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WORDS: EDITORIAL TEAM IMAGES: SUPPLIED

Lockdown regulations aside, an increasing number of South Africans are joining the global trend of moving away from alcoholic drinks. But as anyone who’s ever climbed aboard the wagon – even just temporarily – will tell you, diet sodas and sparkling water gets pretty boring after a while.

Of course, there are non-alcoholic beers and coolers available, but what if you fancy something more sophisticated – that’s also sugar, sweetener and artificial flavourant free? Enter Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, which aims to promote mindful drinking through a high-end product.

Launched in 2015, Seedlip is served in 150 Michelin-star restaurants and the world’s top cocktail bars, hotels, restaurants and retailers across London, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Stockholm, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, and now, South Africa.

Ben Branson founded Seedlip in his kitchen in the English woods with a small copper still and a copy of The Art of Distillation (written in 1651!), which documents distilled non-alcoholic herbal remedies used by apothecaries.

Blended and bottled in England, Seedlip has created a coveted bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation and filtration process for each individual botanical that takes six weeks.

Available in two expressions, Seedlip Garden 108 captures the essence of the English countryside with sophisticated top notes of the handpicked peas and hay from the founder’s family farm with a complex herbal base character of spearmint, rosemary and thyme.

Seedlip Spice 94 is aromatic with strong spice (all spice berries and cardamom) and citrus (lemon and grapefruit peel) top notes and a long bitter from the highest quality barks (oak and cascarilla). Both spirits are best served with tonic or as the base for martini or sour-style non-alcoholic cocktails.

Says Rowan Leibbrandt, founding owner of Truman & Orange, the South African drinks company importing Seedlip, “The global wellness trend has spurred a move away from artificial flavours to lighter, more natural ingredients. South Africa is no different and we’re aiming to offer our consumers greater choice when they’re not drinking. We believe South Africans are ready for the product – it’s been embraced by the world’s food and drink pioneers, so why not here in SA?”
Why not indeed. Luckily both expressions are available to order during lockdown through yuppiechef.co.za.

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