"I saw what goes wrong in the non-alcoholic category"
I was taken aback while reading the ingredient list of non-alcoholic gins. The decision to abstain from alcohol consumption is a conscious and healthy choice. So, why do we then opt for unhealthy alternatives?
The sector of non-alcoholic spirits, cocktails, and wines was industrialized right from the beginning. Over five years ago, I visited distilleries in Belgium and the Netherlands. What I saw there opened my eyes. Traditional distilleries entered the market of non-alcoholic spirits, offering them eagerly to brands through white-label arrangements. And that's where things go wrong. The production process of a non-alcoholic spirit cannot be compared to that of traditional spirits. You can't rely on the preservative qualities of alcohol (ethanol). Additionally, ethanol absorbs flavors rapidly, meaning an alcoholic spirit requires only a fraction of the spices needed in comparison to a crafted non-alcoholic spirit. Due to these challenges, other brands and distilleries opt for an industrial solution. They don't distill fresh herbs. Instead, they combine water with artificial flavors, natural flavors*, and preservatives.
Even "natural" flavors / extracts are industrially manufactured
That's why I recommend looking at the back of every other non-alcoholic spirit, cocktail, or wine. Do you see these ingredients? Well, then the spirit is industrially manufactured. Moreover, you'll find these industrial ingredients in a soft drink as well. Why would you pay a premium price for an imitation product in fancy packaging and storytelling?
Driven by passion, I decided to approach it differently
We persevered. We did want to create a handcrafted non-alcoholic spirit. It required 3 years of intense research. And it necessitates 500 grams of fresh and organic herbs per bottle, which we harvest, distill, and blend ourselves. This is our liquid technology, allowing us to avoid artificial flavors and preservatives. Furthermore, it enables us to develop complex and layered flavors.
Imitation vs. innovation
The non-alcoholic sector was industrialized from the start. It's disappointing that brands focus solely on rapid growth and high profit margins. As a result, the standards in the sector are subpar. The sole reason for existence is 'imitation,' where the quality or production process of the ingredients isn't questioned. This in a time when we're becoming increasingly conscious of what we consume. This awareness led people to consume less alcohol. And that same awareness will prompt people to distinguish imitations and marketing from artisanal and authentic products. This distinguishes between a superior botanical distillate and imitation gins/spirits/wines.
Bold flavor palette
Bôtan Distillery is a non-alcoholic institution where flavor takes precedence. We distill high-quality herbs and create intense and layered flavor profiles. Other non-alcoholic spirits opt for a neutral taste without intensity or depth. With our non-alcoholic spirits, you can create a gastronomic cocktail at home by combining them with a mixer (tonic/soda) or using them in a shaken cocktail where Bôtan defines the flavor. You can expect a bold and robust flavor palette. A flavor profile is defined by an aroma in the nose, the palate in the mouth, and a long finish. The same flavor profile is found in our non-alcoholic spirits. You can discover the taste profile of each blend in the accompanying booklet. Sometimes, we even receive comments that our blends are too aromatic. Well, I prefer it that way. Just reduce the recommended amount of Bôtan in the recipe.
TIP TO DISTINGUISH QUICKLY INDUSTRIALIZED NON-ALCOHOLIC IMITATIONS
- Citric Acid (E330)
- Potassium Sorbate (E202)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) (E300)
- Sodium Benzoate (E211)
- Colorants (E129 or E102 or E124 or E122)