Have you been tested? Come the end of summer and you may well have been. By DNA. Not exactly deoxyribonucleic acid, but rather a smart young drink from down under which goes on sale nationwide from mid-June. Lauched only last year in Adelaide, Australia; DNA "you've been tested" is already number two (number one being Sub Zero) in Australia's biggest alcoholic growth area, the so-called New Age Beverages - cool, long and kicking. DNA is a ready-made spritzer with a savoury edge. The water is carbonated, and the wine base naturally fermented with a twist of lime and a dash of thyme - a bit like drinking Aqua Libra but reducing your sobriety at the same time. Its subtly bitter-sweet and caused a minor riot amid the crowds of elegant wine buffery at the London Wine Trade Fair last month. On the first day alone, more than 2,000 people got the new taste and went away like members of Paradise Lost with their DNA sticker "I've lost my innocence". If DKNY and Absolut Vodka got married, they'd have kids like DNA. The logo is neat. The bottle is lime-green fingerprinted. The packaging has already won a prestigious design prize from the New York Art Directors 75th Awards. It's cool and clever. Images of natural health and biological uniqueness mix with a certain tongue-in-cheek promiscuity, and this no-longer-virgin water (tart water, one could say) looks set to be the rage over here during our warmer days. DNA will most certainly appeal to the young and fashion conscious - a bit like designer waters have seduced the thirtysomething market, although the increase in alcoholic long drinks and their trend factor is also worrying. Smirnoff Mules, Martini Metz's and Bacardi Breezers line the supermarket shelves along with Hooch or Pirhana alcoholic lemonades and the increased alcohol "ice" beers and ciders, some with a whizz-kid image that could well bait minnows along with legal fish. DNA surfs these troubled waters stating firmly on the bottle "For adult consumption in moderation" followed by a circled 18, a sure-fire way of making this little bottle of alcoholic spring water another headline grabbing - albeit consumable - fashion accessory.

In Tesco's from 17 June. For nearest stockist, call 01438 820955

Gina Cowen

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