Ten insights into gin alcohol-free
There is an excellent buzz about gin alcohol-free right now, and why would there not be.
It’s a great alcohol-free alternative that is high quality and can add to the options.
However, many people go into gin alcohol-free hoping for something else and maybe get a few surprises along the way.
Here are ten facts you will need to consider or that you might want to know before you start your alcohol-free gin journey.
And they are good ones!
Gin Alcohol-free is not alcohol. It is alcohol-free, so if you are expecting like for like, it won’t be enjoyable.
Although many gins mimic the overall feel of gin, they are still alcohol-free, so yes, they will taste amazing, but if you are looking for the same drink, you might be disappointed.
One of my blog readers said to me about gin alcohol-free “ I tried it and liked the taste, but I did not get drunk. I was so disappointed.”
With an alcohol-free drink, it is good to manage your expectations regardless of the quality.
It’s not just the specialist gin market that has entered the alcohol-free gin world. It’s the big high street brands as well.
My first taste of alcohol-free gin was with seedlip in a can which is unique in my view.
But given the growth in alcohol-free options and, of course, the potential profits, the big high street names are also in the mix.
That is a good thing but bear in mind the establishment brand comes at it “trying to replicate their established brand” while the new producers create their unique flavour from scratch.
37.5 per cent abv is the critical regulation for GIN as set by European Law.
ABV is alcohol by volume.
Whereas gin makers can add water, strength is vital. It also mentions juniper berries, and juniper must be the prominent flavour.
Now with alcohol-free gin, some of that is not a problem. After all, drink makers will want to replicate the flavour.
But what about the alcohol?
That is an issue which is why legally if I even say alcohol-free gin, what I mean is alcohol-free spirit.
You will see this across a range of alcohol-free spirits to get over any legal ramifications.
Although the customer and reviewers often call it what the consumers call it at the end of the day.
If you get confused about the alcohol-free gin brand, that is probably why.
We need a sensible approach here.
Number Seven – It is made like GIN.
Some non-alcoholic gin or spirit is made using the same process as you would expect for any gin.
Grain is critical in gin factories or distilleries, and with alcohol-free gin, there is often no exception.
So they take what they would call neutral grain spirit and botanicals, which give it the flavour, then add it to a still.
A still is a technical term for a container that can hold the liquid and heated as part of the production process.
A bit like a casserole dish for gin!
Then alcohol-free gin magic happens.
So-called distillation repeats until all the alcohol (although there may be a trace left ) is removed.
Traces of alcohol will be found in natural food such as burger rolls, orange juice, and fruit.
Many drink producers don’t use any alcohol and instead depend on another technical term called “maceration”.
According to my gin expert friends, the content is just left to ‘soak’, and eventually, the gin favour will come through,
Both these processes will give a different feel, but it’s the alcohol content you should be looking out for.
Not all alcohol-free gin spirit is alcohol-free, so you will need to explore the abv. ABV stands for alcohol by volume and tells you how much alcohol is in your drink.
It will be the same if we are talking about a high strength drink with alcohol.
It’s a standard term in the alcohol drinks industry but often overlooked.
So make sure you check the gin that may be low alcohol as opposed to no alcohol.
The website drink aware has a constructive definition which I include here for reference.
Alcohol-free: no more than 0.05 % ABV
De-alcoholised: no more than 0.5% ABV
Low alcohol: no more than 1.2% ABV
Alcohol-free gin is not cheap, whether you call it an alcohol-free spirit or not.
You could call it a soft drink, and it still won’t be in the budget range.
It is a skilled process with botanicals, flavours and a significant technical feat. Not only that, in many alcohol-free gins, they have to take the alcohol out.
Plus, if you add in the fact it’s becoming a competitive but sought aftermarket, it’s not cheap to make!
I’m happy about this as the last thing the alcohol-free industry needs is cheap drinks that don’t taste very good. That is what happened to the early alcohol-free wines and beers.
If it tastes awful, then consumers will lose confidence.
Alcohol-Free Gin can be good for a diet. I am serious.
I mean, gin is known for being a relatively low calories spirit, so around 54 calories. But take the alcohol out and mix it with a low calories mixer like Fever-Tree , and you are almost talking calorie-free.
People often mistake gin, thinking gin is low calories and then mixing it with high-calorie tonic or fruit juice.
So what could start as 54 calories could reality turn into 104 calories. However, with alcohol-free gin, all you need to think about is the mixer.
Go low calorie, and you are in the diet range of drinks. It could be an added benefit of going alcohol-free.
Number Three – What does it taste like?
As with alcohol-free or low alcohol gin or spirits, they are all going to taste a bit different.
At the end of the day, so does alcoholic gin, so there is not much difference apart from the alcohol.
So they will have different taste and texture, and that makes sense, right?
From the herbal essences to the botanicals, they will all add their identity of what they taste like as far as our palette is concerned.
Seedlip has produced three tasty brands, all with brand quality but with varied taste.
When I started with alcohol-free gin, I decided to taste many to see which ones I seemed comfortable with.
Of course, some gin alcohol-free tastes better than others. The same is true of alcohol-free beers or wines!
Remember, these drinks mimic alcohol and are not meant to be them, and it’s an important distinction many people miss.
But in general terms, if you are going alcohol-free low-calorie, they are probably as good as you will get to the real thing.
In terms of ranking, I would go:
Reviews are below. The first is my favourite.
Number Two – Why is the sale of alcoholic free gin on the increase?
The sales of alcohol-free drinks are growing, and you can tell that marketing and product development happening right now.
Younger people are one of the drivers. Maybe it is social media or a more lifestyle conscious approach,
After all, alcohol is a poison that is a clear and present danger to many.
Among younger people, there is a growing trend both for abstaining completely or reducing alcohol intake drink.
The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported this 2018, and it’s grown every year since.
The alcohol-free trend is not going away.
Number One – It takes the social pressure off.
Alcohol-Free Drinks take the pressure off to drink alcohol.
And it’s been shown that when people have an alcohol-free choice, they take them.
I found reading about the work at the University of Newcastle and Bristol fascinating. And it seems to me that if you have stopped drinking alcohol, then we deserve some choices.
If the alcohol-free drink is a trigger for you to go back to alcohol, stay away, and get advice and help, it’s out there.
But for the majority having other options is, in my view, the key to managing social pressure.
What do you think?
What are your insights into gin alcohol-free? Is it something you have tried or would like to? Does it reassure you about the quality of the production process?
I would love to know what you think? Just leave a message below about gin alcohol-free, and I always respond.