Innovation watch: New no and low alcohol launches around the globe

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Masterchef 2016 finalist Billy Wright is launching a new range of 10% ABV spirits in the UK called Decem. Pic: Decem
Masterchef 2016 finalist Billy Wright is launching a new range of 10% ABV spirits in the UK called Decem. Pic: Decem

Related tags: NABLAB, alcohol-free, non-alcoholic, non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic drinks, Uk, Us, Australia

From non-alcoholic wines to lower ABV cocktails, we take a look at some of the new no and low alcohol products launching around the globe.

Light alcohol spirits DECEM

decem

Masterchef 2016 finalist Billy Wright is launching a new range of 10% ABV spirits in the UK.

DECEM, directly translated to ten in Latin, is a new range of spirits which contain a blend of ten natural ingredients for a light alcohol drinking experience. The range consists of three light spirits: London Dry, made with distilled botanicals, Spiced Blend, made with Caribbean rum, and Aperitif made with heritage botanicals.

The range provides an alternative to the typical 40% ABV spirits.

“Drinking is at the very heart of our society yet so many of us still can’t enjoy it without that slight fear of enjoying it a little too much,” ​​said Wright. “By reducing the alcohol content in our drinks it makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience yet still allows us to retain all the flavors.​​

“DECEM has been three years in the making, working tirelessly to find the most interesting combinations of fruits, herbs and botanicals to blend genuinely different liquids that hold complex flavors yet are easy to drink with the simplest mixers. We’re proud to launch the first three spirits in the DECEM range and give drinkers lighter alternatives to be enjoyed all day or all night.”

Mahala Botanical

mahala

Mahala Botanical, an alcohol-free spirit created in South Africa, has announced its UK launch.

Awarded the prestigious Trophy for Best No/Low Alcohol Spirits at the 2020 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, Mahala – meaning “free” in Zulu – is also free from sugar, gluten, colorants and artificial flavorings. 

Created and co-founded by Master Distiller Danielle Schoeman using a unique triple-distillation process in her custom-built vacuum stills, Mahala is made using nine hand-sourced botanicals, many of which are indigenous to South Africa and some of which are foraged from Schoeman’s own farmland.

Teaming up with former Managing Director of Pernod Ricard South Africa, Paul Scanlon, the pair began to develop Mahala during the global pandemic. The drink is produced farm-to-bottle at Schoeman’s Doña Distillery in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Intended to be mixed with a premium tonic, soda water or ginger beer/ale, on opening a bottle of Mahala, the fragrant clove and cardamom become apparent, ​​with subtle floral notes of the Buchu coming through from the indigenous fynbos of South Africa,”​​ says the brand. “On the palate, Mahala first tastes of delicate spices such as clove and pepper, with hints of Buchu, followed ​​by subtle citrus notes from the orange and pelargonium citronella, and a herbaceous and citrus finish.” 

Canned cocktails

izz

Australia’s biggest independent seltzer brand, Saintly Beverage Co, has just launched a low sugar and lower alcohol canned cocktail under the iZZ! cocktail brand.

The drink comes in two flavors: watermelon margarita and passionfruit mojito.

“Unlike other traditional cocktails, this flavoursome sparkling refreshment has a lower alcohol volume at 4% than a standard cocktail, which allows iZZ! lovers to take a little more control of their weekend sessions,”​ says the company. “iZZ! recipes are curated with the balance of a mixologist-crafted cocktail, using only premium spirits and natural ingredients that are blended to create a lower calorie, lower carb and low sugar cocktail.”

The drinks are available at Dan Murphy’s and BWS across the country, available in a four pack for $25.00 or a 12 pack for $65.00.

Belvoir Farm’s alcohol-free passionfruit Martini

Belvoir Farm Passionfruit Martini 250ml

UK premium soft drink company Belvoir Farm is taking its non-alcoholic passionfruit martini into the on-trade, following a successful launch in the off-trade last year.

The drink is ‘gently sparkling, made with real tropical fruit juices and Madagascan vanilla extract for a delicious exotic taste and contains no artificial preservatives, flavorings, colorings or sweeteners’. It is one of a range of RTD mocktails that includes peach bellini and J&T.

“We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to our RTD mocktails”,​ comments Belvoir Farm MD Pev Manners. “With the low and no movement gathering pace and more people looking to homegrown brands offering refreshingly real taste with nothing artificial, our Passionfruit Martini is a good swap for this classic cocktail. Our grocery customers have been enjoying the drink since last year and we now look forward to introducing it to the on-trade.”

