Ever wondered how non alcoholic gin is made?
IMAGINE ALL THE BENEFITS OF GIN, WITHOUT THE ALCHOLIC SIDE EFFECTS!
Gin fans unite! If you’re seeking 100% spirit, and 0% alcoholic for a healthier, tasty alternative, you can now enjoy your fave G&T or gin-based cocktail as a mocktail instead.
Although, technically, non-alcoholic gin is not new info, it certainly is becoming an increasingly popular (and more widely available) choice among health conscious, discerning individuals. Especially those seeking a crisp, refreshing beverage with that distinctive gin taste, and not the alcoholic side effects (bye, bye, bloating).
Why gin? It’s such a versatile drink with so many flavour combinations, which is why it is so well-loved in both its alcoholic and also alcohol-free versions.
HOW IS NON-ALCOHOLIC GIN MADE?
The process itself is similar to alcoholic gin, relying on the same types of botanicals (the fruity, floral, fragrant components). This generally include juniper, the inclusion known for giving gin its ‘ginny’ taste, but also fruit peels, spices, herbs and even bark (true story!).
Most non-alcoholic gin manufacturers keep their recipes fairly hush-hush, both because it’s a complex process and because it takes experience to complete it.
Having said that, there are two main ways alcohol-free gin is created. The first includes leaving the botanicals to ‘soak’ in purified water until they take on a flavour that closely resembles gin. The second way follows a similar method to the below:
- The manufacturer will begin with a small amount of neural flavoured spirit (alcoholic) usually from wheat grain to extra the optimum amount of flavour to form the basis what will later be the non-alcoholic gin
- From here the botanical ingredients are added to a copper still (basically, a big pot)
- The liquid is gently heated over multiple rounds of distillation to withdraw the flavours of the non-alcoholic ingredients
- Vapours rise, condense and are cooled and diluted and separated from the alcohol into the end result – a tasty, refreshing non-alcoholic gin.
All up, this can take around six weeks to complete, which is generally longer than it would take to produce an alcoholic spirit. There is naturally more involved in starting with alcohol and then removing this entirely to leave a very low or no alcohol gin.
It takes significant time to soak and soften all of the ingredients (such as the spices, peels, etc.), distil them, blend them and then filter each component individually before bottling.
Apart from the time and effort, it also requires technical expensive equipment and expertise that allows each ingredient to be distilled separately to ensure the absolute highest quality end product and best taste possible.
NEW FLAVOURS AND TRUE TASTE
The good news is non-alcoholic gin tastes pretty close to the ‘real’ thing, without some noticeable alcoholic effects, such as that next day hangover headache.
Gin sans alcohol is ideal for anyone who prefers not to drink alcohol, or those who can’t (for instance, pregnancy or designated driver duties), but still craves crisp, cool refreshment in the heat of summer, or on a night out with friends.
Many alcohol-free gin providers are looking to provide not just a great tasting alcohol alternative, but a botanical based healthy drink option! Seedlip is a great example of a distilled non-alcoholic gin. In fact, they are the world’s first brand to have succeeded in creating an alcohol-free spirit!
The added benefit? The beverages from this brand are committed to being sugar-free and sweetener-free, so they can offer a true, healthy drink and modern alcohol-free alternative to traditional alcoholic spirits.
Since most mocktails rely on sugar syrups and many pre-made mixers are full of additives, this is a great opportunity to experience the taste of gin in a friendlier form.
It gets even better, as Seedlip have crafted gone experimental on us and through innovative means crafted multiple versions of their non-alcoholic gin from a range of flavoursome ingredients. In addition to classic gin botanicals like juniper, they have introduced blends containing sugar snap peas, ginger root, oranges and cascarilla & oak extracts.
This makes for a nice, healthy drink alternative to your standard coke or lemon, lime and bitters that are often a sugary second choice to alcohol.
ELEVATE YOUR MOCKTAIL RECIPES
Although you can absolutely enjoy your non-alcoholic gin neat if your heart desires, these bottles of liquid joy are intended to be mixed. In fact, Seedlip claim that when mixed with tonic and other fruity or spicy liquid blends, their non-alcoholic spirits shine as it opens up the complexity and strength of the gin.
The obvious answer to a classic favourite cocktail (now served as a mocktail) would be a Gin and Tonic. A 30-50ml of Seedlip (or another alcohol-free gin), topped with a sparkling tonic over ice and muddled with fresh lemon or lime will be just as delicious (and guilt-free too).
Craftzero has several delicious Seedlip variations available and an amazing range of non-alcoholic gin, including tonic, if you want to spice things up a little and quench your thirst for something both unique, and ginny.