Seedlip: the new non-alcoholic spirits to drink when you’re not drinking
"Ocsober" might be behind us, but the trend towards drinking less alcohol – or even none at all – just got a boost with the arrival of Seedlip non-alcoholic spirits in South Africa.
Since its launch in the UK in November 2015, Seedlip has pioneered a new way of thinking about "mindful" drinking, having created a new generation of non-alcoholic spirits.
Ben Branson founded Seedlip in his kitchen using a small copper still and a copy of a book called The Art of Distillation (written in 1651), which documents distilled non-alcoholic herbal remedies used by apothecaries.
Blended and bottled in England, Seedlip has created a bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation and filtration process for each individual botanical that takes six weeks.
Says Branson, ‘My family’s 300-year farming heritage coupled with a career working on drinks brands laid the foundations to spend two years working with distillers, growers and historians to create adult, complex drinks when, for whatever reason, you’re not drinking alcohol.’
Seedlip is served in 150 Michelin-star restaurants around the world
After its launch in 2015, Seedlip quickly sold out in iconic London department store Selfridges, and is now served in 150 Michelin-star restaurants around the world as well as at top cocktail bars, hotels and retailers in cities ranging from Barcelona to Hong Kong, New York and Melbourne.
And now Seedlip is in South Africa too. It is available in two versions or "expressions": the first is Seedlip Garden 108, which captures the essence of the English countryside with sophisticated top notes of the handpicked peas and hay from the founder’s family farm and a complex herbal base character of spearmint, rosemary and thyme.
On the other hand, Seedlip Spice 94 is aromatic, with strong top notes of allspice and cardamom as well as citrus (lemon and grapefruit peel) and a long bitter note that is derived from the highest quality barks (oak and cascarilla).
Both spirits are best served with tonic or as the base for martini- or sour-style non-alcoholic cocktails.
We’ve been instantly hooked on the spicy kick of the Spice 94, but the soft summery notes of the Garden 108 are also perfect for the season – try a taste test using either one of the simple Seedlip and tonic recipes below as a start.
As well as containing no alcohol, Seedlip has zero calories and is sugar-free, sweetener-free and artificial flavour-free. It has an opened back-bar shelf life of 6 months and does not require refrigeration.
QUICK NON-ALCOHOLIC COCKTAIL RECIPES
SEEDLIP GARDEN 108 AND TONIC
Fill a tall glass with ice, then add 50ml Seedlip Garden, pop in a snapped pea pod and top with Fever Tree Indian tonic.
SEEDLIP SPICE 94 AND TONIC
Fill a tall glass with ice, then add 50ml Seedlip Spice, top up with Fever Tree Indian tonic and garnish with a red grapefruit twist.