Praha expands across Europe

pravha

Praha, a Pilsner from Staropramen ‘that brings together lower alcohol, light taste and bold flavor’, has launched in Romania as part of its expansion drive across Europe.

The 4% ABV Pilsner has proved popular among drinkers in Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Serbia because of its combination of bold flavor and light taste, says Boris Jaranovic, senior manager for premium brands in Central and Eastern Europe.

“Younger consumers want to try new, progressive types of beer that are smooth in taste but also bold in flavor and image. That’s why Praha achieved such success in a short amount of time.”

Praha has been sold in the UK as Pravha since 2016.

Non-alcoholic rosé 

kin

Kin Euphorics, the Austin-based non-alcoholic beverage brand launched in the US in 2018, is launching a new rosé alternative called Bloom.

The drink is “inspired by your favorite all-day rosé only dreamier and tastier and is 0.0% ABV… a glittering fusion of summer strawberry, barrel oak, and rosemary citrus,”​​ according to the brand.

“Like a warm embrace with your toes in the sand, Kin Bloom brings balance to the current Kin Euphorics lineup that is sipped to awaken your mind (daytime: Spritz + Kin High Rhode) or is a portal to peace (nighttime: Lightwave + Dream Light).”

Supporting humanitarian aid for Ukraine

lemon-gose

UK non-alcoholic brewer Nirvana Brewery has launched a limited-edition beer to support humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Limited Edition Lemon Gose 0.5% is an easy drinking tart wheat beer modeled after the traditional sour beers of Northern Germany.  A refreshing and rejuvenating Gose, this beer is steeped with toasted Coriander seeds, dried lemon peels and a handful of dried persian limes for a subtle complexity.  Maldon Sea Salt flakes have also been added to balance the tart lemon and lime flavours.

“With the summer sun just around the corner we thought a bright and sunny beer was in order for our latest seasonal brew,”​​ said the brewery. “However we know life has been far from sunny for those affected by the war in Ukraine. ​​

“Like many others we want to do what we can to support those affected by the conflict, so 10% of all proceeds from our Limited Edition Lemon Gose 0.05% beer will go straight to supporting humanitarian aid.​​

“The beer bottle design bears the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag.  Graphic lemons and salt flake drops give a nod to two of the beer's distinctive ingredients.”

Non-alcoholic wine

three-spirit

UK company Three Spirit has launched two non-alcoholic wines: Spark and Sharp.

Created by winemakers and plant scientists, Blurred Vines offers a 'brand-new ritual for drinking and socialising beyond alcohol'. Both Spark and Sharp are low in sugar and calories, are vegan and gluten free and feature no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

“By blending cold brewed rare teas, active botanical extracts, fruits and ferments, Three Spirit has created a unique and complex drinking experience that satisfies the wine consumption moment,"​​ says the brand. "This is not a de-alcoholised wine, this is not a soft drink, these are drinks that redefine and reimagine what is possible. ​​

“Spark offers an alternative to sparkling Rosé, with active botanicals including guayusa that has been shown to focus the mind and lift the mood. Schisandra berries and cayenne pepper work to promote circulation and increase energy levels; and bold bubbles with tannic red fruit flavours and notes of green tea, redcurrents and strawberry.​​

“Spark is laced with natural botanical extracts of Californian poppy, nettle leaf, clary sage and jalapeño, the latter offering spicy notes, before a lingering, citrus finish. Coconut water, vitamin D and amino acids are also included, proven to refresh and invigorate body and mind."

Hardys non-alcoholic wine

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Accolade Wines is launching Hardys Zero, a trio of non-alcoholic wines dealcoholized with ‘cutting-edge’ technology.

The wines – Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sparkling – retaine ‘more of the aroma, body and flavor of full-strength wine’, said Accolade, thanks to a gentler process for removing alcohol.

The Chardonnay SKU is an updated version of the non-alcoholic Chardonnay sold under the Hardys brand, but with a new recipe and Zero branding.

The trio of drinks rolls out in the UK in June.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%

peroni inset

Peroni has created a new alcohol-free version of its beer it claims is virtually indistinguishable from the core lager.

The beer, called Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0%, will replace Peroni’s existing non-alcoholic beer on the market, Peroni Libera, which rolled out in 2018.

Libera was made with a slow-fermenting yeast that didn’t produce alcohol, while Peroni 0.0% is brewed to the brand’s existing recipe and then dealcoholised with new kit installed at the brand’s base in Rome.

During taste tests, 90% of consumers said they couldn’t tell the difference between Peroni 0.0%, according to owner Asahi UK.

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