A New Fruit Cup in Town – Oxford Original


During the current spell of warm weather in the UK, which can only be described as “Scorchio”, one of the better ways to cool down is with an iced jug of fruit cup. We recently published an update on the new Sipsmith Summer Cup, but today’s subject is even newer, as it was only released in April 2012.

Oxford Original is a fruit cup made by Manchester Drinks, the same folks who make the Authentic Cocktail Company premixes, and is bottled at 15%ABV. It was designed to be a more economical alternative to the likes of Pimm’s.

We decided to try it with three different mixers. Each glass contained a wedge of lemon, a wedge of lime and a cucumber spiral. All were mixed at a 3:1 Mixer:Fruit Cup ratio.

Ginger Ale
This is quite a sweet mix with the berry notes, especially strawberry, of the fruit cup really coming through. As the drink has mulled with the fruit a little bit it becomes fresher and more succulent.

Not as sweet as the ginger ale, quite light and the cucumber compliments the drink well. Notes of strawberry, vanilla and berry. I find a squeeze of lemon makes the drink even more refreshing. This would be a good drink for those that find Pimm’s too bitter; if you prefer the a more fruit cup I’d suggest adding a splash of red vermouth.

Tonic Water
Dry and more bitter with the citrus notes of the fruit cup really coming through. This one of the better fruit cups to mix with tonic water.

In Conclusion
It’s always refreshing (no pun intended) to see a fruit cup with a slightly different flavour profile and Oxford Original is certainly less herbal and more fruity, in particular with more berry notes, such as red currant, raspberry and strawberry.

Drinks from the Vault #1 – Hayman’s Fruit Cup

Occasionally I come across a discontinued or obscure product that is of such interest I feel compelled to write about it, these article will be part of a new series called “Drinks from The Vault”.
Recently, there has been lots of interest in fruit cups, Pimm’s and its alternatives, whether it is from boutique gin brands bringing out their own brands, folks experimenting with different spirit bases, or folks wanting to make their own. But today we take a brief step back in time, to look at the – now discontinued – Hayman’s No. 1 Fruit Cup.
The now discontinued Hayman's No1 (Vodka) Fruit Mixer (Cup)

The now discontinued Hayman's No1 (Vodka) Fruit Mixer (Cup)

There was only one variety of Hayman’s Fruit Cup made and, most interestingly, it was vodka-based rather than gin-based (as almost every other Pimm’s alternative is). The product was discontinued nearly a decade ago and so has less to do with the direction of the company these days but as a Fruit Cup curio it is rather fascinating.
I found these bottles in a shop recently and so was delighted to buy a couple of bottles of Fruit Cup and Hayman’s history. Hayman’s serving suggestion is one part Hayman’s to three parts lemonade, plus a garnish of orange, apple, lemon and cucumber. Rather traditional, with no strawberry to be seen here – something that will no doubt please the Pro-Borage, Anti-Strawberry Pressure Group.

How does it taste?

Rather sippable. lighter then many fruit cups (gin-based ones) but Hayman’s has a stronger flavour than Pimm’s Vodka Cup and is more like what I would have expected Vodka Pimm’s to have tasted like before I tried it. The cup was fruity with a hint of spice and very refreshing.

In Conclusion

I thought that the Hayman’s No1 Cup was rather good and I’m pleased I purchased two bottles. What was most interesting was the fact that it was Vodka-based, but still a strong fresh flavour. If the interest in Fruit Cups continues or increases in the near future, who know some-one else might bring one out too. personally I’d like to someone make a pre-bottled Rum Fruit Cup.