As a winemonkey you might think that when I was pregnant not being able to drink wine must have been particularly tough for me. But actually I found that not drinking wine wasn’t really a problem – although I have to admit to savouring the odd glass of Champagne at special occasions. What I found harder was knowing what to drink instead of wine.
It wasn’t really during mealtimes that I had a problem – water was quite sufficient at that point. Instead it was those other drinking occasions: that pre-dinner tipple; when in a bar with friends or when everyone else was enjoying a cold beer on a sunny afternoon. At that point water seemed more than a little bit dull.
And so I experimented with various soft drinks and juices but quickly found that they were all far too sweet. Some were fine for a small glass, but I couldn’t have happily drunk more than that. I couldn’t seem to find anything that seemed like an acceptable non-alcoholic alternative that didn’t leave me feeling vaguely like I’d returned to childhood. Tonic water was my only saving grace, ticking the dry/bitter card – but it did always leave me feeling like I was missing an ingredient.
Then the other day I was introduced to a revolutionary new drink: a distilled non-alcoholic spirit. Yes, you read that right. It’s called Seedlip and I reckon it’s a game changer.
Seedlip is made with botanicals, just like gin – but without the alcohol. But rather than being based on juniper like gin is, Seedlip tastes of a complex mix of woody, heady spices like clove and cinnamon along with bitter citrus notes. Distinctly grown-up flavours. I tried it mixed with some Fevertree tonic and discovered a delicious, refreshing drink with not even a hint of sweetness. Not dissimilar to a traditional g+t – but equally, something quite different. And completely non-alcoholic.
Launched at the end of last year, Seedlip is now available for sale in Selfridges and I hear it is also proving extremely popular in some of the top London bars and hotels as a base for non-alcoholic cocktails. I am sure the eye-catching label and elegant bottle design also don’t hurt – it certainly wouldn’t look out of place next to other premium spirits on a bar display.
So for all those mums-to-be out there, designated drivers or anyone who just fancies an alcohol-free day, you no longer need to feel like you’re choosing a drink from the kiddies menu. I just wish I’d discovered it when I was pregnant.