With no ABV drinks becoming increasingly popular, it makes sense that there would be more brands releasing non-alcoholic options that still have a familiar taste.
The sober-curious movement has caused consumers to take a step back from drinking and start looking at what else they can be mixing. Whether it’s a healthy elixir like Kombucha or a non-alcoholic spirit, people are opting for something that will still give them the feeling of a cocktail without the side effects.
There are many reasons why people are straying away from alcohol these days. The lack of consuming alcohol has given brands a new way to think. How can they still get their products in the customer’s hands while allowing them to stay sober? This question has been answered by CEDER’S Gin, as they created a distilled, non-alcoholic, juniper-led gin.
CEDER’S Gin was first launched in the U.K. in 2018 by a husband-and-wife duo, Craig Hutchison and Maria Sehlstrom. In October of 2020, they expanded their market and had a U.S. launch. Made from the exotic botanicals of South Africa’s Cederberg mountains, this gin provides a guilt-free enjoyment to those who are mindful of their alcohol consumptions.
The brand offers four expressions: CEDER’S Classic, CEDER’S Crisp, CEDER’S Wild, and CEDER’S Pink rose. Each expression has its own set of flavors and botanicals that make a sophisticated drink.
To learn more about the brand, we caught up with the founder Craig.
What was the inspiration behind the product? How was it developed?
I stopped drinking alcohol when my wife Maria was pregnant in 2016 and realized that there were no sophisticated, interesting, and premium drinks available for adults who did not want alcohol. This didn’t feel right to me. The final inspiration came to me in early 2017, from nature, when in the Cederberg mountains of South Africa, I wondered if I could make a non-alcoholic gin from the botanicals found there. After months and months of experimentation, we were able to develop 3 variants, all juniper-based, and launched CEDER’s in July 2018 in the U.K.
What should bartenders know about your product? How should they be using it?
Bartenders should treat it as a classic gin. For a classic serve, we recommend mixing one-part CEDER’S to 3 parts premium tonic, use plenty of ice, and the recommended garnish.
Low and no ABV spirits are at their peak. Do you think 2021 is the year of mocktails?
I believe we’re at the end of the beginning for non-alcoholic spirits, not the peak. We won’t be at the peak until non-alcoholic consuming adults have the same amount of choice as alcohol-consuming adults. This means hundreds of brands are still to launch.
I also prefer not to use the term mocktails. There is nothing “mock” about non-alcoholic cocktails – they are as beautiful, expertly made, and complex as alcoholic cocktails. I think non-alcoholic spirits for mixed drinks will outpace non-alcoholic cocktails for a while yet.
What do you think the reason is for switching to low ABV cocktails? Is the U.S. just late on the bandwagon?
The U.S. is 2-3 years behind the U.K. and other western European countries due to fewer brand launches and a more complex and costly RTM. The demand is there, and folks are changing their lifestyles in the millions, so the non-alcoholic opportunity in the U.S. remains huge.
Where do the flavors originate? Is there a deeper idea behind them?
All CEDER’S variants are juniper-based. We wanted a classic London Dry gin variant (Classic), a summer variant (Crisp) a winter variant (Wild). Last year we launched the line extension of CEDER’S Pink Rose, and it has been an instant hit.
Instead of just creating a fake mojito, are bartenders able to have the ability to create different drinks?
Absolutely! Bartenders experiment with CEDER’S all the time and are the creators of our best cocktails. We have a variety of cocktails on our site for each expression at https://ceders-alt-gin.com/serves/.
Are there any common misconceptions that consumers have that you’d like to address?
Perhaps to say that it is much more complex and resource-intensive to make non-alcoholic gins compared to alcoholic versions. More people are involved, more skill is required, and more passion is needed.