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This Non-Alcoholic Spirit Is Making A Splash With Health Enthusiasts

“It was this pink, fruity, sweet monstrosity of a drink,” he recalls with disgust. “It didn’t fit with the food, it didn’t fit with the occasion, and didn’t feel like I had been considered. I felt like an idiot.”

Branson, who at the time worked as a brand design consultant, didn’t finish the offensive, sugary mocktail. Instead, the disappointing dining experience inspired the Brit to find a solution.

Ben Branson [Photo: Brian Whar, courtesy of Seedlip]

“We’re in this world where we can cater for any allergies you’ve got, we can put people on the moon, we can do all these amazing things,” he says. “But for whatever reason, why can you not get a good, grown-up non-alcoholic option?”

Branson took the issue home, quite literally. He spent the next few years distilling peas and hay from his family’s ninth-generation farm in Northern England. His guide was The Art of Distillation, a book published in 1651 that offered apothecaries’ herbal remedies. Finally, in 2015, after months of tinkering with his copper distillery in the woods, Branson launched Seedlip, a distilled spirit sans alcohol, sugar, or artificial flavors.

Seedlip, which tastes like sophisticated gin, comes in two flavors: the sultry Spice 94 (cardamom, oak, lemon, and grapefruit) and a refreshing Garden 108 (peas, hay, spearmint, rosemary, and thyme). The spirit is meant to be mixed, much like traditional alcohol, with tonics and ginger ale. A 23-ounce bottle retails for $40.

[Photo: courtesy of Seedlip]

Branson’s target audience includes obvious non-drinkers—pregnant women, the sober, designated drivers—but also health enthusiasts looking to pursue a cleaner diet.

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