Today I’m looking at something a little bit different: alcoholic Smith & Sinclair Cocktail Pastilles. Any good?
Not to sound food obsessed – though I’m sure you know I am – I’d been wanting a box of these for years. Literally years. Ever since I saw them pop up on Not On The High Street. Now normally I’m a ‘want a food, get the food, eat the food’ sort of person but I just couldn’t justify paying £10 for a box of SIX sweets, plus shipping. Nope. Couldn’t do it.
Knowing that they were now stocked in Harvey Nichols, Manchester AND that I’d recently started a foodie type blog AND that I’d be passing by the store… I figured that if ever there was a time to be buying a £10 box of sweets, this was it. £9.50 exchanged hands. A mini wave of frivolous spending induced guilt got me. I did the only thing I could do… continued about my day and bought a pork pie for lunch. Northern lass, aye?
I love the brightly coloured packaging and the hand-written style font of the logo. Contents are clearly labelled and there’s a little window for a peek at the pastilles. That window being designed as a mouth is a fun touch though I can’t say the moustached aesthetic appealed to me at all. Shudder.
Flip the sleeve and you find out that 6 sweets are 2.8 units of alcohol! The daily guideline for a woman is 2-3 units. No wonder significant space is devoted to ‘PLEASE EAT RESPONSIBLY’. Don’t eat and drive, folks.
Mixed just like a drink, our Rum Edible Cocktails are made with a dark rum (40% ABV), natural syrups, bitters and selected spices to enhance the rich molasses flavour of the rum. Each Cocktail holds a kick at 6.4% ABV per pastille | Smith & Sinclair
On opening the wrapper a lightly sweet and spicy, gently alcoholic dark rum scent hit me. Oooooooohhh. I’m a rum girl and Sailor Jerry is my drink, so I went with the flavour I was most excited to try first…
Spiced Rum | A dark rum and bitters pastille coated with clove spice sugar.
It smelt good, spicy, mellow and very drinkable. Biting into it though I was surprised at how hard my teeth had to work! It was far firmer than I’d expected, thinking it’d be somewhere like a York Fruits jelly in texture. It’s actually more similar to a Rowntree’s Fruit Pastille with a less sugar crisp external coating and more gelatine in the jelly. I asked Mr. E3’s opinion: “It’s not hard like an American Hard Gum but more chewy than I’d expect.” I was careful not to prep his opinion either! He continued: “You’ve really gotta have a good pair of dentures to be going at them.”
With a unique consistency the pastilles are to be chewed, allowing the flavour to mellow on your tastebuds | Smith & Sinclair
The rum flavour doesn’t hide at all, so the slight textural disappointment is made up for with the outstanding flavour delivery. The alcohol doesn’t have any raw harshness with it and there’s no throat burn involved at all. It’s mellow but layered and complex.
Now I know there’s no cola in this and maybe it’s the colour playing tricks with my brain, but I swear this one tastes like a Spiced Rum and Coke. The clove spiced sugar coating is superb. I think I could actually sit and inahle that rummy clove sweet scent for hours. Perhaps Smith & Sinclair should expand into candles…
Berry Daiquiri | A dark rum, strawberry and grenadine pastille coated with a pink peppercorn infused sugar.
The aroma was lightly fruity with a rum undertone and this time I was prepared for the hard and chewy texture of the pastille.
There’s a lovely berry flavour to these and they have quite a summery feel. Whilst I may have been influenced by it practically being a summers day in Bavaria, my opinion didn’t change when I had another later in the evening – long after the sun had disappeared. That’s the nature of berry flavoured things though, strawberries in particular. They’re a summer fruit and by association whatever they’re in is summery too!
Like the Spiced Rum variant, this had a mellow and layered flavour. The finish however left a lovely warm tingling sensation on my tongue. I prefer to try things without being influenced by knowing their ingredients. It was at this point I learnt it contained pink peppercorns in the sugar coating! The lightly floral flavour and tingly sensation of this addition worked for me.
To Sum Up
These Rum Selection Cocktail Pastilles do really deliver on their flavours. To me, they taste just like a sippable cocktail! However. And this is a big one. I can’t help but feel that these would feel far more luscious and premium feeling with a slightly softer set. I wanted to feel a bit more like I was sinking into a cocktail, rather than working at it.
Would I buy another box at £9.50? No. Despite really enjoying the taste of these, I unfortunately wouldn’t. However I would be tempted to try the other flavours if I found them on sale at a lower price.
Did I regret spending the £9.50 on them? No. I didn’t! The flavours were excellent. I thought the product was something interesting and different! I also appreciated the experience of trying something new.
Does that mean these arn’t for you or you should avoid gifting them to others? Absolutely not. Just because the texture wasn’t quite there for me doesn’t at all mean that it won’t work for you.
If you’re a person that likes super chewy sweets or you’re thinking about giving them to a cocktail loving Haribo addict, you shouldn’t rule these out! I think they’d make a thoughtful, interesting gift for the right person. The Cocktail Pastilles range also come with a vodka, gin or whisky base, so there’s a choice if rum isn’t your thing!