Good Libations: Sipping on Seedlip

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With trends like dry (or damp) January popularizing consumer experimentation in the realm of non-alcoholic cocktails, Seedlip brings to the table a sustainably-crafted, distilled artisan spirit with 0% ABV.

Good Libations is a regular Bluedot feature that serves up info on how to make sustainable (and delicious!) drink choices.


Non-alcoholic spirits have a history of medicinal use dating back three centuries. In 1651, physician John French published The Art of Distillation in which he detailed recipes for herbal remedies that were distilled using copper stills. These recipes entailed gathering locally-sourced and intentionally harvested ingredients to properly harness the natural healing qualities of various herbs, barks, and peels.

Fast-forward to today, and Seedlip has adopted these same practices and philosophies when it comes to producing a non-alcoholic spirit in the craft cocktail space. Seedlip’s founder Ben Branson continued to encounter disappointment when ordering non-alcoholic “mocktails” — even at upscale cocktail bars, the non-alcoholic options tasted artificial and did not reflect the “farm-to-table” ethos of the craft cocktail movement. Seedlip works one-on-one with small farmers around the world to source high-quality herbs, spices, peels, and barks that give the spirit its flavors. 

Creating a non-alcoholic spirit that can pack the same flavor punch as its alcoholic cousins is uniquely difficult because the ethanol contained in alcoholic compounds is capable of extracting and preserving essential oils from herbs and fruits with far greater efficiency than water alone. The bespoke distilling process used to create Seedlip recognizes this — every ingredient for a Seedlip spirit is individually macerated and combined with grain alcohol to extract the flavorful compounds from the plants. Then, using precisely calibrated copper stills, the mixture is doubly distilled to separate the alcohol from the extracted flavor compounds. This highly concentrated mixture is then filtered and mixed with water to form the final Seedlip product. The resulting liquid is additionally free of sugar, sweeteners, and allergens.

Seedlip’s spirits come in three unique flavor profiles. Grove 42 evokes a floral celebration of the English countryside and is comprised of bitter orange, blood orange, lemongrass, lemon, mandarin, and ginger. Spice 94 is aromatic with warm, wintery spice notes and uses all spice, oak, green cardamom, cascarilla, grapefruit, and lemon. Garden 108 is cool, zesty, fresh, and is made from peas, hay, spearmint, rosemary, hops, and thyme.

When you’re choosing to imbibe in non-alcoholic libations, at any time of the year for whatever reason you may have, there are great options that still respect the often forgotten connection between our natural world and the glass.

Find Seedlip at a store near you here!

Julia Cooper’s Good Libation: A few years ago, when Seedlip was new to the market, I attended a cocktail workshop hosted through a local liquor store. There I acquired the official Seedlip cocktail book which is packed with exciting recipe ideas, including recommendations for how to make non-alcoholic cocktail accoutrements (like bitters and vermouth) at home! While I like to keep my cocktails simple and typically enjoy a few ounces of Seedlip’s citrusy Grove 42 topped with ginger beer, here’s another fabulous and fun option.

A soft pink Seedlip non-alcoholic cocktail in a decorative glass with a star anise balanced on the rim
Photo courtesy of Seedlip

Mr. Howard

Ingredients

2 oz. Spice 94

1 oz. fresh pink grapefruit juice

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. sugar syrup

Ice

Star anise to garnish

Directions

  1. Add Spice 94, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and sugar syrup to a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake for 30 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a coupe glass.
  4. Garnish with star anise.

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Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper is a columnist for Bluedot Living with a passion for environmentally conscious food and beverages. While completing her master's degree in Writing & Publishing at Emerson College, Julia curates the natural wine and craft beer program for Black Sheep Market in Cambridge, Mass. Julia's cat Sofia is retired from her eight years as the bodega cat for a fine wine store on Boston's Newbury Street.

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