STRYYK Not Vodka
Vodka is a curious muse for a non-alcoholic spirit brand given that the libation is often the drink of choice for those who don’t like the taste of alcohol. Distilled and bottled in the UK, STRYYK’s recently launched Not Vodka is crystal clear and combines cucumber and menthol notes with a sweet, wheaty undertone and hints of coriander. The STRYYK portfolio also includes Not Gin and Not Rum, which launched last summer. The range is sold in 700ml bottles which cost around £15.
Woodstar Acai Berry Blend
At 1% abv, Woodstar’s Acai Berry Blend isn’t booze free, but you’d need to put away several buckets’ worth to get even a little bit squiffy. Made in France, the drink is a blend of acai berries, blackcurrants, blueberries, cherries, botanicals and cocoa. With wine bottle-like presentation, Woodstar’s debut product has been designed to allow restaurants to offer diners “the ritualistic experience traditionally associated with wine” without the high alcohol content and is said to partner well with fish, meats and cheese. The suggested retail price is roughly in line with house wine.
The team behind Three Spirit has sought to emulate the positive effects of alcohol, using plants and herbs (it even worked with phytochemists to map what alcohol does to the body). The result is a combination of 11 ingredients, including lion’s mane, yerba mate and cacao, that has a grown-up, powerful taste and is best served simply with a small amount of soda and ice. With Tristan Stephenson and Thomas Aske from Fluid Movement (Black Rock, Worship Street) involved, this should be marked down as one to watch. Three Spirit is available from this month priced at £15.60 for 50cl.
St Peter’s Without Gold
Skilled brewers are working hard to prove that non-alcoholic beers don’t need to be a joyless slog. St Peter’s effort is designed to appeal to ale fans and is surprisingly full-bodied for a beverage that’s without the hard stuff. Brewed in Suffolk, St Peter’s Without Gold has a slightly sweet malt flavour that’s set off with a citrus bitterness. Available from Thomas Ridley.
Botanic Lab Cannabidiol Botanical Tea Drink
A whole new take on Dutch courage, the catchily named Botanic Lab Cannabidiol Botanical Tea Drink is out to “change the social drinking landscape”. It combines sour cherry and hibiscus with botanical hemp CBD extract. The latter is one of a number of compounds that make up the Cannabis sativa plant. It’s legal and won’t get your customers high, but it’s claimed to help “ease the social anxiety that sometimes comes with fast-paced social interactions”.
Franklin & Sons Infused Soda
Franklin & Sons’ recently launched range of Infused Sodas takes inspiration from distillers and is designed to offer “the same complex taste and flavour profiles of a cocktail serve” minus the alcohol content. The three flavours are Guava and Persian Lime with Root Ginger; Exotic Pineapple and Aromatic Cardamom with Cracked Cubeb Pepper; and Succulent Pomegranate and Floral Hibiscus with Delicate Rose. The recommended serve is with ice and fresh fruit in a large wine glass. All avoid the sugar tax with 4.2g sugar per 100ml, and contain 49 calories per 275ml bottle.
Seedlip Grove 42
Launched back in 2015, Seedlip is a pioneer of the non-alcoholic spirit category. It’s latest variant, Grove 42, is all about citrus: bitter orange, blood orange and mandarin join lemongrass, lemon peel and ginger. Though it can be used in all manner of drinks, the intensely aromatic liquid has been designed to be served with soda water and a slice of fresh orange to allow restaurants to o fer an non-alcoholic, sugar-free and – we must say – very grown-up option.
Punchy Rum Punch
Drinks company Punchy is hoping to reinvent a student party classic for a “new generation” of drinkers with its 0% abv ready-to-drink Rum Punch (a 4% variant is also available). Punch was brought to the UK in the 17th century from India and the word is derived from the Sanskrit number five so Punchy has imbued its offering with five flavours: peach, ginger, chai spice, natural rum flavouring and, err, ‘bubbles’. “Both variants are under sugar tax, gluten free, vegan friendly, and made from all-natural ingredients – to give every type of drinker a choice,” says Punchy founder Paddy Cavanagh-Butler.
Adnams Ghost Ship Alcohol Free
Adnams’ latest non-alcoholic beer has been de-alcoholised: the Suffolk-based brewer makes the beer in the normal manner then uses reverse osmosis to remove most of the alcohol (the end product is a paltry 0.5% abv). “It’s high-tech, but crucially it keeps the original flavours and aromas,” says Adnams head brewer Fergus Fitzgerald. Adnams Ghost Ship Alcohol Free is brewed with pale ale, rye crystal malt and caramalt, using Citra and a blend of other American hop varieties to create bold citrus flavours.
Copenhagen Sparkling Tea ‘Blue’
Sold in champagne bottles, this lightly sparkling booze-free beverage is made from a mixture of grape juice and several different jasmine, white and Darjeeling teas (the idea is to mimic the taste of fermentation). There’s notes of honeysuckle, citrus and tropical fruit on the nose and jasmine and green apple fruit on the finish, and the drink is said to pair well with delicate dishes, sushi and soft cheeses. The company makes two alcoholic variants as well that use white wine as a base.