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The Best Drinks of 2016


It's been quite the year.

From Bowie to Brexit, dead musicians to crazy politicians, a year of turmoil, instability, fake news and a little regret. But despite all this, it was a year of really rather excellent drinks....

Here we round up the best of 2016 when it came to drinks - the bestsellers, the newcomers and the stories that made the headlines, celebrated with a terrific tipple (or two)


ginuary with eden mill


OUR WORLD: For 31Dover, January meant Ginuary as the spirit-of-the-moment showed no signs of slowing. We welcomed online Eden Mill and their 'Love Gin' - a bestseller in the lead up to Valentine's. After debunking the Dry January myth, we toasted Burns Night with new single malt whiskies and also welcomed Our/London vodka to the virtual shelves.

year in review January be like bill

THE REAL WORLD: We bid goodbye to Bowie and pretty quickly became pretty sick of being told to 'Be like Bill'...


year in review february ciroc blue steel vodka


OUR WORLD: We teamed up with the Chotto Matte bartenders for Pisco Sours Week, partnered our pancakes with something a little stronger,  and celebrated the release of the long-awaited Zoolander 2 with the introduction of Ciroc Blue Steel. For fair trade week we launched Goji Berry FAIRtrade liqueur and our Valentine's Day 'LoveDrunk' campaign saw Edgerton pink gin prove the true way to someone's heart was something to sip.

THE REAL WORLD: Zika fears were at a high, but Leo finally got that Oscar statue...


year in review ellc march


OUR WORLD: ELLC were the brand of the month for March as we also welcomed a now bestseller, Seedlip - the world's first non-alcoholic spirit - to the site. Ahead of St. Patricks day we sent a lucky winner to the Cheltenham races with Dubliner whiskey, gave away two Double Dutch mixers with selected spirits and raised a glass to the women of the drinks industry for International Women's Day.

THE REAL WORLD: The Brussel airport bombings, and The Rolling Stones finally played in Cuba (their tequila no doubt in tow...)


year in review April Fools Joke 31Dover The Duppy Share Bag


OUR WORLD: The craft rum revolution began at 31Dover with dark matter spiced rum and Matugga rum launching online. We kicked the month off with a prank featuring The Duppy Share Rum and our 'new venture' into rum-flavoured crisps, as well as introducing Edinburgh Gin Seaside Edition and Two Birds Salted Caramel Vodka to the UK. We also teamed up with Deliveroo, Quiqup, Jinn App, Uber Eats and Henchman to offer thirsty Londoners one hour delivery.

THE REAL WORLD: Beyonce drops a surprise album and the British public outdo themselves by electing to name a new Environmental Research Council vessel, "Boaty McBoatface"


year in review warner-edwards-gin-at-31dover


OUR WORLD: Warner Edwards, our bestselling gin this year, were the brand of the month in May and we teamed up with Hot Craft Spirits to find the UK's top craft releases and give them a launch platform. We drank too much tequila for cinco de mayo, exclusively launched the Copperhead black batch gin, shone a spotlight on Japanese whisky and introduced our Father's Day Campaign, "Your dad deserves a drink", which saw hundreds of you submit images showing your deserving dads.

THE REAL WORLD: Nobody got the justice they deserved this year, especially not Harambe, the innocent silverback gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo who was shot and killed after a four-year-old boy crawled into his enclosure #JusticeForHarambe #RIPHarambe. At least we had Chewbacca Mom for a giggle when it all got too much.


year in review summer 2016 pink grapefruit drinks


OUR WORLD: Premixed cocktails flew off the shelves including Tails, Nixd and Casso cocktail jars. Pink grapefruit was the flavour of the summer with releases from Ciroc, Buss no. 59, Belvedere and Chase. World gin day saw a host of new gins available online and we launched the new Seedlip Garden, the second in the 'non-alcoholic spirit' portfolio.

THE REAL WORLD: The Hiddleswift were they won't they (was it even real?) drama ALMOST eclipsed Brexit in June. You know, that mess of a referendum followed by possibly the most significant historical decision of our lifetimes, overshadowed by a big red bus that might have spread a not so teeny-weeny lie and a chaotic Tory leadership battle that followed. Good month...


skinny prosecco launch drinks


OUR WORLD: One of the biggest launches of the year came in July as we became the exclusive online retail partner to launch Skinny Prosecco and the new magnum bottles. (The brand have since decided to just sell through Amazon - sad times for us small guys!) We also launched our Thirst Aid campaign ensuring all summer drinking dilemmas were sorted! 31Dover to the rescue... War of the rose wine began with the new vintage whispering angel coming out on top, and one lucky customer won an all-expenses paid Moet Champagne brunch.

