7 Best Non-Alcoholic Gin Trends: Hip or Hype?
So you have decided to cut back or cut out alcohol altogether. Have you thought about the best non-alcoholic gin?
What do you need to know about the best non-alcoholic gin?
The trends, or is it all hype? The best non-alcoholic gin is a vital tool in the arsenal of a non-drinker.
Since going alcohol-free, you have been pushing at the no and low alcohol beers and thinking maybe there is a choice missing?
You discounted wine because you are concerned it might taste like grape juice. I get your point based on history.
Luckily alcohol-free wines have moved on.
But your tipple has always been gin.
Holiday gin, Christmas gin, after dinner gin. I mean, it’s not wine in simple terms, but it’s indeed a drink.
And it a good one at that!
However, when you dig deeper alcohol-free gin is not what it seems to be, but it does taste nice.
Here are 7 surprises and insights about the best non-alcoholic gin. Hip or Hype? Alcohol or Not?
Gin without alcohol is not gin.
You could have knocked me over with a lemon slice, but I am new to all this alcohol-free stuff.
But I am pleased I gave up drinking, even socially, to stay alive.
But I felt it a bit conned. But then the penny dropped!
Is that why there are so many alcohol-free spirits knocking about?
Gin has to have alcohol in it.
There’s no point in calling something a Cornish Pasty when it’s not made in Cornwall.
I fact, it might be illegal.
Or Champagne from Gran Canaria
It’s a big no-no, but that does not stop us.
So alcohol-free or low alcohol gin is made to be as similar as possible to the real thing. But of course, without alcohol, it is a fraud.
ABV is critical here, so it has to be a low or no on the alcohol by volume front.
As a trademark or brand lawyer, I would say gin has to have an abv, so alcohol volume is 37.5% more.
So compare that with your alcohol-free gin, and you can see what a problem is
Most low and no gin go from zero per cent to 5 per cent.
Gin makers are less clear in their branding than their alcohol-free beer colleagues.
So if it’s not called gin, why doesn’t it stop the consumer from calling it that?
It’s one of the advantages of having a gin brand like Gordon’s.
Look closely, and you will see they call it Gordon’s Alcohol-Free, and very lovely it is too.
The absurdity of it is that it tastes more gin than most alcohol-free options.
Low-alcohol gins are not made that differently from alcohol-free gins.
I get pretty annoyed at some of the gin brands jumping on the alcohol-free bandwagon.
I have even seen one low alcohol gin stating it was lower because they had made it more robust so that you will drink less of it.
I was like, please – tell me you are laughing!
Now the good news, and I think this is testament to how good non-alcoholic gin is ( he coughs nervously), is that when you drink it, you are getting a similar production process.
I mean, it has to mimic the original in some way as you would not order a cola if you want lemonade.
Gin distillers are quick to profit from the potential of low alcohol spirits using almost the same procedure as gin itself.
And to be fair, we kind of drink it in the same way as well.
However, there are some differences; otherwise, you would get the full-on gin and alcohol because it is!
Low-ABV, so alcohol by volume gin is commonly made using a traditional distillation procedure.
It’s like full-strength gin.
In this process, a neutral grain spirit, or plain alcohol, is added to the copper gin capsules and the essential botanicals.
Having botanicals and good ones is why we have low and non-alcoholic gin.
Botanicals don’t need to be complicated.
Until I went alcohol-free, I don’t think I ever gave botanical a second thought.
I only drank gin on vacations and celebrations.
Plus the odd pre-dinner drink.
Think of botanical like natural ingredients such as :
- Natural herbs,
And the other all-natural flavours that craft distillers use to create the one-of-a-kind flavour of their spirits.
Ever wonder why the alcohol-free brand of Seedlip has so many options.
This is why and you can read my review of Seedlip if you would like.
However, I must warn you I am an unapologetic fan.
Botanicals are critical to the best non-alcoholic gin.
Now, this is where the magic happens, and the process differs.
