Ben Branson was compelled to come up with a solution for “what do you drink when your not drinking?” One in a long line of farmers from the north of England his answer was inspired by a 17th-century book from physician John French entitled, The Art of Distillation. The book documents herbal remedies and tinctures using copper stills — the type of solutions that we used to rely on to solve illness and restore balance. Around the time that Ben began experimenting with French’s recipes, he recalls being served a “sickly sweet pink mocktail” at a restaurant one evening. The unpleasant experience led to him founding Seedlip. He combined his love of nature, farming background and the tinctures of times forgotten to create a much needed, sophisticated alternative to alcohol — the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit.
Ben set up his own copper distil, and using ingredients from the family farm, spent two years experimenting and developing a “ bespoke distillation process for each individual ingredient.”After much trial and error, he successfully distilled the non-alcoholic answer to spirits: a combination of spices, barks and citrus peels and Seedlip’s aromatic Spice 94 debuted in Selfridges in late 2015.
Seedlip now has a range of three spirits, bottled beautifully in a botanically rustic style and can be found in 20x international cities, over 250 top-rated restaurants, many of the world’s best cocktail bars, luxury hotels & high-quality retailers.
On why he created Seedlip, Ben says, “regardless of why you’re not drinking alcohol, you should have the choice of a grown-up, complex drink.”
Like many disruptors in the food and beverage industry, Branson has carved a significant fortune by experimenting with ingredients from the comfort of his home. In 2016 it was announced that Diageo — the world’s largest distiller — would become an investor in Seedlip through their investment arm Distill Ventures, marking their first foray into non-alcoholic beverages.Tags: alcohol, non-alcoholic, spirits