Driving to a pub one evening in 2018 to meet my longstanding friend Steve got me thinking about what to drink. Partial to a G&T and despairing at the lack of alcohol-free options, I thought “wouldn’t it be great if you could simply take the alcohol out of gin”. This idea quickly became our obsession and set us on a journey to create our own alternative alcohol-free drink in Herbarium.
We set ourselves clear goals – a traditionally distilled alcohol-free drink designed for tonic but using no alcohol in the process, we would focus on core gin botanicals and add no flavourings or sweeteners even if they were labelled as natural. 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 ourselves here in the UK.
With Steve’s background in the food and drink industry we set about achieving our vision. We soon learnt that our goals were a tall order when distilling natural products without alcohol, and the reason it took us three years to bring our drink to market. We found that rather than just trying to imitate gin, we could create a bold, unique and flavoursome alcohol-free alternative.
We did endless trial distillations (mostly in our kitchens with home-made stills) and a huge amount of research to learn how to unlock, embrace and manage the natural ingredients we distil. This allowed us to narrow down the combination of botanicals that gave the best taste until we concluded that recipe number 29 was “the one”. And so Herbarium Distillation 29 was born!
Our passion for creating natural flavoursome and distinctive alcohol-free choices continues to drive us to explore new botanical combinations and flavours today – whilst factoring in ethical and sustainability considerations to ensure our drink is a truly guilt-free pleasure.
Andrew & Steve