Much like plant-based meat has taken off, alcohol-free spirits are a big deal. Clearly there was always a sector in the market crying out for these drops — pregnant women, designated drivers, and anyone who just doesn’t want to drink alcohol. But it’s gone well beyond that. So, can a 0% gin — known as sapiir — satisfy a lush like me?
Now I am the first to admit I like a drink. I have a bar cart and a mini wine cellar in my kitchen. But for the past few years I’ve tried to stick to the doctor’s orders of two alcohol-free days a week. It’s supposed to be good for you, but if you don’t enjoy guzzling soft drink (I’d like to keep my teeth, thanks), it doesn’t leave you with a lot of options that feel grown up.
Enter sapiir, the non-boozey version of gin. I’ve gone with the Hearts and Spades varieties from Melbourne-based distillery, Brunswick Aces, which is set to open Australia’s first bar geared entirely to non-drinkers. So that’s fun.
Let’s start with the Hearts. Given you’re supposed to treat the non-booze sapiir the same way you would treat run-of-the-mill gin, I went with a 60mL shot topped up with soda water (I’m not a great lover of tonic water). Wowsers! Those floral notes are strong. It’s like guzzling a bouquet of flowers. My gut instinct is to added some lime, which works a treat. The sour citrus really cuts through that woody hit.
On to the Spades. Once again 60mL topped up with soda water. Now this is a much more mellow flavour. And it turns out even better with a squeeze of fresh lemon. I went all out and dared to try it with tonic water (I’m a team player, after all), and it goes alright. The Spades sapiir also goes well with ginger beer — I went with the Bundaberg brew, because you gotta get the good stuff here.
Look, let’s be honest — the alcohol-free sapiir doesn’t pack the same punch as actual gin. You just don’t get the same chill out factor you get with alcohol. But the booze-free spirits would be great for day drinking (which I’ve never been good with tbh), like long BBQ lunches and bridal showers that lead into hens parties.
At the end of the day, it’s all about giving people options in life, yeah? You do you. Cheers!