Wednesday, January 20, 2021

“May the New Year bring you courage to break your resolutions early! My own plan is to swear off every kind of virtue, so that I triumph even when I fall.” 

~Aleister Crowley

As soon as I awoke on New Years day the "go dry" adverts started popping up in my social media feeds.  I know quite a few people who are heading down that path.  I have tried and failed this a few times over the years.  I start with great intentions and then on a Friday night when I would normally be mixing up a delightful cocktail, I give in.  I love mixing up a great home cocktail and consider it almost a hobby.  I enjoy the process of thinking, creating, crafting, testing and drinking cocktails.  I also thoroughly enjoy a great glass of wine with my dinner or even just to sip as I watch a movie.  So no dry January, February or any month for me.  
Lockdowns and news briefings seemed to have me reaching for the wine opener a little more than usual in 2020.  Times were hard and my resolve was in need of a glass (or two) of red most days!  I once read a great article about someone who wanted to go back to enjoying a drink, rather than needing a drink and I think its a great way to look at it.  I don't think I'm alone in wanting to reduce my drinking a little, as I have seen lots of lists about how low and no alcohol bars and cocktails are going to be the thing this year.  Major spirit companies are investing in the creation of no alcohol spirits including UK company Gordons Gin.  I welcome this move.  Cocktails should be for everyone and in the past "mocktail" offerings have been sweet, rainbow coloured disasters that nobody other that the 9 year olds want to drink.  

I was offered a bottle of Free Spirits; Spirit of Gin to test out.  My husband looked at me strangely when it arrived.  I posted a photo of it on Instagram stories and got worried messages from gin loving friends asking if I was OK?  Gin, if you're listening, I will always love you and we are not breaking up.  It's just that sometimes I'm the driver and sometimes, like on Monday's, a gin free G&T might not be a bad thing.   

Notes from the Company: The Spirit of Gin, a smooth, bright and floral non-alcoholic alternative to a London Dry Gin, is made with all natural flavors and functional ingredients to awaken your taste buds, help elevate your mood and recharge your body. With the fresh nose of juniper, followed by notes of citrus, coriander and cardamom, The Spirit of Gin never fails to excite and refresh.  
Instead of a fermentation process that generates alcohol, we simply skip that step and infuse the source liquid with B Vitamins and Amino Acids that help elevate your mood, your energy and your social experience. 

I wanted to create a craft cocktail to test out if a non alcohol option could even come close to one made with alcohol;

I made a delicious syrup, that will be used again for sure;
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup blueberries

~Simmer the ingredients together till the blueberries pop.  Allow to cool and strain into a clean jar.  Keep in the fridge. 

The cocktail I created was affectionally named "The Bluebird".  Light, airy topped with the most amazing colour! 

50ml Free Spirits: Spirit if Gin
10ml Blueberry, fennel and honey syrup
15ml lemon juice
20ml egg white

~Add the ingredients to a shaker or jar with a scoop of ice.  Shake thoroughly and double strain into a cocktail glass. 

REVIEW:  The Spirit of Gin has a herbaceous flavour and is pleasantly bitter with a hint of sweetness.  The cocktail was delicious, but as someone who drinks alcohol, it's very noticeable that there is no alcohol in there.  Im not sure what I expected?  I found myself not sipping the cocktail the same as I would have had it been boozy.  Maybe that's just the mindset of someone who normally uses alcohol in cocktails?  I also tried the gin over ice, with a slice of lemon and a generous glug of tonic.  It was very satisfying.  I sometimes just drink tonic water straight and honesty the addition of Spirit of Gin certainly added something very refreshing. 

In conclusion, Im happy to have it in the cupboard.  It will be drunk long with tonic or maybe a delicious Fever Tree Ginger Ale.  I doubt I will make a short cocktail with it again unless a non drinking friend asks for one.  For me, it's better suited to a longer drink you can sip over the evening and when we can go out again and I am the designated driver, I would happily sip this.  

If you don't drink at all, the introduction of so many alcohol free options is fabulous.  The fact that they can be crafted into so many different drinks to give everyone the chance to experience great cocktails makes me very happy.  The Bluebird cocktail I crafted proved that it can elevate a non alcohol cocktail wonderfully.  

I will also say that I made this drink on a Friday, which is cocktail day!  I made a large and delicious gin martini straight after I made The Bluebird.  Julia Child once quoted Oscar Wilde when she said, "everything in moderation... including moderation"

Disclaimer: I was sent a bottle of Free Spirits: Spirit of Alcohol to test for free.  Recipes, photos and reviews are all my own.  Also terrible grammar and spelling mistakes are also mine.  

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  1. Satisfied food lover here. This is outstanding!

    Angelica Aredidon
    Media & Advertising Administrator


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