Review: Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin

Review: Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin

When is a gin not a gin? Try this one, a non-alcoholic offering from Damrak. We tried Damrak’s standard, Amsterdam-based gin in 2018 and enjoyed its citrus-heavy palate. Damrak Virgin is distilled from 10 (different) botanicals, including Valencia and Curacao orange peels, juniper, ginger, lavender, cinnamon, and lemon peel — before the alcohol is stripped out.

The nose is lively, fairly bursting with sweet, candied orange citrus. Ginger is vibrantly present as well, and the lavender can be picked up over time. Sipped straight, the absence of alcohol unfortunately leaves this gin flat, and it comes across mainly as water that had orange, lemon, and ginger steeped in it. Adding some Fever Tree tonic, however, really jazzed things up as the quinine and bubbles added life to the virgin cocktail.

OK, I’m sold. Damrak Virgin isn’t great on its own, but it makes a really enjoyable non-alcoholic gin and tonic. The bold botanicals that sit oddly without alcohol sparkle with a mixer. Bravo, Damrak!

B / $27 /

Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin




Robert Lublin teaches whisk(e)y and wine appreciation classes for Arlington Community Education, near Boston, MA. He is also a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has published books and articles on Shakespeare as well as theatre and film history.

1 Comment

  1. Keith on November 13, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Hanks for this reviewing! I’ve been digging into zero abv “spirits” a lot lately, and I find that the thin watery quality is something most of them are dealing with. Which is why aperitifs and amaro types can still be good, as the botanicals can still make for a pleasant drink, esp. with club soda or ginger beer. And it’s why I find the whisky/rum styles usually are quite lacking.

    Still looking for the right combo to get close to a negroni. They keep skewing too fruit forward.

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