Finally, Non-Alcoholic Drinks That Taste As Good As The Real Thing

Photo Courtesy of Everleaf
It's hard to argue with the appeal of a cocktail on a long and balmy summer evening. But the accompanying hangover? Not the one. Which is why we're so fond of Everleaf's non-alcoholic aperitifs.
Everleaf is the brainchild of conservation biologist-turned-bartender Paul Mathew. Constantly asked for a non-alcoholic drink with all the depth and complexity of the real stuff, he used his understanding of the natural world to experiment and develop tasty blends, sustainably sourcing land and sea plants like acacia tree and seaweed to replicate flavours and textures. The result is three delicious blends, named for the landscapes they evoke: Forest is crafted for spritz drinkers, Marine for gin lovers, and Mountain is an alternative to pink gin. And unlike a lot of the products on the non-alcoholic market, each bottle costs £19 — roughly the same as its alcoholic counterpart. The packaging is beautiful, too; these bottles wouldn't look out of place on a bar cart.
But the real question is: do they taste as good as they look? And are they worthy alternatives to our favourite tipples? Read on for our honest thoughts.
Forest is Everleaf’s bestseller, described by the brand as "complex and bittersweet". After tasting, we can safely say that spritz lovers will not be disappointed by this mixture of spicy cassia bark cinnamon, heady vetiver, earthy gentian, sweetened orange blossom and vanilla. For fans of strong, sweet drinks, you can enjoy this on its own — it’s mild enough — but we reckon it's best served as a mixer with the classic soda water (or lemonade if you have a sweet tooth).
The ocean-inspired Marine is the most refreshing of the trio. Even diehard gin lovers will be impressed by this one. It has all the elements of the genuine article: citrusy bergamot and the familiar, woody taste of juniper, with a twist of thyme, salty seaweed, sea buckthorn and olive leaf. Best served like a classic G&T with plenty of ice and tonic — which brings out the sweeter, fruitier flavours (one reviewer compared it to juicy pears) — and enjoyed in the sun.
Mountain looks and smells just like the real stuff and tastes near exact, only without the sharpness of alcohol. Unlike most pink gins, which rely heavily on strawberry scents, this uses the much less sickly cherry blossom. Taste-wise, the strawberry notes are balanced with juicy black cherry, tart rosehip and savoury myrtle. Even the non-pink G&T drinkers who tried it were impressed, noting that it didn’t taste overly sugary.
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