Review: Three Spirit Alcohol-Free Beverages
Three Spirit is founded on multiple grand ambitions to be plant-based, socially conscious, and innovative in bringing alcohol-free products to the social drinking mix. It has made its mark in the UK where it started, and is now looking to gain fans in the U.S. Innovation is at the heart of their modus operandi, creating drinks that stand on their own as opposed to more fundamental non-alcoholic alternatives to standalone spirits. Their team of experts seem to reflect the eccentricity of their formulations, as the drinks were “created by a mix of plant scientists, world-class bartenders, hedonists, herbalists, and artists.” All are designed to be mixed with seltzer or tonic water, and all are 0% abv.
There is a lot to cover, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Three Spirit Livener – This drink aims to energize you. The key agents are guayusa (an Ecuadorian holly plant purported to deliver euphoria but without the jitters or energy crash), schisandra (an original adaptogen purported to increase endurance and manage stress), and guava leaf (a high anti-oxidant ingredient with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties). The additional ingredients include apple cider, ginseng, pomegranate, cayenne pepper, green tea, and watermelon. What results from this eclectic orchestration is a sage-forward drink (although sage is not a listed ingredient) with a subtle fruit base and playful spice accents from the ginger and cayenne. Although not meant to be served straight, this is how I first initiated myself into the full profile of the product to best pick up on the notes. Simply prepared with a splash (or more) of soda, and any adornment of your choice — a rosemary sprig, a duo of blackberries, a lemon wedge — makes for a satisfying drink. A-
Three Spirit Social Elixir – This drink makes me think of a bloody mary, made with an intense and musty tomato base, akin to sun-dried tomato paste. The color is a deep ruby red. The nose and palate is heady with an intriguing combination of Port and the essence of tomato (although tomato is not a listed ingredient). I am not sure what the creative team had in mind, but this unexpected flavor is the result of combining cacao, lion’s mane, damiana, tulsi (a basil-like herb with a supposed candied rum flavor), coconut vinegar, green tea, caraway seed, molasses, and agave nectar. What a fascinating ensemble. This has the essence of bloody mary without the acidity, and a sweet twist. A savory and refreshing drink when mixed with just seltzer. A-
Three Spirit Nightcap – The target mood is self-evident. The ingredients include valerian root (a traditional relaxant and sleep aid), melon hull hops, lemon balm (used for, you guessed it, relaxation), turmeric, ashwagandha (which “soothes frazzled minds and relieves stress”), black and sichuan peppers, licorice root, maple syrup, and white willow (the original source for salicin in making aspirin, which apparently has a “creamy, smooth flavor.” What it smells like is a floral fragrant mint. What it tastes like is a ginger-cinnamon-mint tea with a bit of fizz and complexity from the botanicals, which is indeed quite soothing. A-
You are not going to find the non-alcoholic version of a familiar cocktail here. Rather, it’s best to let each drink speak for itself with just the addition of seltzer or tonic (for a touch of added sweetness). Each is a well-crafted and unique drink on its own, with a balanced integration of its botanical and herbal ingredients. Together, they are some of the most intriguing and sophisticated spirits-alternative products I’ve come across so far.
each $39 per 16.9 fl oz. bottle / threespiritdrinks.com