Six of the best alcohol free spirits to try
Æcorn is a range of herbal aperitifs based on grapes – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier – infused with botanicals including oak, hence the name. Serve chilled over ice, with a splash of soda for a dry, elegant alternative to aperitif cocktails. Pair Æcorn Bitter with Fever-Tree Italian Blood Orange Soda if you’re a fan of Negronis or Campari and soda.
Bax Botanics Sea Buckthorn
Distilled in Yorkshire using organic, ethically sourced herbs and fruit. Packed with vibrant flavour, the no-sugar Bax range includes uplifting Verbena, laced with fresh, sappy, herbaceous notes. But my favourite is Sea Buckthorn: earthy, fruity, spicy, herbal and tangy, with a lip-smacking bitter finish. Pair with low-cal Lixir Ginger Ale for a refreshing, spicy alternative to a whisky highball.
Lyre’s Italian Orange
Lyre’s offers a useful range of alcohol-free substitutes for bottles that you’d find in a home cocktail cabinet. Italian Orange is a great replacement for Campari, with the same bitter cherry, bitter orange, spicy character. Pair with the Lyre’s Dry London Spirit and Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso for a lighter, delicate take on a Negroni. Lyre’s Orange Sec also makes a great substitute for orange curaçao if you want to enjoy a lower alcohol Margarita.
Salcombe New London Light
From Devon’s Salcombe Distilling Co, low-calorie NLL is inspired by gin, distilled from a base of juniper, ginger and habanero capsicum, before blending with botanical extracts including orange, sage and cardamom. With Fever-Tree Refreshingly Light tonic, it makes a decidedly lighter take on a classic G&T but still has enough punch to cut through salty savoury snacks.
Sea Arch Coastal Juniper
Created by former wine bar owners Sarah and Geoff Yates, Sea Arch majors on coastal botanicals: sea kelp and samphire. Its sugar-free botanical blend also includes juniper, coriander and grapefruit. I love the breezy aromas; like a walk over wet rocks on a fresh day. A well-balanced palate combines juniper bitterness and dry spice with punchy citrus and fresh green notes; with tonic it tastes just like a G&T.
Seedlip Garden 108
The world’s first zero-abv distilled spirit, Seedlip was inspired by a book of 17th-century herbal remedies. The different botanical expressions should appeal to lovers of spicy, citrus or herbal gins. Clove-laced Spice 94 was the first launch, followed by Garden 108 and lemony Grove 42. Garden, with its notes of thyme, sage and pea pods, gives a fresh, herbal-edged drink with a crisp finish perfect for summer sipping.