On a beautiful sunny day we headed over to Borough Market in London to meet Paddy Cavanagh-Butler and Charlie Hobhouse, founders of Punchy Drinks to hear all about their liquid sunshine.


Punchy Drinks was started four and a half years ago by twofriends, Paddy Cavanagh-Butler and Charlie Hobhouse. Their concept was to develop a diverse and adventurous range of drinks to fill the gap between soft-drink and mocktail for the growing non-alcoholic drinking community. They’ve been inspired by the craft beer industry and applied concepts that these often-innovative companies have successfully employed for the last fifteen to twenty years; a focus on well considered branding, great packaging, and an obsessive focus on interesting and evocative flavours. Their first-hand experience of opting for a non-alcoholic drink and ordering at bars always felt like a substitute or a cop-out, they wanted to create a drink that still has a punch to it or, “liquidsunshine”, as is their moto!

“We couldn’t really see a drinks company that reflected the changing ways in which young people, including ourselves, were interacting with alcohol”.

Paddy and Charlie went to school together, so they go way back,even if they weren’t particularly close back then. They stayed in touch however,
and each had their separate learnings and experiences in industry. Paddy worked in marketing and Charlie in manufacturing for a Deli based start-up brand. Paddy presented Charlie with his concept for setting up a soft drinks brand for adults in 2019. Charlies first-hand experience in manufacturing and working for a start-up combined with Paddy’s experience and creative eye for marketing felt like the perfect partnership. They’d each worked through their own personal journeys with alcohol; it felt as though there had never been a more relevant time to found Punchy.

“We had no previous experience and it’s been really hard, but a lot of our naivety in the past has been really useful.”

Driven by a desire to shed a new refreshing light on soft drinks, a drink to “help you catch the sun” with flavours that are evocative of sunny
days, they first looked at their favourite alcoholic drinks and worked backwards. Their first product was an infusion of peach, ginger and chai, their version of a “Dark and Stormy”. Roka restaurants, amazing modern Japanese cuisine founded in London, inspired their second drink with their best-selling cocktail Gin and Yuzu; Yuzu and Cucumber was the next Punchy drink. For their third they wanted to create something darker, like an ‘Old Fashioned’ or “Whisky Sour’ cocktail, so the blood orange, bitters and cardamon flavour was created. The main “rules” for their drinks, other than the interesting flavour combinations, was that they should be made using all natural, healthy ingredients and accessible to everyone. Every drink has added vitamin D, is low sugar, gluten free, vegan and low calorie, “so you can sip easy”.

 “There are some rules for our drinks, they’re for everyone sothey’ve got to be as healthy as possible.”


From conception Punchy Drinks has evolved in a very organic way, everything is made here in the UK with a trusted Somerset based manufacturer so they can be truly authentic and hands on throughout the process. Going back, they first started mixing flavours in their own kitchens, and then moved to a “pretty ropey factory” in north London where everything that could go wrong did. This provided a hard and fast learning curve for the partners. Managing to navigate the gauntlet of those initial few years and learning from their mistakes gave them the tools they needed to grow the brand. They had a much needed, clear focus too on what they needed from a manufacturing partner going forward. 

 “We often say that if we knew how tall the mountain was, we wouldn’t have started climbing it”.

 They are proud to be a B-Corp brand, where they are part of aglobal community of companies putting people and the planet ahead of profit.
They work hard to reduce their carbon footprint by constantly reviewing processes in their own supply chain and making it as direct to consumer as
possible. Their packaging is plastic free and the cans can be easily recycled. As part of their B-Corp status they have joined forces with the Great Oven, giving 1% of every sale to support their projects. This is a remarkable charity providing giant community ovens to places that need them the most; war torn communities, refugee camps and inner cities in crisis around the world.

Paddy and Charlie are clearly great friends, but they work hard to keep good communication between them and friendship is put to one side when at work and a different form of communication is needed. They have developed a brand which is true to itself and admirably sustainable. They have sourced a dynamic team to grow the brand with, some of which have left big jobs, grabbing the opportunity to be a part of Punchy’s journey. They are now looking to expand into new markets, currently you can buy direct from their site, Ocado and WHSmiths, and are busy developing new product ideas which they are very excited about. We at Aubin are excited for them, if their first drinks are anything to go by, we can’t wait to try their new flavours and to see where the sunshine takes them!

 To follow Charlie and Paddy’s journey with Punchy head to their website below
or their Instagram - @punchydrinks