Raise A Glass To Good Health…
Featuring fresh botanicals, quality grapes and organic herbs and spices, the alcohol-free global drinks market has taken off. We talk to two female entrepreneurs, who are sourcing some of the best alternatives from around the world
To get the new year off to a great start, lots of people will be embarking on ‘Dry January’, giving their bodies a chance to reset and reap the benefits such as better sleep and more energy, or perhaps you’re thinking of opting out of alcohol more permanently.
Either way, there are lots of super-tasty alternatives and no one knows this more than the duo behind House of Clarity, who have a portfolio of sophisticated, alcohol-free drinks and seltzers.
Ribble Valley-based Abigayle Clayton-Grimshaw and Sophie Birtwell are well aware of the growing demand for more health-conscious options, and in response to this, they have carefully curated a drinks collection to attract those who want premium alternatives to alcohol.
Abigayle explains: “The US, Australia and parts of Europe are ahead of us in terms of emerging products. After trying many of these first-hand and becoming aware of the global recognition, we wanted to share them with the UK. Although we work mostly with businesses in London at present, the popularity is growing nationally and high-end venues across the country are becoming more aware of this necessity and the profitably it can additionally bring. Globally the no and low-alcohol market is now a multi-billion-pound industry.”
Supplying online and to the hospitality trade, the House of Clarity portfolio features the likes of award-winning Italian Prima Pave, French Bloom and Wild Idol. Using sustainably farmed high-quality grapes, each product offers a unique composition and flavour profile. These are not only unique in the non-alcoholic market but would be rare, singular blends in the alcoholic wine space too.
These sparkling wines are crafted using traditional wine-making techniques, however they further require additional skills to manage the alcohol content. Whether that be close monitoring to ensure a product never reaches a state where alcohol is present or the complex method of de-alcoholising the wine to remove all traces of alcohol whilst leaving the product’s aromatic character and profile perfectly intact.
Another name in the House of Clarity stable includes Pentire – a collection of ‘outdoor inspired’ carefully distilled botanical spirits – well-loved globally by Soho House, amongst many others. The products are made by distilling unique plants native to the coastline of Cornwall, offering fresh herbaceous flavours thanks to key ingredients including rock samphire, sage, lemon citrus and Cornish sea salt.
Wild Eve is another name that Abigayle and Sophie have tracked down on their travels to source the very best. Wild Eve is a premium aperitif made from plants foraged in the mountains of Harris in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.
Abigayle and Sophie truly believe that luxury alternatives, like those featured in the House of Clarity collection, are not only shifting the mindset around moderation but are bringing awareness to the need for menus to meet wider customer preference: “This isn’t simply about abstaining from alcohol, the products meet broader requirements and provide greater inclusivity, with benefits such as being halal certified, vegan, gluten-free and low-calorie.”
The collection also features non-alcoholic wines, spirits, premium seltzers and sparkling teas – their Saicho Hojicha Sparkling Tea is made from single-origin cold-brewed green tea from Japan which has a deep umami character and notes of nori seaweed, roasted hazelnut and delicate smoke, with dry and woody tannins. This award-winning refresher is a popular pairing featured in many Asian-inspired Michelin restaurants around the world.
“These exclusive drink variations are very complex, and venues offering them showcase a greater level of awareness and innovation and this resonates with the people who are actively seeking alternatives,” says Sophie.
“We want to give people the privilege of choice when it comes to non-alcoholic drinks and support venues to confidently move into this space. The demand from consumers continues to grow here in the UK and this is only propelling greater opportunities for businesses.”