Seedlip - the world's first non-alcoholic spirit

(John Hartley) #1

I stopped drinking alcohol nearly 19 years ago. Since then it’s always been a struggle to find drinks that are not overly sweet. I drink Palermo, both white and red, which is very similar in flavour tones to vermouth. But, until my birthday last month, I never even knew there was a non-alcoholic sprit - just there to be drunk with ice, much as I used to enjoy a vodka and tonic back in the day.

This is a distillation of peas, hay, rosemary, thyme and mint. Yep, it is a really weird concept and, yep, there are predominently grassy, herbal, tones. But it does work well with tonic - particularly Fevertree’s “Aromatic” which incorporates angostura. A very grown up drink to my mind .



I haven’t tried it yet. But I have a beef with them using the phrase “non-alcoholic spirit.” If it doesn’t have alcohol it isn’t a spirit. A friend of mine who I have known for a decade, and works for them, actually unfriended me because I confronted him on this on FB.



Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have a number of friends who would be very interested to try it.


(John Hartley) #4

Although, presumably, that can’t be the legal position in the UK, otherwise they would not be able to advertise it as such.

For example the “Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations” make it illegal to use knowingly false information in adverts. And I can imagine that there are any number of producers of alcoholic spirits who would have quickly reported a false definition to the Advertising Standards Authority.



I don’t know about the UK, but things like this slip by the TTB in the States all the time. Until brought to their attention. As a small producer myself, I won’t contact TTB, but I did confront them.



Thanks for mentioning this. I picked up a bottle today. It’s really not bad! And a good thing to have in the house.


(Chris) #7

This is on The Guardian website today and may be of interest.


(John Hartley) #8

Interesting article, Chris.

I note it also mentions the “Alcohol Free Shop”, which is just up the road to me in Manchester. Their online service is excellent - deliveries usually within 48 hours. I buy the Palermo I mention upthread from them, as well as alcohol free wine. They also usually stock single variety apple juices - I love a glass of Bramley with, say, a roast pork dinner.



Here in the US, if the product contains alcohol, the TTB controls labeling. If it doesn’t then it is several other agencies such as FDA, etc. They really don’t bother to regulate a lot of things, as long as the product doesn’t make medical claims, or have any health dangers. So although the product makes a false claim in that it is a non-alcoholic spirit, since to be a spirit it must have alcohol, it is getting away with it right now, because TTB doesn’t care as long as it doesn’t have alcohol. The product is actually a hydrosol, an aqueous distillate.