From wine to sparkling wines and spirits, a veritable torrent of new alcohol-free recipes has flooded into stores and wine merchants in 2023. So much so that some will undoubtedly not wait for the operation of the “dry January” to try the taste experience…. The end of year celebrations will also be an opportunity to get started.
This is the new challenge in the alcohol-free section: offering the same taste experience of a wine, while guaranteeing the absence of ethanol. There have been numerous attempts in recent years and you only have to look into the new wine cellars that are betting on alcohol-free products to realize this, such as Gueule de joie in Nantes or Le Paon qui boit in Paris. . On the bottle side, if the Petit Béret brand tries to make the difference with a process without alcoholic fermentation, the Moderato range has preferred to rely on a dealcoholization principle to offer an equivalent experience to lovers of alcohol-free wine. The reference maintains the codes that appeal to Bacchus fans by being equally interested in the terroir, the grape varieties and the pleasure that a tasting can provide. Even large, recognized estates working in biodynamics like Château La Coste are infiltrating this new mode of consumption by promising to offer a tasting equivalent to traditional wines. The Provencal estate has just unveiled the Nooh cuvée, which is none other than the Rosé d’une Nuit cuvée having undergone vacuum distillation in order to extract the alcohol while retaining the aromas of grapefruit, strawberry and cherry. La Coste saw the big picture by developing this new range around a sparkling version and a still rosé. For its part, the Domaine de Brau which operates in the Cabardès appellation used the same route to de-alcoholize a bacchanalian range entitled Cypher.
In the spirit of a spirit
Gin is the most trendy spirit in recent years, because it gives the opportunity to best reveal a terroir, an identity, a story thanks to the use of multiple ingredients, in addition to juniper berries. imposed by regulations. And even when you don’t drink alcohol, you can also treat yourself to a taste experience with the reference of the genre who knew how to recreate the sensations with his JNPR (pronounced joniper). The brand stands out all the more in the world of alcohol-free as the recipe is sugar-free. Usually, it is the ultimate ingredient that makes up for the lack of taste in non-alcoholic drinks. In its version No. 3, JNPR includes the subtle aromas of verbena and does not fail to count on the famous juniper berries. Everything was distilled in a copper still, just like any other gin maker would do. The success of JNPR is emblematic of these new drinks which aim to offer the taste of a spirit by using herbs and spices. Among the new products to serve at Christmas, there is also Yu No, made from a distillation of yuzu, Sichuan pepper, juniper and coriander. But, gin is not the only spirit whose taste experience we try to reproduce. One of the latest recipes to taste is a liqueur made from plant extracts and infusions, namely gentian root, cinchona bark, bitter orange and even rhubarb. Called Iessi, the recipe is developed in an Italian family distillery, in Trieste precisely.
Still very undersupplied, and above all having had little success in convincing consumers, the alcohol-free wine section seems to be making a breakthrough by taking the path of bubbles. Initiatives are multiplying without forgetting to stand out for the originality of their recipe. The flagship example is French bloom. Worn by Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger and top model Constance Jablonski, the brand launched in 2021 is gaining its stripes to be served in the most beautiful hotels, including those like the Four Seasons George V, in Paris, designated as references for their cellars. The sparkling elixir is based on chardonnay, with an addition of pinot noir for the rosé version, which has undergone a manual dealcoholization process. We are surprised by the fruity taste, which finds its reason in particular in the incorporation at the end of production of natural flavors of lemon and grape juice.
We can even go so far as to imagine a non-alcoholic food and drink pairing without counting on grapes. This is the challenge of the new Tempera range which offers another vision of this taste experience by preferring to mix fruits and aromatic herbs to avoid us making a comparison with the Bacchus beverage. Developed alongside the great chef Mauro Colagreco, this selection, which includes six recipes, includes marigold, rose, lavender, vanilla and even saffron, to offer both sparkling wines and liquids. we could relate to a mineral white wine, a rosé or a red.
Gone are the days when we only ordered a glass of orange juice, or worse, a cup of water, when we had to toast but didn’t drink alcohol. There are plenty of new fruity drinks to sip on their own or use as a mocktail. In the dynamic of this fashion consisting of preserving one’s health without sacrificing the conviviality of an aperitif, certain recipes bet on bringing additional benefits. This is the case for Douze sparkling drinks which are enriched with magnesium and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B8, B9, B12. Packaged in cans a few kilometers from Cognac, this new reference offers a journey for the taste buds to avoid boredom when the time comes to celebrate an event. Apricot is thus associated with zaatar, an oriental spice very common in Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. There is also panax ginseng, a plant native to Korea which is said to have stimulating effects. In the pear and anise can, prebiotics have been added to facilitate digestion.
In the same way that amateur mixologists draw from a host of diverse and varied productions to change tasting experiences, fans of “alcohol-free” also have different recipes at their disposal to provide structure and length in the mouth. Among the liquids that have become essential, there are Artonic mixers, which made its reputation around an artisanal plant-based sparkling drink, but also Gimber, which is none other than a concentrate of ginger from Belgium allowing you to spice up any alcoholic drink with a refreshing and spicy twist.