A review of the Seedlip collection

English | Cymraeg

A review of Seedlip Spirit 94, Garden 108 and Grove 42.

ABV: 0%
Calories: 0

These have to be some of the most unusual additions to the alcohol-free drinks world. And we’ll confess, we didn’t know quite what to make of them. They’re marketed as “the world’s first non-alcoholic spirits”. It may be a matter of how you define that, since drinks claiming to be alcohol-free whiskeys have been around since the 1990s (although not always well-received!)

Seedlip’s recipes are based on a remarkable 17th century text The Art of Distillation. The products have the look of artisan gins, and that’s what we thought they might taste like, but there’s not a sniff of juniper here. The three drinks have very distinct flavours:

  • Spirit 94 is made with allspice, cardamom, oak, lemon and grapefruit, and it’s the oak that comes through strongest. This stuff tastes really woody – like sandalwood, maybe
  • Garden 108 contains peas, spearmint, rosemary and thyme. Again, one flavour comes through most, and that’s the peas
  • Grove 42 has three types of oranges, lemon peel and lemon grass, and its probably the most subtle of the three drinks

Once we’d bought them, our next question was how to drink them. We tried them neat to start off with. This is obviously not how they’re intended to be drunk – the flavours are way too strong for that. They come with serving suggestions – premium tonic for the 94, elderflower tonic for the 108, and tonic or soda with number 42 – so we had a go at that. The result is some very light, very clean drinks. We could imagine drinking them on a river-boat trip on a summer’s evening. This is not G&T. In fact, we’re still not sure what it is, but if you’re in the market for unexpected flavours, give it a go.

The bottle designs really set these drinks apart as top-end: two very ingenious graphics, using drawings of the ingredients to create images of a fox, a hare and a red squirrel, some of the countryside’s most iconic animals and ones that are just a little bit mysterious too.

Looking at the nutritional information, they are calorie-free, so the only calories you might want to think about are the ones in your tonic.