The base spirit and botanicals are added, and the liquid is heated.
Alcohol vapour after heating divides from the water, but it scoops up all the flavours and is separated,
The vapour goes through a cooling process and then, of course as science dictates, becomes a liquid again.
But now, the alcohol has weakened.
Of course, a standard gin is watered down by around 50 per cent, but this process goes far further with the flavours intact.
Seems simple right?
You get a low abv or alcohol by volume gin.
Now, if this is what you want, you have a low-alcohol ‘gin’.
Here is how in the UK, the industry decides what is alcohol-free and what is not. Figures courtesy of drinkaware.
Here is how it is specified on labels:
- Alcohol-free= no more than 0.05% ABV
- De-alcoholised = no more than 0.5% ABV
- Low-alcohol = no more than 1.2% ABV
- Alcoholic = contains more than 1.2% ABV
So please check the gin bottle.
Some gin makers mask this well in their marketing, and I hate to say it. I don’t think it’s meant in a harmful way. It’s just the branding is creative.
Most of us, though, want to know how much alcohol is in it.
Without alcohol, the best non-alcoholic gin is made.
Some non-alcoholic spirits use the same procedure.
But we need the low-alcohol gin first.
So take a low alcohol-gin – so a gin that has been watered down.
Then the purification takes place using specialised technology.
There are some non-alcoholic gin makers that use what is called “maceration”.
So imagine the botanicals being left to ‘soak’ in a fluid till they develop a flavour not different to real gin.
This is where you get the gin flavour.
Yes, the best alcohol-free gin can be expensive.
I mean, like eye-watering.
It was a shock to both me, my new alcohol-free life and my wallet.
But then I stopped whining because I wanted a good quality option, and you save so much money when you don’t drink alcohol.
Like the kebab or the taxi to get home.
Also, the alcohol is not going to your head.
It costs much less overall.
That’s why I shut my cakehole when it comes to moaning about non-alcoholic gin.
It’s good, you know!
Now I know what you are thinking. There is no booze in the bottle!
I get you would think it would be cheaper.
Plus, when you go over what it takes to make a great gin and then transform it over to a non-alcoholic gin.
Think about it.
Gin is still a craft and an even bigger job when distillers create these alcohol-free alternatives.
The fact is that you can choose non-alcoholic, low-alcohol, or alcohol-free drinks but is it worth it?
Gin is not what you want to call it! Well, go on, then everyone else does!
Gin without alcohol: what’s it like?
In case you are looking for options, you are in for a treat.
If you expect non-alcoholic gin to taste the same or just like gin, you will be disappointed.
Yes, it can mimic the overall experience, but even my favourite brand Seedlip has created several flavours.
Of course, some have not.
Gordon’s playing on their established brand have just gone with one up to now. And it’s 0.0% and rather good with the right tonic.
With non-alcoholic gin, you can try different flavours or try to imitate what an alcoholic brand is producing.
The choice is yours as all those junipers and fruit can make any alcohol-free gin alternative be whatever you want it to be in reality.
Please do yourself a favour and try not to search for the distinction between gin and its alcohol-free cousins. Instead, treat it like a great drink and an alternative.
It is one of the main reasons new alcohol-free drinkers end up being disappointed.
Make sure you choose a good tonic and if you are after a diet drink, then seedlip with a fever tree light tonic is as near to it as they come in an alcohol-free world.
The calories are in the mixer.
The best alcohol-free gin market is booming.
Therefore, if you are a non-alcoholic drinker or someone cutting back on alcohol, there has never been a better time to take advantage of this explosion of non-alcoholic gins.
Social media has caused young people to avoid alcohol at parties
A mix of health awareness plus social media is everywhere, even at home, explains Science Direct.
A poor picture may harm your chances of employment.
So it seems the best non-alcoholic gin or whatever you want to call it is here to stay!
Leave your comment on the best non-alcoholic gin below; I would love to know your thoughts. Sorry I meant spirit!