The non alcoholic drinks market is massively expanding. It's exciting to read that a new, younger generation of sober drinkers are looking for healthy and exciting alternatives to sickly sweet soda pop.
So, what's the deal with non-alcoholic spirits? They're often similarly priced to their alcoholic counterparts and reviews online are real marmite love it / hate it extremes.
Personally I love these drinks. Simply having something infinitely more enjoyable than diet coke to sip on during a night out or at a dinner party makes me happy. Plus they contain some fantastic herbal benefits which can be amazing for our skin. Have you tried any of these? I'd love to hear your experience. Post in the comments below.
When it comes to non alcoholic drinks ... these guys were here first. Seedlip is the most established, but slightly pricier non alcohol spirit on the market. With three variations now available (admittedly I've only tried the original two) there's plenty of choice to suit everyones palette. I loved the fresh flavour of Garden 108 when I tried it last summer sitting in a sunny pub garden. I enjoyed Spice 94 in a restaurant ahead of a weekend food festival in Ludlow, so that too brings back fond memories.
Grove 42 A zesty & complex, citrus-forward blend of three types of orange & uplifting spice distillates. Simply serve with tonic & a twist of orange peel. Orange & Mandarin peel & pith top notes, with juicy Blood Orange undertones open up to a stalky, grassy character. Clean, fresh notes of Ginger & Lemongrass with a dry finish from a subtle Peppercorn prickle.
Spice 94 A complex blend of aromatic Jamaican Allspice berry & Cardamom distillates with two barks & a bright citrus finish. Simply serve with tonic & a red grapefruit peel garnish. Seedlip Spice 94 is aromatic with warm spiced notes, citrussy top notes from Lemon & Grapefruit peel and a long bitter finish from the highest quality barks (Oak & Cascarilla).
Garden 108 A floral blend of hand-picked Peas & homegrown Hay from founder Ben Branson’s Farm, with traditional garden herb distillates in celebration of the English countryside. Simply serve with tonic & a sugar snap pea to garnish. The fresh & floral Seedlip Garden 108 captures the essence of the English countryside. Sophisticated top notes of hand-picked Peas & Hay and a complex herbal base character of Spearmint, Rosemary & Thyme.
Out of all the non alcoholic botanical drinks, Seedlip has been around the longest and is therefore more widely stocked in bars and restaurants. It's also available to order from their very fancy website right here. Priced at £27.99 but they do have a special offer on for Dry January.
This is the new kid on the block ... or should I say 'these'. Right now there are two flavours available with plans to add more later in the year. Both drinks are designed like a spirit to be drunk with a mixer, preferably tonic water.
Sea Buckthorn (the orange one) The Sea Buckthorn distillation tastes of fragrant herbs, citrusy Seville oranges and subtle, warm, buttery baking. This might sound unusual but the blend feels relaxed, luxurious and fulfilling.
Verbena (the green one) The Verbena alcohol-free spirit tastes of refreshing, light, bright herbs. There are citrus notes and hints of menthol. This is the one that feels fresh and stimulating.
Out of the two flavours I was expecting to like Verbena the most, and was surprised to find Sea Buckthorn to be my favourite. Although Chris Bax reassured me that depending on the time of day the palette can change and so might my preference.
Priced at £17.99 and available online here, I expect to see big things from this brand this year.
I first came across this wine replacement at the Free From show in London. In all honesty I wasn't expecting great things. Ever wine replacement I've tried tastes sweet and fizzy and nothing like wine at all.
Whilst this doesn't taste much like wine either, what it does do is offer a fizzy but not sickly sweet alternative to take to a dinner party. The bottle design is beautiful and the taste is much more grown up and slightly bitter.
Blush (the pink one) The welcoming bouquet of strawberry, rose and bramble is matched on the front palette, then followed by a complex array of notes from spices and herbs, and a refreshingly dry, lingering finish. Great with Asian cuisine, afternoon teas and summer days on the lawn.
Original (the green one) High notes from citrus and basil, base notes from pananx ginseng and milk thistle seed, with a host a flavour notes from many herbs and spices in between, and a long dry finish. The dryness of a dry prosecco, acidity of a Sauvignon Blanc, the minerality of an Albarino, but a completely unique flavour. No grapes involved and the alcohol used to extract the flavour and goodness has been removed. Great with anti-pasti, Mediterranean and Oriental cuisine.
Not only does it feel like a genuinely luxurious alternative to alcohol (Shloer it is not!) Botonique actively replaces the nutrients alcohol depletes. A sparkling blend of de-alcoholised botanical extracts enriched with vitamins, minerals and amino acids, this is a crisp, refreshing and deliciously dry drink that can actually offer benefits for your skin.
Priced at £7.99 you can buy it from their online shop or order it from Ocado and other selected stockists in the UK.