th century. The brand is described as a 'Swedish-inspired Liqueur' based on Sanddorn. (Common Sea-Buckthorn in English.)

I've noticed Sanddorn creeping into a variety of food and drink products here in Germany over the last few years, from yoghurts to tea. Apparently, the plant is a rich source of Vitamin C - and that takes us to the brand story.

A Swedish smuggler by the name of Carl Petter Andersson, whose boat was named the Andalö, got into trouble in a storm while smuggling alcohol from Germany, back in 1889. He mixed the smuggled alcohol with the fresh Sanddorn juice he had on board (presumably to prevent scurvy) and so the liqueur was born. I have sampled it and it's quite tasty.

So far, so good. However, other elements of the marketing don't really seem to tie in with this story or supposed heritage. There's an association with Swedish Midsummer, which is rather sub-IKEA in its portrayal. And then there is the bizarre choice of a brand ambassador, Pamela Anderson. Well, yes, she's blonde, called Anderson, and has Scandinavian roots, but they are not Swedish. And I have a feeling she doesn't drink.

I suspect that the (German) makers of Andalö have looked at the success of Aperol, on the back of the  Prosecco craze, and done the logic that Sweden is the Italy of the North for Germans.

There's even a cocktail recipe for Andalö and Jägermeister, mixed.

But it's a bit too early in the morning for that. Sounds like a recipe for sea-sickness.

4 comments:

Barbara Fisher said...

I’m later to the party than you Sue! I’ve never come across Andalö before it may be that it's not available in the UK but more likely I've just not noticed it. I tried Jagermeister at a 50th birthday celebration at the end of last year but quickly returned to Southern Comfort, which has long been my drink of choice. I enjoyed the Malibu advert but must be honest and say I’ve not tasted that either. Honestly, I’ve not lived – maybe 2017 is the year to kick up my heels and try all these things – there again…

Sue Imgrund said...

Cheers, Barbara! What is interesting is that drinks come back into fashion, usually with subtle differences. For example, it seems to be quite the thing here in Germany at the moment to be a gin connoisseur, and the hip drinking places often offer a range of different gins. Who would have thought that something associated with the Queen Mum and crusty old retired colonels would become a trend?

Barbara Fisher said...

You have such a way with words Sue you always manage to make me laugh, thank you.

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