Pimm’s and Aperol beaten by cheap supermarket own-labels in Which? taste tests

Summertime favourites Pimm’s and Aperol have both been beaten by Aldi’s own-label drinks costing half the price in Which?’s blind taste tests.

With hot weather on the horizon many people might be planning to stock up on a few bottles of their favourite tipple, but choosing a cheaper supermarket own-label alternative can save consumers money – and potentially get them a tastier drink.

To find out how supermarket own-labels compare with Pimm’s and Aperol (both £15 for 70cl bottles), Which? asked consumers to blind taste and rate the flavour, mouthfeel, appearance and aroma of each drink, and say which product they preferred overall.

In a head-to-head taste test, Which? matched Aldi and Tesco fruit-based gin cups against Pimm’s No.1, and found that while they may be considerably cheaper, there was not a lot of difference when it came to taste.

Aldi’s Summer Punch (£7.49 for 70cl) was the cheapest of the three drinks tested, costing around half the price of Pimm’s, and the highest-rated overall, scoring 72 per cent.

More people picked it as their preferred drink compared to Tesco and Pimm’s, with 45 per cent saying it was their favourite of the three.

Tesco’s Summer cup (£8 for 70cl) narrowly edged ahead of Pimm’s to take second place in our taste test, with a score of 69 per cent. Just over a quarter (28%) of tasters said it was their favourite of the three drinks they tried.

It costs just 50p more per 70cl bottle compared to Aldi, giving Tesco shoppers a great value option for tasty summer cocktails.

While Pimm’s had an overall score only a few percentage points behind Tesco (67%), switching to a cheaper own-label option could be a smart choice this summer considering the original’s more expensive price.

In a separate taste test, Which? asked 100 people to rate Aperol against two supermarket aperitifs from Aldi and Sainsbury’s, and it was again Aldi , the cheapest of the bunch, that came out on top with a score of 74 per cent.

Aldi’s Aperini (£6.99 for 70cl) was the top tipple for four in 10 tasters and was more than 50 per cent cheaper than Aperol, a saving of £8 per bottle. It was also nearly neck and neck with the big brand on colour and aroma, with a punchy orange hue that should look and smell the part in the glass.

Tasters found that of the three drinks, Aldi’s version had the best balance between sweetness and bitterness, with a noticeable citrusy flavour that was not too overpowering.

Although Aperol was pipped to the post by Aldi, the testers found there was still plenty to enjoy with the big brand, which received an overall score of 72 per cent. Testers loved its distinctive, vibrant colour, and it hit all the right notes on aroma and mouthfeel too.

Half of the tasters felt it was not sweet enough, and even more thought the tartness verged on becoming bitter, though it was still the favourite of a third of Which?’s panel.

Sainsbury’s Aperitivo (£8 for 70cl) was judged to be a let-down when it came to appearance. More of a peachy pale colour than the vibrant orange expected from a cocktail on a hot summer’s day, it was awarded an overall score of 69 per cent.

Testers liked the smell and flavour of the Sainsbury’s offering, though they found it tasted most alcoholic out of the three, and some would have preferred it a little less bitter.

Which? testing shows that lovers of a fruit-based gin cup or citrus-based aperitif can save money without compromising on taste by choosing supermarket own-label alternatives over popular branded drinks.

Harry Rose, Which? Magazine Editor, said:

“If you’re toasting the start of summer weather or a first gathering with friends and family for some time, our taste tests prove that you don’t have to pay through the nose for your favourite tipple.

“Whether you are looking for a refreshing fruit-based gin cup or citrus-based aperitif, choosing a supermarket’s own-label can save you money, and potentially get you a tastier beverage.”

Notes to editors:

Full results – Aperol

Overall score

Aldi Aperini




Sainsburys Aperitivo


Full results – Pimm’s

Overall score

Aldi Austin’s Summer Punch


Tesco Summer Cup


Pimm’s No. 1




100 people blind-tasted and rated the three products on appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel, and told us which product they preferred overall. Samples prepared using equal parts citrus fruit based aperitif and chilled soda water.
The overall score is based on:
50% taste
20% aroma
20% appearance
10% mouthfeel

101 people blind-tasted and rated the three products on appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel, and told us which product they preferred overall. Samples prepared using one part gin-based fruit cup to three parts chilled lemonade.
The overall score is based on:
50% taste
20% aroma
20% appearance
10% mouthfeelAccording to Pimm’s, here’s how to make the perfect cocktail:1. Highball glass filled with ice
2. 50ml of Pimm’s No.1
3. 150ml of lemonade
4. Strawberry, orange and cucumber, and finish with a sprig of mint.

According to Aperol, here’s how to make the perfect cocktail:

1. Fill a wine glass with ice
2. Pour in 3 parts of prosecco (9cl)
3. Pour in 2 parts of Aperol (6cl)
4. Add a splash of soda (3cl)
5. Garnish with an orange slice

About Which?

Which? is the UK’s consumer champion, here to make life simpler, fairer and safer for everyone. Our research gets to the heart of consumer issues, our advice is impartial, and our rigorous product tests lead to expert recommendations. We’re the independent consumer voice that influences politicians and lawmakers, investigates, holds businesses to account and makes change happen. As an organisation we’re not for profit and all for making consumers more powerful.

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