Every kind of alcoholic or non-alcoholic spirit begins it’s life as a non-tasting or neutral liquid before it’s infused with botanicals. Botanicals are responsible for bringing the flavour to spirits, literally infusing them with the taste we’ve all grown to love. As most premium non-alcoholic spirits are made in a similar way, botanicals are included to ensure all the flavour you’d expect from your favourite drinks with none of the alcohol.
We explore the importance of botanicals and the part they play in delivering flavour and aroma to alcohol-free alternatives.
What are botanicals?
Botanicals are herbs, spices, seeds, roots and berries that are used specifically to add flavour to both alcoholic and non-alcoholic spirits. Using botanicals to bring real flavour to the drinks we all know and love. A well-known example of the botanical blend for gin is typically juniper berries, coriander seed and angelica root, delivering the citrusy crisp flavours people enjoy.
Some botanicals also serve a distinct aroma when infused with other liquids, adding to the experience of enjoying a premium drink- whether it’s non-alcoholic or not.
The different botanicals in non-alcoholic spirits
Of course, as with all other spirits, different botanicals are used in the process of making spirits depending on the overall product. Depending on what flavours the non-alcoholic version is looking to re-create, using different botanicals will help develop the desired flavour at the point of pouring.
Our very own ZEO Botanical Dry uses similar botanicals to traditional gins ensure the same great taste is served without the haze. Whilst we choose botanicals that closely match gin, we also infuse our own unique blend of botanicals that deliver a fresh, citrus flavour including;
caraway seed, cubeb berries, coriander, grains of paradise, liquorice root, meadowsweet, orris root, peppermint, vanilla
Our Spiced Oak evokes the warmth of whiskeys and bourbons with the botanicals we choose to re-create the depth of flavour. The botanicals we use are a combination of the same from Botanical Dry with an added blend of smooth, chocolate flavours to create a whiskey taste;
cacao husk, cassia bark, heather, nutmeg, woodruff and vanilla
What botanicals go into non-alcoholic spirits?
The botanicals that feature in premium non-alcoholic spirits, such as ZEO, are often identical to those used in alcoholic versions. That is key to creating a familiar drink that people can enjoy without the hangover, using blended botanicals that are present in popular spirits. There are endless possibilities to mix botanicals in non-alcoholic spirits and depending on which spirit flavour is being re-created, depends on the blend that is used.
The process of adding botanicals - cold brew infusion
Here at ZEO, we use the cold brew infusion method to add botanicals to our alcohol-free spirit. This means we infuse the liquid with botanicals and store them in cold kegs for a period of time to allow brewing. We’ve been using this particular method to add botanicals to our own alcohol-free spirit as we feel it’s the best way to ensure only the highest-quality tasting spirit is created.