The TV show Dragons’ Den poses a great opportunity for businesses that are looking to get their feet off the ground but, unfortunately, many fail to get the investment they want from the show’s entrepreneurs and business moguls. In a recent episode, however, one business grabbed the eye of Deborah Meaden – Panther Milk.
Panther Milk is an oat-based alcoholic beverage looking to fill the gap in the market where plant-based cocktails are concerned. Most of the Dragons didn’t take too kindly to the business idea and Sara Davies said that she “just didn’t like it”.
I, however, thought that it looked rather intriguing and wanted to try out the beverage for myself. In recent years oat milk has become a very trendy alternative to cow’s milk. Research from Mintel estimates that a third of people they had polled were drinking oat milk in the UK in 2021.
With this in mind, I thought that Panther Milk could turn out to be a very successful business initiative. The company’s founder, Paul Crawford, explained to the Dragons that the drink would fill a gap in the cocktail industry as most dairy-based beverages such as Tequila Rose don’t have a plant-based alternative.
Whilst the other Dragons were uncertain about Paul’s idea, environmentally-friendly Deborah quite liked the drink and made an offer to take 30 per cent of the business. Paul had to refuse this as it was too high and they settled on 25 per cent instead.
Following the show, I decided I needed to get my hands on it, and being within the business demographic – 18 to 25 and a vegan – I wanted to test whether I could imagine myself purchasing it on a regular basis.
Dreaming about the cocktails I was going to make, I purchased the bottles online and saw that there was the option to buy multiple different flavours. You can purchase 70cl bottles of the drink for £24 or smaller 250ml bottles for £9.50.
The flavours on the website included original, strawberry, chocolate, and mint. On Dragons’ Den, Paul also offered a salted caramel flavour but this drink is currently unavailable on the website.
I opted to buy a 250ml duo of the strawberry and original milk and the package arrived at my house within three working days. The box it came in was very sturdy and the drinks were nice and cool.
What does it taste like?
I thought that the bottles looked a bit like fancy shampoo but, in spite of that, I think the look of the product is quite funky. I tried the strawberry drink first and to my surprise, it tasted exactly like strawberry milk – with a bit of alcohol in it of course.
That being said, it was a really delightful drink and something I could imagine myself buying at a bar. I then went on to try the original flavour and I decided to try it in the form of a white Russian.
I mixed the drink together with cream and Kahlua and served it to myself in a cold glass. This tasted amazing as well and you’d never know that it had been made out of oat milk.
At 15 per cent, the drinks are quite alcoholic but they’re deceptively light in taste. I think I’d have to be careful about drinking too much; three white Russians in and I’m sure I’d be on the floor. For this reason as well, however, the alcoholic beverage could definitely be a hit with young partygoers and vegans alike. Watch out Tequila Rose, Panther Milk is coming for you.
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