Whether you’ve done a health detox, participated in a Dry July or are a full-time teetotaler, most of us have gone through periods of not drinking alcohol. Despite it having literally no effect on the people around you whatsoever, you always face the inevitable “why aren’t you drinking?” questions when you’re out. This is especially the case here in Australia, where boozing is so deeply ingrained in our culture. It’s annoying to say the least and sometimes, it feels like it’s easier to just stay home so you can avoid the grilling.
It’s a dilemma that UK entrepreneur Ben Branson is on a mission to solve. He’s created the world’s first non-alcoholic spirits brand, Seedlip, aka ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking.’ Not only will it stop people from asking incessant questions (as they’ll assume you’re drinking), it actually tastes like a refreshing alcoholic beverage — so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
Next week @seedlip_ben heads to Jamaica for Allspice Berry Harvest . We are going to dedicate next week to the Allspice Berry, the lead botanical of the 6 that we distill into our Seedlip Spice 94 . The name “Allspice” refers to the fact that this spice tastes like a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & black pepper . 📸 – @robthelens
Not only is Seedlip alcohol-free, it’s also gluten-free, sugar-free, sweetener-free, calorie free and allergy friendly. The spirits were inspired by the 17th-century book The Art of Distillation – a collection of copper-silled, non-alcoholic remedies – and are made from all natural ingredients. They also have no unopened shelf life, so they literally last forever.
It took two years of working with botanists, historians and distillers to create a bespoke and much coveted distillation process for each individual ingredient we work with so we can capture the true character of each plant. I was resolute in not adding sugar or sweetener, in using real ingredients grown from the land and that Seedlip should not be relegated to the fridge but could sit proudly on the back bar or in someone’s drinks cabinet at home.
-Seedlip founder Ben Branson
Seedlip currently has two products in the range, Seedlip Garden 108 and Seedlip Spice 94, both best served with tonic. Seedlip Garden 108 is a herbal blend of pea and hay distillates combined with rosemary and thyme, spearmint and hops. With its bright green character, Garden 108 makes great Sour or Collins style cocktails. Seedlip Spice 94 is an aromatic, complex blend of Jamaican all-spice berry, cardamom, citrus peel and two bark distillates. Warm and woody, Spice 94 makes great martini style serves using shrubs and verjus and works well with kombucha as a mixer.
Seedlip launched in the UK last year and sold out in just three weeks. 18 months later, it’s stocked in some of London, NYC and LA’s best cocktail bars and restaurants and is about to make its debut in Australia — just in time for summer!
We see that Australia is at least two years ahead of where the UK is from a health perspective and although the world will always enjoy alcohol, there is a paradigm shift occurring in the role it plays in people’s lives which certainly gives rise to the need to still be able to have a quality adult drink regardless of alcohol content!
-Seedlip founder Ben Branson