Lately, I have cut way back on my drinking – primarily for health and weight reasons. It’s not that I don’t like drinking but I am restricting myself to two glasses of wine and drinking fewer cocktails. And, btw, it’s made a HUGE difference to how I feel when I wake up in the morning as well as helped me to lose more poundage than I thought possible.
My modus operandi for big parties or any other event where there is “open-pour,” is to restrict myself to sparkling water served in a wine glass. It was hard to adjust to at first but now, totally second nature.
I am intrigued, therefore, by the growing trend to non-alcoholic beverages in lieu of wine, beer or cocktails.
- I especially love the concept of the UK’s Seedlip. From what I can tell, it is currently available at Dean & DeLuca and online from Amazon and Anthropologie’s Terrain.
- The packaging is gorgeous and, unbelievably, Seedlip contains zero calories and no sugar.
- Prices are all over the place but range from $40 – $55 a bottle. Definitely spendy.
- I first read about Seedlip on billypenn out of Philadelphia – that’s when I learned it was served at the French Laundry as well as other Michelin-starred restaurants around the world.
See below for more on Seedlip’s backstory.
Seedlip was created by Ben Branson who explains:
“I have always been crafty, and I’m from a farming family. I was wondering what else I could do with the herbs I was growing.”
At that point, on the internet, he came across The Art of Distillation, a 16th-century volume on herbal remedies that’s filled with recipes for distilling botanicals without alcohol.
- Branson built on those antique recipes and launched Seedlip in the UK in 2015.
- His experiment took off, attracting a minority investment from Diageo.
- Branson’s two blends, Garden 108 (made from peas, hay, spearmint, rosemary and thyme) and Spice 94 (from allspice, cardamom, oak, lemon and grapefruit) have been widely praised for their wonderful aromas.
- The Spice version has a warm woody fragrance that calls to mind whiskey and other brown spirits.
- The Garden bottle is floral and vegetal, reminiscent of gin.
- Seedlip isn’t meant to be sipped on its own.
Per NPR, Ben Branson knew he had a success on his hands based on bartender interest.
- Bottles of Seedlip can now regularly be found at the bars of high-end restaurants around the world — including at Eleven Madison Park in NYC and the bar at The Savoy in London.
Intriguing, but beware: Based on Amazon (where it is available for $55 a bottle), reviews are mixed. Those who don’t like it, REALLY don’t like it.