Cheers to a sophisticated cocktail drink that's free of sugar and alcohol! Concocted with crushed mandarin orange juice, stevia syrup and SEEDLIP Grove 42, a non-alcoholic (zero-proof) spirit, this cocktail is a light and refreshing alternative beverage that can be enjoyed any time of the day.
Have you heard of Non-Alcoholic (Zero-Proof) Spirits? They're a relatively new category of beverages that mimic the feel and flavor of liquors -- except they have NO alcohol.
I first found out about them while doing a food trends research for work. Basically, the health and wellness trend has been exploding, all thanks to the pandemic, and a lot more people are prioritizing healthier, natural, low cal and low carb drinks over highly-sugared, artificial drinks.
But a non-alcoholic spirit? I couldn't wrap my head around the whole concept. How could anything taste like liquor without alcohol? It got me interested enough to decide to try one for myself!
Here are some questions I had before I made the purchase:
How are non-alcoholic spirits made?
According to the Seedlip website, their spirits take six weeks to make & involves bespoke maceration, copper pot distillation, blending & filtration for each individual ingredient. It is then blended and bottled.
What's the Nutritional Profile of non-alcoholic spirits?
As far as I can tell, most non-alcoholic brands present themselves as sugar-free and sweetener-free. Most are also suitable for those in a gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and low-carb diet.
What's the Best Non-Alcoholic Spirit?
I haven't tasted enough of these non-alcoholic spirits to have formed an opinion on this yet! But here are some of the more popular brands. According to one expert, some of the oldest (well-established) brands of non-alcoholic spirits are Seedlip, Three Spirit, and Borrego from the U.K.; Lyre’s from Australia; Ceder’s from Sweden; Abstinence from South Africa. American brands are just starting to enter this market, with brands like Ritual Zero Proof, Kin Euphorics, and Proteau.
Where to Buy Non-Alcoholic Spirits
Because these spirits do not contain alcohol, you can buy them online through the brand website, or online retailers such as Amazon.
Ingredients Used to Make This Non-Alcoholic Orange Crush Cocktail
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Non-Alcoholic Spirit of Choice- I used SEEDLIP Grove 42. a Zero-Proof spirit that's distilled from a blend of Bitter Orange, Blood, Orange, Lemongrass, Lemon, Mandarin, Ginger.
- Mandarin orange - such as Cuties or Halos.
- Orange Flavored Seltzer (Sparkling) Water, such as La Croix Orange
- Liquid Stevia - like Pyure, or other sweetener of choice
How does Seedlip Grove 42 Spirit taste like?
According to the website, Seedlip Grove 42 offers "a zesty and warm blend of Orange, Lemongrass & Ginger. Seedlip Grove 42 is a complex, citrus-forward blend of Lemon & three types of Orange (Bitter Orange, Mandarin & Blood Orange) & uplifting spice distillates (Ginger & Lemongrass)."
What I tasted
The biggest mental hurdle I had to overcome (even though it was so obvious) was that nothing could mimic the warm, hard burn of alcohol without alcohol. There was no burn, no puckering power of any tannins... Most of what I tasted was on the label: refreshing citrus notes, maybe a little bit of spiciness from the ginger. I liked how refreshing it smelled and tasted when I drank it cool and chilled.
But was it worth the hype? I'm not so sure. The flavors were too subtle in my opinion, and even less noticeable once it was mixed into a drink. I've seen reviews where people compared zero-proof alcohols to expensive flavored water and I felt like I could understand where they were coming from. Sure it was better than flavored water (no artificial taste, more sophisticated flavors...) But in the end, I couldn't help but think "couldn't I just make this at home by boiling orange peels in a pot of water?" Maybe I'd like it better if they just sold a concentrate of this stuff, like bitters, instead of selling it in a diluted form, or if they sold it carbonated, like champagne or sparkling water. Hmmm.. I have mixed thoughts.
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins for this Orange Crush Cocktail:
- Instead of mandarin orange, you can use other citrus fruits. For example,
- Blood Orange Crush - sub mandarin orange with blood orange
- Key Lime Crush - use Key Limes instead of the orange
- Lemon Crush - use lemons, you get the idea...
- Instead of Orange Flavored Seltzer Water, try using
- Club Soda
- Ginger Ale
- Other flavors of sparkling water, such as lemon, lime or coconut
- Feel free to experiment with using different sweeteners. Instead of liquid stevia, you can use
- Agave Syrup
- Liquid Alluose or other sugar-free sweeteners.
- You can also add some crushed ice to keep the cocktail cold
- Finally, if you find this non-alcoholic cocktail slightly wanting, I would recommend adding a dash of bitters (such as orange bitters).
- What are bitters? bitters are aromatic liquids that contain botanical extracts such as herbs, peels, flowers, tree bark or other natural ingredients. Bitters are added to cocktails to add dimension and complexity. Depending on what bitters you add, you could add spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, even salty flavors.
- You can buy bitters in the alcoholic beverage aisle, as well as online.
- Pre-chill your ingredients before building your cocktail. You can do this by putting all the ingredients in the fridge at least 3 hours before using.
More Non-Alcoholic Drinks You'll Love
Non-Alcoholic SEEDLIP Mandarin Orange Crush
- Lowball glass
- 3 oz Seedlip Grove 42
- ½ Mandarin Orange juiced
- splash of liquid stevia to taste
- 3 oz La Croix Sparkling Water Orange Flavored
- Slice of Mandarin Orange
- Squeeze the mandarin orange into the glass, discard
- Add the SEEDLIP and stevia and gently stir
- Top with sparkling water
- Garnish with slice of mandarin orange