Tom Savano: Travel The World With Artisan Pre-mix Cocktails

Tom Savano, a London-based startup, has launched the first artisanal cocktail range, exclusively using small batch craft spirits from around the world.

Their multi award-winning cocktail range offers what the founders claim to be – ‘better than bar-quality’ cocktails.

The brand is based around a fictional character, Tom Savano, who travels the world in search of craft beverages and artisanal produce, with an underlying passion for craftsmanship and storytelling.

Tom Savano’s tales of travel and cocktail craft spread far and wide, with him discovering the finest spirits and the best kept secrets, and then bringing them back to his friends and family, before creating world-class cocktails to be enjoyed by all.

“When you look at the bottle, you see through the eyes of Tom Savano. You step into his world and are transported to the destination he’s visiting, discovering those undiscovered spots with him. He represents the part of all of us that wants to be off on a plane or a boat, discovering beautiful places.

James Kerslake, founder of Tom Savano

The founder, James Kerslake, was born in the UK, but moved to New Zealand when he was just six months old, and he grew up surrounded by oceans, forests and the most beautiful scenery on earth.

He graduated from university with a degree in computer science, before moving back to London to work in finance and investment banking. Already seeing his day job as a ‘means to an end,’ he had plans to ‘only stay long enough to fund his way through film school.’

In 2007, at the age of 27, James launched one of London’s first healthy food bars, targeting office workers, while maintaining his job for the investment giant, Merrill Lynch.

Over a 20 year career, James developed a deep love for authentic travel, as well as great food and cocktails, and kit was that which led him to start recreating this same experience at home, through mixing cocktails – in an attempt to recapture his best travel memories.

His life and passion became the inspiration behind the character of Tom Savano.

The first of Tom Savano’s great successes happened prior to even launching the brand, when in an act of boldness, James entered the drinks in the global Speciality Spirits Masters awards in August 2019.

In November, just two weeks before the planned launch, he received a call from the Spirits Business, informing him that the products had won three gold medals and one silver. This surpassed his wildest dreams and gave him the confidence to go ahead with the launch. 

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Later, in February of 2020, Tom Savano made it to the finals of the Gift of the Year competition, held live in Birmingham, where they narrowly missed out on first place.

Tom Savano sold out just eight days after launch: rapidly scaling up production to meet the demand, they released another large batch and, again, sold out within two weeks. Along with that batch, they released a new cocktail release for summer – the Caribbean Dawn Mai Tai, which received top reviews from influencers and bloggers. 

In April 2020, the Evening standard released a review of the UK’s best premixed cocktail brands and awarded Tom Savano their ‘Best Top Pick’ accolade.

Adding to their success, in September 2020, their Devon Coastal Negroni was awarded two stars in the Great Taste 2020 competition. Great Taste is the most challenging and coveted award in the UK food world, making Tom Savano the only multi award-winning cocktail brand in the UK.

There are five cocktails in the range so far, including: Caribbean Dawn Mai Tai, Devon Coastal Negroni, English Garden Lychee Martini, Kentucky Winter Old Fashioned and the Single Estate Reposado Margarita.

This wide range of cocktails, inspired by beautiful places across the world, allows us to embrace another country and ‘travel’ at a time when we are perhaps most inhibited to do so.

“’I wanted to really push the boundaries and redefine the perception of premixed cocktails. Being very particular myself about what I drink, I wanted something that I would personally drink over anything else, even from most top bars. Cocktails to me are all about a story, the origin of the spirit you use and the history behind every single ingredient down to the smallest detail, and what it evokes in your mind when you drink it.

When I drink a Mojito, I want to feel like I’m on the sunset strip of Ibiza watching the last golden strip disappear beneath the waves, sitting with the rum distiller and hearing about his family and life story. When I sip a margarita, I want to feel like I’m on a Rancho at the end of a long day of agave harvesting, the smell of earth, smoke and Mezcal in the air. That’s what Tom Savano is about.”

James Kerslake, founder of Tom Savano

The glass bottles that Tom Savano cocktails are served in are not only 100% recyclable, but 30% of the glass is also made from recycled materials.

You can find out more about Tom Savano here.