Reviewed by Dottie Rood
The meaning of HERBARIUM is ‘A systematically arranged collection of dried plants’, is this what inspired HERBARIUM Distillation 29? possibly.
What is HERBARIUM Distillation 29: It’s an alcohol-free spirit that is free from not only alcohol but also sweeteners, sugars, calories, and artificial flavourings. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly and is gluten free. It is described as a perfect addition to the summer fun, without the hangover! HERBARIUM Distillation 29 is award winning and is distilled from natural botanicals (hence the name?) displaying woody spice notes, juniper sense and a soft citrus finish.
Where did it originate: It started as far back as 2018 when friends Andrew Stacey and Steve Brown were looking for an alcohol-free alternative to a G & T. They decided they would like to “take the alcohol out of gin” to then add to their tonic. The idea quickly became an obsession and after lots of research and many distillations recipe 29 stood out and ‘Hey Presto’ HERBARIUM Distillation 29 was born. They have had their first major exhibition in April 2023 at the NEC farm shop and deli show, “A full unique grown-up flavour and drink experience without compromising on taste were ‘must haves’. We also wanted to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum and produce it ourselves here in the UK”.
Suggestions on how to serve:
*Over ice with tonic water and a slice of lemon to appreciate the complex botanical flavours like juniper, rosemary, and spice.
*With pink peppercorn tonic for a soft rounded drink with tasting notes of pepper, herbs, lime and citrus to finish.
*With pink grapefruit tonic or soda for a complex yet balanced taste with flavours of cinnamon and rosemary as well as rose and citrus.
*With rose lemonade-serve in a champagne flute for a special alcohol- free drink. The perfect blend of floral notes, woody spice, herbs and citrus.
My experience of HERBARIUM Distillation 29: We have lots of family gatherings and a few family members who love a G & T, plus two who don’t drink and one who often drives so I was looking forward to presenting them with HERBARIUM Distillation 29 at our next family get together. My son had got a new outdoor pizza oven, so this seemed like an ideal opportunity, the weather was a little bit changeable, but we are a hardy bunch who don’t let a few showers put us off (and the sun did come out for a few hours). I thought I would let everything get underway before bringing HERBARIUM Distillation 29 out for our tasting. We had all the mixers suggested, a good supply of lemons and some very fancy glasses so off we go!
I offered it to the non-drinkers first giving them a choice of tonic, pink lemonade, pink peppercorn tonic or pink grapefruit tonic. Neither of them liked any of the tonics but both liked the pink lemonade saying it was a bit unusual but tasty and refreshing. The designated driver was next and quite liked all of them but felt they were a bit ‘floral’ for her tastes (only an occasional drinker). It was then onto the G & T drinkers!! They had lots of different opinions on which was the nicest but generally thought it was ok (obviously preferring an actual G & T!) saying if they were the designated driver, they would have an HERBARIUM Distillation 29. Although we had mixed reviews within the family I feel it would be lovely ‘long’ drink in the sun and would make a nice gift for a non-drinker.
This product can be purchased from herbariumdrinks.com here, Amazon and Master of Malt