2022 Alternative drinks judging - deliberations from our judges

Alternative drinks

Wed 6 Jul 2022

This week the IWSC is hosting its ‘alternative drinks’ judging – this includes all entrants that are not categorised under our wine or spirits awards.

As well as our low and no judging, included this week is our cider judging, wine based flavoured drinks judging, RTD judging and our mixer award judging. The 2022 IWSC Mixer Awards, sponsored by Double Dutch has four categories, Gin & Tonic, Vodka & Tonic, Tequila & Tonic and Whisky Highball. We caught up with Shannon Tebay, who was overseeing the mixer judging, as well as the RTD award judging to find out how her day has gone:


“While I have judged at the IWSC spirits awards before, today was my first day as a committee panellist, which was really fun, overseeing the six panels of judges tasting for the mixer awards, wine flavoured and RTD’s.

“It was a diverse set of categories. There was a lot of gin and tonics, tequila tonics, vodka tonics and whiskey highballs, which was the first time that spirit and mixer category was featured.

“We tasted a wonderful number of whiskey highballs and awarded several golds, which meant that we had a trophy tasting too for this category. So, all very exciting!

“Probably something that caught me off guard in a wonderful way, was the number of high-quality RTD’s (ready to drink) we tasted. Generally speaking, RTD’s are a relatively new drinks category and tasting so many today, that ended up performing very, very well I think is indicative of the fact that this category is here to stay. People are really putting a lot of thought and effort into RTD’s, thinking about how to give consumers a high-quality cocktail in a way that they can have at home or on the move. So that was really cool to see a lot of high-quality stuff in that specific category.

“Speaking about today more broadly, I think the purpose of this style of panel amalgamation, the way the tastings here are managed is important because it encourages discussion which enables us to take into consideration how these products are being consumed in the real world and marketplace, as opposed to just how they taste right out of the bottle. Thinking more about the overall consumer experience.”


The IWSC’s Alternative Drinks Awards will be announced on Thursday 14 July.


 Thank you to our Mixer Awards sponsor, Double Dutch