With dry January in full swing and we are revisiting our January 2019 review of the non-alcoholic spirits and taking a look at the new selection of non-alcoholic aperitifs on the market. These drinks not only stimulate the appetite but are also delicious with some pre-dinner snacks. On the whole, I think we actually prefer them to the non-alcoholic spirit alternatives such as Cedars and the best known, Seedlip.
First up is Everleaf. Born from founder Paul’s former careers. He was first a conservationist and then a bartender. It’s appealing yellow colour is derived from saffron. Everleaf makes a delicious drink straight over ice or with tonic and a slice of orange. Bittersweet with hints vanilla and orange. It is one of the few alcohol alternatives which has real depth and texture. Available from Sainsbury’s £18 for 50cl
Aecorn, which is the sister brand of Seedlip, consists of three different, complementary, non-alcoholic aperitifs, Dry, Bitter and Aromatic. All are made from early pressed English grapes which are combined with herbs, roots and bitter botanicals. Aecorn aperitifs work well over ice, with soda or tonic and as part of a cocktail. Visit Aecorn for lots of ideas. We love the thought of a NOgroni.
The three Aecorn aperitifs are all quite different. Dry makes an interesting alternative to sherry. It is very subtle with notes of citrus and gooseberry. Excellent over ice. Bitter makes you think of Campari, with notes of raspberry and cherry. It is a sophisticated drinking experience. Aromatic is dark and rich with notes of vanilla, cola and burnt sugar. I feel it is more of an acquired taste than the Dry and the Bitter however it does work really well as a cocktail addition. All three are available from Waitrose, £19.99 for 50cl
Finally, we tried Pentire which is a botanical non-alcoholic spirit. It takes inspiration from the Cornish landscape where it is created. You start thinking of the sea with the initial aromas of salt, samphire and seaside herbs. This is one of my favourite alcohol alternatives because it works so well with tonic adding a herbal saltiness without being too overpowering. Pentire is available directly through their website, £26.80 for 70cl. Use the code TOPNOTE15 for a 15% discount for Top Note Design customers.
These new alcohol alternatives are worth trying even if you aren’t going the whole hog on Dry January. One interesting idea is to use one or two as part of an alcoholic cocktail firstly reducing the alcohol content and secondly making for a lighter drink. You will not be sacrificing flavour at all.
If you are trying to cut back on amount of wine you drink you might also think of investing in one of our best selling products, Winesave PRO. There is no need to finish the bottle. Firstly pump a small amount of argon from your Winesave into the neck bottle and then put then the stopper in. Your wine will keep perfectly for up to three weeks. Winesave PRO is currently on sale reduced from £30 to £25