THE REAL WORLD: Pokemon Go launched and (for a few weeks) the world was addicted to the simple pleasures of virtual reality and hunting non-existent yellow creatures in the night. Yep, spotify were right when they said 'Thanks 2016, it's been weird'.


year in review august sipsmith london cup


OUR WORLD: The launch of Sipsmith London Cup gave Pimm's a run for its money and Rock Rose released another delicious seasonal edition. We were sipping on cachaca - Brazilian rum - as the Olympics kicked off, introducing the host country's national spirit to the discerning drinker. We reimagined the olympics with our own Olympdrinks and showcased our own medal winners. August also witnessed our inaugural rum festival, with free ginger beers, discounts, gift packs and the launch of Bumbu - one of our bestselling rums this year. We capped off the summer by teaming up with Jinn to show you how to make the drink of 2016: FROSE.

THE REAL WORLD: ... was mostly occupied by Britain's olympic successes and the brilliance of Usain Bolt's finish face.


silent pool gin pour


OUR WORLD: Rather than back to school we went back to basics, highlighting the newest, cleanest, smoothest white spirits and imagined drinks as high school stereotypes. We received quite the education on a gin hike to Silent Pool Distillery and the winners of the Hot Craft Spirit campaign landed online. We teamed up with Fentimans Botanically Brewed Beverages to offer 2 bottles of their mixers with our best-selling spirits, and launched Warner Edwards Melissa Gin - the first in their new botanical range.

THE REAL WORLD: Brangelina broke up. But you can still drink their Chateau Miraval award-winning wine. So all is not lost...


baileys pumpkin spice punch best halloween cocktail ever


OUR WORLD: With autumn came Baileys Pumpkin Spice, the new Hennessy x Scott Campbell and Iordanov jewelled-skull-embossed vodka bottles. We introduced 31Dover as the unofficial sponsors of Halloween House Parties, with all the products needed to host a scarily good shindig. Our BOO(ze) filled promotions included plenty of spirits (the non-scary kind) House party packages and we even gave away a 3000cl Jeroboam of our best-selling vodka, Crystal Head, signed by Ghostbuster Dan Ackroyd.

THE REAL WORLD: People were freaking out over Marmite after Tesco blamed Brexit on a price increase and Unilever pulled the product off Tesco's shelves. This sparked shortage fears from the British public and national outrage. For like, a day....


william chase vodka and gin


OUR WORLD: We sold record numbers of boozy advent calendars, sold out of the new Cloudy Bay wine vintages and had our most successful Cyber Week ever with customers going particularly crazy for Warner Edwards rhubarb gin. Chase was our brand of the month, with gin, vodka and liqueur gift sets that reinforced our Christmas campaign of How To Put The 'Merry' in Christmas. With Pickering's gin baubles selling out in less than an hour, similar scenes for Gin crackers and our exclusive Willem Barentsz gin and tonic copa bundle, it was gin-gle bells indeed as December arrived...

THE REAL WORLD: Mannequin Challenge swept the nation and Donald Trump became the 45th president-elect of the USA.


year in review sipsmith mince pie gin


OUR WORLD: Chase launched their Eureka Lemon Marmalade vodka, we sold out of nearly all our Poppaballs, boosted barware with kitsch cocktail companions and Christmas got very merry indeed with the introduction of Sipsmith Mince Pie Gin, Au Gold Vodka, and Sharish colour-changing gin. Our Christmas gift guide launched, as did the online exclusives Gabriel Boudier Kapsi Liqueurs for the ultimate kir cocktails and the Pinkster Boozy Berry Bundle. With Christmas in full swing, we headed to City of London Distillery to make our own gin, shouted HO HO HO and a bottle of rum as we took orders of Pirate's Grogg treasure chests and gave you all a gin a day and the perfect recipe in our 12 gins of Christmas countdown.

THE REAL WORLD: Far right politics continue to gain momentum but people really lost their minds over Toblerone's new shape.


Thanks 2016, at least the drinks were damn good...