#21DaysofTrends: A Toast to Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Whether you're reducing or renouncing alcohol, these non-alcoholic spirits are a great way to enjoy a guilt-free cocktail.
With the rise of mindfulness, conscious eating and sustainability, people are becoming ever more selective about what they put into their bodies. Some choose to eliminate processed food, others go vegan, and some are reducing or renouncing alcoholic beverages. This brings us to the latest trend in our #21DaysofTrends list: non-alcoholic spirits.
Gone are the days of teetotallers or designated drivers having to settle for ginger ale or a mocktail (which, lets face it, is just an expensive glass of juice). Now people can enjoy fun and sophisticated drinks that also don't contain alcohol. As the world’s first non-alcoholic, sugar-free gin and tonic, South African brand The Duchess puts virgin drinks in the spotlight back in 2016, and the industry has grown tremendously since then.
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Our Top 4 Trending Non-Alcoholic Spirits
1. John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals
From her base in Paarl, Hanneli van der Merwe has created an outstanding range of premium tonics under her brand Barker and Quin, and now she has added a non-alcoholic spirit to the mix with John Ross Virgin Distilled Botanicals. The first of its kind in South Africa, John Ross was launched in 2018 and is made using distilled botanicals that are blended together to create a classic non-alcoholic gin that is then infused with a honeybush tannin. The result is a delicious amber-coloured spirit complete with a South African twist that you can use to make wonderful alcohol-free cocktails.
A pioneer in the beverage industry, Seedlip was the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirit brand. Launched in 2015 in the UK by Ben Branson, Seedlip is all about going back to nature. Using the manual The Art of Distillation by John French – published in 1651 – Branson learnt how physicians distilled botanicals for medicinal purposes. He began experimenting with these recipes in his own kitchen to create non-alcoholic spirits. Today, Seedlip has three drinks in its range: Spice 94, which comprises a blend of spices, citrus rind and bark, Garden 108, which blends peas and herbs, and Grove 42, a blend of citrus and spice.
3. Ginifer Sober
Joburg-based gin company Ginifer has added two non-alcoholic spirits to its range, aptly calling them Ginifer Sober. The Ginifer brand focuses on small-batch distillation and attention to detail, and this applies to its alcohol-free range too. Made from selected gin botanicals and distilled water, there are two varieties to choose from – Ginifer Sober Dry emulates regular dry gin as we have come to know it (without any of the alcohol, of course!) while Ginifer Sober Hibiscus Infused adds some hibiscus flavours and a bright pop of colour to the mix.
4. Vermont Vergin
In the picturesque Overberg region of the Western Cape, Vermont Vergin has quietly been creating exquisite non-alcohlic spirits using seeds, spices, barks, peels, petals and juniper berries. Vermont Vergin Bloom, named for its floral flavour profile and pink colouring, includes zesty lemon peel to add some freshness to its distinctive gin profile, while Vermont Vergin Limon is a softer spirit with flavours of lemon and lime, and a slight spicy edge. Best of all? Both spirits contain zero sugar, making them completely guilt-free.