Seedlip Garden 108. Picture supplied.

A few years ago, teetotallers comprised designated drivers, pregnant women and a few health-conscious people who were limited to a choice of one or two overly-sweet mocktails, a soft drink or a sparkling water spruced up with a slice of lemon and served in a conciliatory wine glass.  

Excuse me for not sounding enthusiastic.

But how things have changed…the arrival of the health and wellness industry, and the rise of mindfulness and conscious eating has seen the emergence of a generation of new, young drinkers that are trying to drink less, but better. And not just over Dry January or ‘Oct-sober’: for many, it’s a lifestyle choice. 

The world's first distilled non-alcoholic drink. Picture supplied.

Enter Seedlip, Ben Branson’s non-alcoholic spirits brand that delivers a similar taste, body and mouthfeel to an alcoholic distilled spirit; offers a great story at least as impressive as its alcoholic counterparts; and solves the dilemma of “What to drink when you’re not drinking®”. (Yes, Branson is street smart enough to have registered the phrase.)

Seedlip extracts a particular flavour profile from the distillate and uses various botanicals cleverly to achieve the kind of full mouthfeel satisfaction delivered by alcoholic spirits, so that it mixes beautifully with tonic water and enables drinkers easily to punctuate their evening drinks with a few Seedlips and tonic without jarring the senses. 

Ben Branson, owner of Seedlip. Picture supplied.

There are two spirits in the range, the Spice 94 and the Graden 108. Spice 94, is a complex blend of aromatic, Jamaican allspice, berry and cardamon distillates with two barks and a bright citrus finish. 

Blended and bottled in England, Seedlip has created a coveted bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation and filtration process for each individual botanical that takes 6 weeks. 

Garden 108 is a floral blend of handpicked peas and homegrown hay from founder Ben Branson's farm, with traditional garden herb distillates in celebration of the English Countryside.

Seedlip is arguably the success story of the craft spirits industry since its initial launch in Selfridges in 2015. It also has the guidance and financial support of Diageo’s Distill Ventures initiative, set up to help start-ups and drinks entrepreneurs. 

Credit has to go to Diageo for how it quickly recognised the significance and potential of Seedlip in bringing credibility and real brand strength to the increasingly important and influential non-alcoholic drinks category.