Over the past year, I have been trying to find some non-alcoholic feel-good tipples that I can enjoy without guilt or headaches. What better way to toast World Health Day than to share my latest discovery with you?! Named after an iconic rock formation found on the Devon coastline, Sea Arch Coastal Juniper blend is a non-alcoholic distilled gin. It is sugar-free, sweetener-free and calorie-free, and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a drink whether it is wine, beer or cocktails. But it is the after-effects I am finding harder and harder to deal with. And as I get older, the heavy head, sluggishness, bad night’s sleep and feeling in a slightly down mood seem to take longer and longer to recover from, even after just a glass or two. The past year has highlighted those issues even more.
The first lockdown was particularly testing as we launched ourselves into a host of zoom drinks with friends as a way of dealing with the pandemic. By early summer, I became more and more sober-curious and was reaching out for non-alcoholic alternatives.
Besides the obvious side effects of drinking, there is a slew of health benefits in limiting alcohol consumption, for both the body and the mind. Besides addiction, regular drinking has been linked to cancer, liver disease, heart disease, inflammation, weight gain, depression and stroke. And let’s not forget that sometimes medication can be a big no-no with drinking, as is pregnancy or being the designated driver (when going out and dinner parties are a thing again!)
Whether you are trying to cut down or stop drinking entirely, switching to an alcohol-free spirit is an easy and enjoyable alternative if you are trying to look after your health and stay clear-headed. It certainly feels more gratifying than a glass of fruit juice or water (fizzy or not) with that distinctive sensation of actually enjoying an adult drink.
If you are newly sober-curious and expect alcohol-free spirits to taste like their alcoholic counterparts, you will have to adjust your expectations as you will not find the same depth. Instead, you will experience a range of fresh new flavours and aromas.
While I still object to alcohol-free wine, which in my opinion is simply glorified grape juice, I have become a fan of mocktails and while experimenting I have come across some very enjoyable alcohol-free tipples, such as Sea Arch Coastal Juniper. I have also realised that, like many other food and drink alternatives, alcohol-free spirits do not all provide the same health benefits depending on the type of ingredients they contain. Some contain sugar, sweetener or have a synthetic taste which is why it is great to be able to find better alternatives.
Sea Arch Coastal Juniper is not only alcohol-free but also contains no calories or sugar, is allergen-free, vegan friendly and is crafted from all-natural botanicals.
Inspired by the Devon coast where they live, founders Sarah and Geoff Yates wanted to develop a drink that was in harmony with their surroundings and nature. After first experimenting in their kitchen, they went on to craft Sea Arch using traditional distillation techniques, blending natural botanicals such as sea kelp, samphire, juniper, grapefruit, coriander, cardamom and blood orange. The alcohol is gently removed to create a grown-up, alcohol-free spirit.
Having tried other alcohol-free gins before which were slightly too herbal, medicinal or woodsy to my liking, Sea Arch has a fresh and delicate coastal flavour that is so refreshing and lovely. A breath of fresh air, like being transported to the seaside. The easiest way to enjoy it is with a plain premium tonic and a squeeze of lime.
I found Sea Arch Coastal Juniper blend to be a perfect match with a citrus tonic such as lime or clementine or with a crisp cucumber tonic. You can also play around a bit with some fresh grapefruit juice for something a bit more indulgent like this Sea Arch Sour below. I adapted a recipe I found on Sea Arch website and used pomegranate juice instead of grapefruit juice and aquafaba instead of egg whites. So good!
In keeping with their sustainability ethos and aiming to have the lowest possible impact on the environment, Sarah and Geoff are committed not to use single-use plastic in Sea Arch packaging. The bottles are painted in a dazzling solvent-free coastal blue colour and come packaged in recycled cardboard.
If you are looking for a crisp and tasty alternative to cut down or eliminate alcohol, I would definitely recommend you try Sea Arch Coastal Juniper. Filled with delicious aromas, this is a delectable drink to enjoy with sophistication and a clean conscience.
Sea Arch is available in the UK from Ocado, Master of Malts and other retailers. SRP £24.95. You can learn more about the brand at www.seaarchdrinks.com.
Competition time !!
Sea Arch has kindly offered a 70cl bottle of its Coastal Juniper blend to one lucky winner.
Disclaimer: this review and competition are sponsored by Avallen. All thoughts and opinions remain my own and are completely honest.