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Let’s talk about non-alcoholic gin & why it’s so popular

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All too often, treating yourself to a few cheeky G&Ts can mean instant next day regret. Hey, we’ve all been there.

Celebratory drinks and punishing hangovers go hand in hand. Meanwhile, if you don’t partake at all, there’s the constant awkward dilemma of what to drink when you don’t drink.

But imagine if you never got onto that roller coaster ride… or didn’t take take it so far in the first place. Enter non-alcoholic gin and tonic.

In the heydey of wellness we’re watching the phenomenon of non-alcoholic drinks with fascination. Indeed, the non-alcoholic drink market is expected to hit $2020 billion by 2021, according to a Research & Markets report.

Likewise, new research by Britvic showed that demand for non-alcoholic drinks is set to soar as alcohol consumption declines. A picture is emerging of millennials favouring green juices and high fibre smoothie bowls over gin, tequila and the like.

You may be familiar with non-alcoholic beer, but non-alcoholic gin and tonic is a relative newbie.

So what’s good?


non-alcoholic gin
Image by Seedlip

The biggest name in non-alcoholic gin is Seedlip. Seedlip Spice 94 (£22.99, Amazon) is the closest offering Seedlip has to the ‘real thing’ — although they’re quick to offer a caveat.

“It’s made like a gin with botanicals, but is definitely not a gin.” The leading flavour is clove rather than juniper as with gin.

Six botanicals went into the making of this non-alcoholic gin-not-gin: allspice, grapefruit, lemon peel, caradmom, American oak and cascarilla bark.

It’s free from a lot of things: alcohol, calories, sugar and sweeteners, natural and artificial alike. We couldn’t speak of its taste, but one stockist is Eleven Madison Park, the world’s best restaurant.

Seedslips’ second bottling, Seedlip Garden 108 (£26, Amazon), is an herbaceous drink that’s gin-like in spirit. Made with hay, pea, spearment and thyme, their recommended serve is with elderflower tonic and a cucumber ribbon.

Herbie Virgin

Image by Herbie Gin

Danish gin distiller Herbie launched a drink deemed the “first non-alcoholic gin in the world” last July.  Seedlip, which launched in December 2015, might have something to say about that, but the title of first non-alcoholic gin is a bit fuzzy anyhow. What’s the difference between one non-alcoholic drink from another?

Created in North Jutland, Herbie Virgin is made with botanicals designed to give the drink a gin and tonic feel in taste and fragrance. Like Seedlip, the maker is quick to tamper expectations.

“You shouldn’t expect to drink Herbie Virgin clean and get the taste and texture of alcohol,” say Herbie Virgin. “But if you use it in drinks, it comes very close to ‘the real deal.'”

Its botanicals include juniper, Danish apples, lavender and orange peel. Drinkers are recommended to sip it neat or with tonic.

Herbie plans to export its non-alcoholic gin, so keep your eyes peeled on The Gin Kin when it lands on our shores.

The Duchess

non-alcoholic gin
Image by The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic

The Duchess is a non-alcoholic gin & tonic. Crafted with aromatic botanical extracts, naturally sweetened with stevia and low in sugar. An elegant alternative to alcohol.

With incredible attention to detail, the botanists behind this tipple crafted The Duchess with re-distilled juniper berries and their own botanically infused tonic water. It has the distinct gin & tonic taste, blended with aromatic layers of orangepeel, all spice, star aniseed, cloves, and cardamom.

The Duchess was created for the conscious consumer – the healthy, successful and discerning individual. Whether at a business lunch or being the designated driver, for personal or religious reasons, The Duchess offers you the choice of a low sugar, hangover-free refreshment.

Ceder’s Distilled Non-Alcoholic Gin

non-alcoholic gin
Image by Ceder’s Distilled Non-alcoholic Gin

CEDER’S is a distilled non-alcoholic alt-gin made with classic gin and exotic South African botanicals, found only in the Cederberg Mountains of the Western Cape. CEDER’S is bottled in Sweden, after blending with pristine Swedish water.

Escape and enjoy a characteristic alt-gin experience everyday, as Swedish style and perfection is juxtaposed with wild South African botanicals, creating synergy and harmony.

You can get it at Sainsbury’s £20.00, Tesco £15 and the Whisky Exchange £19.95 (50 cl 

Who to watch

Image by Peel & Spice

English brand Peel & Spice announced the launch of two non-alcoholic drinks this week. Watch out for a ginger and cinnamon, plus a lemongrass and black pepper.

A third drink is already planned for spring 2018. True to its namesake, the UK company just uses herbs, peels and spices for their low sugar, non-alcoholic offerings.

What’s your take on non-alcoholic gin?

See our review of the best tonic waters for your gin ranked from last to first!