Today’s post has been written by Daphne Sansam, who is one of our valued cooperators and a holder of TPTMCB who help to make the EDC Cooperative what it is. Take it away, Daphne…
Why 0% gin you might ask? It’s a good question, and one I asked myself for long enough. Why not just have a soft drink?
Well for me, it’s all about mind over matter. I found myself enjoying a G&T far too often after work, in the garden, conservatory, spa or jut the living room watching tv, and on a school night too!
So, I bit the bullet and bought my first bottle of 0% Gin. When I mentioned this in the Coop, I was asked if I would do a review of it, and although I have never reviewed anything in my life (well, not that didn’t involve HR anyway), I thought why not, I’ll give it a go! So, I have decided to review a selection of 0%/ultra low alcohol gins.
For us gin lovers, you will know that a lot of the taste revolves around the tonic. I’m a Schweppes Slimline or BritVic Slimline tonic person. So, all of the reviews below are using plain slimline Schweppes, ice & occasionally a slice, unless otherwise mentioned.
So review number 1 is Gordons 0.0%, described as being “made using only the finest distilled botanicals, just like the original Gordon’s London Dry Gin; Gordons 0.0% provides the bold, juniper led character you’d expect from Gordon’s”. This was launched in December 2020.
I was really quite excited when this was poured as I really didn’t know what to expect and I wasn’t disappointed. It didn’t taste the same as Gordon’s original, but it wouldn’t would it! It was lovely and you could be forgiven for thinking it was the real deal, albeit a different type of gin. It was tasty and smooth and had no aftertaste. Priced between £12 & 14 for 70cl depending on where you shop, I have rated this 9/10 and this has remained a permanent fixture on our optics.
Review number 2 is Clean G by CleanCo. This was initially launched in 2019. Clean G is their take on London Dry Gin, described as “crisp juniper, balanced with botanicals – delicious. Aromatic botanical ingredients, including real juniper are carefully sourced, blended to our secret recipe and distilled. The resulting distillate is mixed with other ingredients to create the finished non-alcoholic spirit”.
Well it seems there’s a reason it’s called Clean G, because that’s exactly what it is. Tasted very clean, natural, and had no aftertaste. I certainly felt as though I was just having normal G&T, and with that in mind, it’s definitely one I will try again (well I’m not going to throw the rest of the bottle away am I!). I would probably try it with a different tonic next time to give it a little more depth. However, it isn’t particularly good value for money. This was from Amazon at £16 for a 70cl bottle, and for that reason I am rating it at 7/10.
Review number 3 is Tanqueray 0.0%. This was launched in February 2021 and has been made using the same mix of 4 botanicals as the brand’s original London Dry Gin; juniper, coriander, angelica & liquorice. They claim that “our botanicals are perfectly balanced to give Tanqueray 0.0% Alcohol Free a citrus style and juniper led profile, with a delicate botanical complexity behind it. Tanqueray 0.0% allows you to discover the definitive experience from Tanqueray, just without the alcohol”.
When pouring, there was a distinct smell. The taste was strong and flowery and left a real lingering after taste. It’s alcoholic counterpart is one of my favourites, so I was surprised that I didn’t enjoy this one at all. Perhaps with a different tonic, my view may change but I think it’s an acquired taste which some will love; others not so much. The marmite effect. I will leave this one for the hubby to finish off and at £16 for a 70cl bottle, it’s a 2/10 from me.
Natures Distillery Ultra Low Gin 0.05%
Review number 4 is Natures Distillery Ultra Low Gin 0.05%. Now, this was found by accident while shopping in Home Bargains. They launched this in August in conjunction with the Manchester Drinks Co; Richard Benjamin, Director of Manchester Drinks, says: “Our Natures Distillery range is the ideal refreshment for hot summer days when people want to enjoy an alcoholic drink without feeling dehydrated.”
Priced at just £3.99, I really wasn’t expecting much. But wow, what a surprise. It is clean, fresh and has virtually no after taste, but it does have a slight hint of a cheaper gin.
They also launched Rhubarb & Ginger and Rose & Hibiscus versions, which I of course had to purchase too. These are reviewed a little later. At £3.99 this has to have a rating of 8.5/10 (partly due to price) and will be available in our bar at all times!
Review number 5 is Juniperl, a Non-Alcoholic Spirit designed to taste just as good as the real thing with juniper, grapefruit and rosemary flavours flowing through. Crafted from a bespoke juniper distillate and made in a real distillery, Rebecca & Wes who created this drink said “this playful and delicious non-alcoholic spirit has real depth and character, and includes many botanical flavours you would expect in any good gin”.
For me it has a subtle likeness to the Tanqueray in flavour. But … it is cleaner and doesn’t leave as strong an after taste. It’s flowery but likeable and although not one of my favourites, I wouldn’t be averse to drinking it again. At £18.99 from the supplier, or £16 from Amazon, I am not sure I will be replenishing stocks once the bottle has finished. Due to the price, I am having to score this fairly low at 5/10.
Review number 6 is Ceders Classic. Ceders Gin comes in four varieties – Classic, Crisp, Wild & Pink Rose. I chose the Classic which I thought would be a fairer comparison to my other reviews. This is described as Fresh & Floral with notes of Juniper, Coriander & Rooibos.
The backround story is early in 2017, Husband & Wife Craig & Maria discovered a magical valley nestled in the Cederberg Mountains of the Western Cape, South Africa which is home to many intriguing botanicals, including Rooibos & Buchu, used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples of South Africa. This inspired Maria & Craig to distil exotic Cape & Classic Gin Botanicals.
I really like this one. It has a similarity to Gordons 0% but with a more subtle taste. It’s fresh, has no aftertaste and would be one of my choices on a night out (if I was designated driver)! Priced between £14 and £19, if you can purchase at the lower end then it is great value for money. I would rate this 8/10.
Natures Distillery Ultra Low Gin
Reviews number 7 & 8 are the Natures Distillery Ultra Low Gin 0.05%, Rhubarb & Ginger and Rose & Hibiscus. I have grouped these together because they are a completely separate discussion point compared to the previous 6 classic Gins.
Both are really lovely in flavour and very easy to drink, but my preference would be Rhubarb & Ginger as it is not as harsh when mixed with the Tonic. I truly believe they will make excellent bases for garden cocktails in Summer, and priced at £3.99 each, I have scored them 8.5/10 and will be replenished regularly in 2022.
So these are my reviews, all personal opinions of course, and if you know your Gin, you will also know that a lot of the flavour revolves around the Tonic. Who knows, that may be next on the agenda ……
Or perhaps try it yourself with different tonics and let us know your thoughts.