Chris and Rose have been friends of mine for almost 10 years. We first met on my thirtieth birthday when my sister booked a foraging course for me. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but what a wonderful day of wandering woodland picking berries, mushrooms, plant roots that tasted like cloves, flowers that tasted like marzipan and much more. I've since been on many courses with Chris and you can find out more about those here at Taste the Wild.
More excitedly, I was invited up to Yorkshire this week to taste Bax Botanics, a new non alcoholic drink - or two new non alcoholic drinks to be precise.
I hope you guys know me well enough by know to appreciate that I would never share a specific product with you, unless I absolutely loved it!
The Bax Botanics bottles look and feel beautiful. It's really lovely to see a product that I'd feel excited to gift someone or take to a dinner party - handing over a fizzy bottle of Shloer just doesn't have an impact somehow! Both drinks are bitter and if you're a fan of sickly sweet sparkly, these definitely won't be for you. But I absolutely loved them. Designed to be served as you would a gin - I use Fevertree tonic water and plenty of ice - it feels so nice to be able to have a proper grown up drinks option when you're not drinking alcohol.
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.
Before sampling both, I was convinced the green one would be my favourite, but actually the Sea Buckthorn is the one I would buy if I was forced to choose between the two. That said, Chris explained that at different times of day or on different days of the week our pallette can vary and my taste might change - so I'm excited to continue sampling them throughout the month.
Bottles are priced at £17.99 and can be bought from Chris and Rose here in their online shop. As the non alcoholic spirits market continues to grow, I'm excited to see more boutique farm shops, mainstream supermarkets and bars stock this fabulous drink - finally giving us something infinitely more exciting than sparkling water to order when out with friends.