In the early days of my sobriety, I found a company that was doing something I'd never seen before. They were making alcohol-free drinks that tasted great, seemed adult, and even put you in a good mood. Through the clever use of different plants, Three Spirit has managed to make something really special.
To explain a little more about what they do, here's Three Spirit's story in their own words:
"We're on a mission to show the world alcohol-free doesn't mean pleasure-free
After years spent in libraries, labs, bars and fields, we’ve created plant-based alternatives to alcohol that celebrate what you put into a drink, rather than what you take out. Created by a mix of plant scientists, world-class bartenders, hedonists, herbalists and artists, it’s probably why they feel, taste and do everything a little differently.
A new choice where there was none
Alcohol has long been the wingman of that connection; but in the age of self-driving cars, meat-free meat and missions to Mars, we felt it was high time there was a better way to feel good that didn’t ruin Monday, or mean settling for soda or spirit imitations, on a night out.
Everything we do is about alchemy
Our drinks combine plants used for centuries in ceremonies and potions to stimulate the palate, mind and body. Alchemy is at the heart of everything we do; from the plants we combine in our drinks, to the blending of minds and different expertise of the people who make them.
We’re proudly creating happier, healthier ways to socialise through alcohol-free drinks that encourage shared ideas, experiences and encounters, and we’re very excited to see where that goes.
And we’re getting better every day...
From our zero-plastic recyclable packaging to our 100% vegan, cruelty-free drinks, we’re prioritising environmentally friendly methods across everything we do. Drinks are produced in the UK using high-quality plants from only reputable producers."
After reading all that, it's safe to say I was curious
In the early days, I wanted something to fill the void alcohol had left behind, without causing any of the chaos. This seemed like the perfect alternative, so I decided to test out each drink they were offering.
After a little research, I found out that each of the spirits is intended as exactly that: a spirit. You can drink it on its own, or incorporate it into one of their cocktail suggestions which can be found at: https://threespiritdrinks.com/blogs/recipes
When my drinks arrived in the post, I was instantly mesmerised by the packaging. The bottles themselves seemed expensive, the design on the front was incredibly arty and cool, and they felt grown-up. I couldn't wait to try them and give my verdict...
As described on their website, 'this invigorating elixir is the perfect party pick-me-up. Enjoy euphoric feels from guayusa and schisandra and big flavours from vibrant berries, bright aromatics and spice'.
It feels like getting 'primed and ready to go! Energised from guayusa and green tea and fired up from the palate-stimulating schisandra berries, ginseng and apple cider vinegar'.
It tastes 'fresh and fiery with watermelon, guava and ginger. Bitter notes of ginseng and floral green herbs combine for a lingering dry finish of rich tannins, hibiscus and an exotic heat'.
People often complain that alcohol-free alternatives are lacking that 'kick' in the back of your throat. This was the first drink I tried that emulated that kick using a healthy alternative of spices. It felt like a party in my mouth, and it certainly livened me up! I drank it on its own, with tonic, and in a variety of homemade cocktails. Each time, it did not disappoint.
The fruity flavour was incredibly enjoyable, but not half as enjoyable as how I felt. After a few minutes, I was feeling energised, chatty, and euphoric. I felt better than I usually did after a few drinks, all completely without alcohol!
2) Social Elixir
'This dark, herbal elixir raises spirits, enhances connection and sets the mood. Full-bodied and bittersweet with a curious savoury bite, its balancing effect keeps you blissful and tuned-in.'
Social Elixir sets out to make you feel 'calm, connected and ready to mingle thanks to passionflower, lion’s mane mushroom, tulsi, yerba mate and damiana'. In terms of taste, its 'bright, dry spices on the nose lead to rich, complex notes of rye bread, molasses and cacao'.
There was something very inviting and rich about this spirit. It felt thick, special, and indulgent. It reminded me of certain red wines I'd tried in the past, and paired wonderfully with tonic or soda.
Again, the most surprising thing was how I felt. I eased into conversation like soft melted butter; I was relaxed, calm, and sure of myself. The effects were subtle - I was still me. But that's what makes these drinks so great: they don't strip away your personality in the same way alcohol does.
'This soothing elixir is the perfect way to unwind at the end of the day. Made with tree saps, aromatic plants and herbs used in ancient rituals for complex notes of wood, bright spices and citrussy herbs...
This dreamy slow-sipper combines naturally mellowing lemon balm, valerian and hops to soothe the mind, whilst adaptogenic ashwagandha and white willow bark combats frazzled minds and exhausted bodies. Mellow aromatics, black pepper and valerian tease the nose, giving way to smooth maple, rich vanilla and hazelnut notes.'
I always found the concept of a 'nightcap' enticing when I was drinking. It was the perfect excuse for the whiskey I certainly didn't need before bed at 4am on a Friday night after most people had gone to bed.
Using Nightcap in a similar way, I found it much more enjoyable. I drank it straight, from a little whiskey glass I thought I'd never have the opportunity to use again. It lit a fire in the back of my throat, which seeped down into my chest and brought with it an overwhelming feeling of calm. After two small glasses, I was feeling relaxed, and (to be totally honest) ready for bed.
If you have always wanted to try going alcohol-free but would hate to give up your nightcap, I'd strongly recommend giving this a try.
A Grown-Up Drink with Bags of Potential
Overall, I was incredibly impressed by these drinks. The innovation used in creating the recipes, marketing, and inventing cocktail ideas blew me away. The fact that they are vegan and environmentally conscious (something that a lot of alcohol companies are not) is an added bonus that makes these drinks even more tempting.
Since trying these in the first month of my sobriety, these have become a staple in my household. I would thoroughly recommend trying whichever of these drinks you think would suit you best. Or, better yet, give all three a go!