The taste of gin without the gin?

Okay, straight up, this isn’t about gin… well, not really. But when the team from The Old Curiosity Distillery told us about a new non-alcoholic spirit they have released, we were keen to learn more.

Like a lot of people, we’re toying with the idea of ‘Dry October’ (it may never happen) and it’s a great idea to have some alcohol-free tipples to hand, so a non-alcoholic gin alternative that uses the same ingredients as a fabulous Scottish Gin? We’re all ears.

We were lucky to be gifted a box from The Old Curiosity Distillery, based at The Secret Herb Garden near the Pentland Hills and invited to join them for a live Zoom experience to find out more about their new range of botanical ‘G & Teas’ and non-alcoholic spirit. And what an experience we all had.

The online event started with a tour of the gardens at The Secret Herb Garden by Hamish Martin, founder and extreme herb enthusiast. Hamish’s passion for things that grow and their qualities and uses is highly infectious and it was impossible not to be excited by the tour (which was, of course, beset with the usual fun of a live Zoom meeting) we learned much about the uses of plants, herbs and even weeds for medicinal purposes as well as the magic of horticultural science.

But let’s get back to gin for a moment. It was a lightbulb moment from Hamish that inspired the incredibly popular range of Secret Garden Gins, whose colour-changing properties are not only magical but also 100% natural. Their core range: Lavender, Apothecary Rose and Lemon Verbena have been adapted to a new set of unbelievably tasty herbal teas – using all the same key botanicals to form a mind-blowingly fragrant cuppa.

And these core botanicals (plants, really) were also the inspiration for the alcohol-free spirit. Like their range of gins, the tincture is distilled on-site, using only select botanicals grown in their own gardens, but using water instead of alcohol.

The result is, perhaps unsurprisingly, a drink that tastes like gin. It is fragrant and refreshing and – guilt-free!

After the tour from Hamish, we were taken through a demonstration by Daniel, Old Curiosity’s Head of On Trade, who guided us through a perfect serve (ice, tonic and lemon) and creating a ‘Non-Collins’ a booze-free take on the classic prohibition cocktail.

The non-alcohol spirit, the new range of G & Teas are all available from The Old Curiosity Distillery website, along with herbal soaps, hand sanitisers and the range of Secret Garden Gins.

So, whether you’re going sober this October, looking for an addition to your drinks cabinet or trying to find the perfect herbal early Christmas gift, do check out their website. Or, even better, visit the Secret Herb Garden and be inspired.

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