A celebration of Alcohol Free Drinking

As we hurtle headlong into the festive period we’ve been busily making batches of Wild Eve to send far and wide, both big bottles and our super cute minis. It has been absolutely wonderful to see how people have embraced Wild Eve, not as a poor relation of their usual tipple but rather as a desired drink in its own right. I was reading an article posted by Paul Matthew of Everleaf, another non-alc drink with big ambitions, it was about trends. It was published in The Wine Enthusiast and stated that “across the board, bartenders say they plan to serve drinks that will appeal to those who are limiting or omitting alcohol” This is good thinking as the no/low sector continues to be the fastest growing area of the drinks industry.

Virgin Mary Bar

This is echoed in the rise of alcohol free bars – The Virgin Mary Bar in Dublin is a great example of what can be achieved with a little imagination and a good knowledge of plant effects and combinations. We’ve been supplying them regularly with Wild Eve for quite a while and what is so pleasing is their dedication to the idea of #drinkdifferent. They positively look for non-alc drinks that taste great and promote a sense of wellbeing. So they celebrate the adaptogenic, stress busting herbs that we put into Wild Eve and even include it on the menu in their cocktails. This is such a welcome development – for those of us who formulated our drinks to offer a sense of peace and relaxation, where the effect is as important as the taste, the move to more mindful bartending is excellent news.

We’re also delighted to be stocked at Club Soda in Drury Lane in London. This is a new bricks and mortar venture from the irrepressible Laura Willoughby and her team. It offers a shop, a tasting room and a bar in the space and we’re very jolly to be there for all to pop in and try Wild Eve. During the week commencing the 19th December there will be in-store sampling of Wild Eve

 What you’ll begin to see both in our online shop and with our stockists are the other additional drinks we’ve made to gently moderate the taste of Wild Eve. I really like the idea of very short runs of seasonal additions that bring out different aspects of Wild Eve. At the moment there’s Of Harris Flowers – a giddy combination of Roses, Meadowsweet and Clover, all picked here in Harris. The Clover and Meadowsweet were full of pollen when we picked them and so in addition to the floral hit, there’s a wonderful honey note. Added in very small quantity (about 10mls) to a glass of WE it draws out all the florals – so the Honeysuckle and Rose already in the drink become amplified. We also made Of Harris Fruit which contains those delicious huge, super fruity Rugosa Rosehips, Rowan berries and a little bit of Plum. These flavours are much earthier and complement the Juniper and Gentian. Delicious.

These will be followed by the Of Harris Root and Of Harris Leaf. We have some great roots waiting to be worked on, picked in the Autumn when they were at their most potent and plump. The Leaf will come into its own in the spring as we emerge from this very cold winter. I really love making and experimenting and the plants here offer endless opportunity to be adventurous and creative. I often muse that to make drinks from bought in extracts rather than going out and growing or wild harvesting must be incredibly dull. For us, every batch is a reflection of particular plants harvested in a particular moment – it’s about capturing the landscape one drink at a time. It’s also about land management and promoting biodiversity.

Wild Eve and its moderators

When I pick up a handful of Chamomile, I’m transported back to the summer, to the delight of seeing those cheerful white flowers with their sunny yellow centres and appley scent tumbling over the sides of our raised beds. Roses remind me of the long days of sunlight, picking at 11pm in daylight and walking home along deserted roads with my bag of intensely perfumed petals. Honeysuckle takes me to memories of leaping across streams, scrambling over rocks and the heady scent of the flowers picked one tiny trumpet at a time. Wild Eve captures all of this and I think it makes it a very special drink because beyond the herbs and delicious taste, it is filled with the very essence of Harris, the wildness, the untamed nature, the salt sprayed land and the roaring sea.

 So as we approach the equinox up here in this northerly island we look forward to the return of the light and the promise of a year of plants, growing and picking to come. If you find yourself up here, we love having visitors and showing people what we get up to, just email or message us and we’ll rope you into a bit of Wild Eveness.

In the meantime, we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope that the New Year brings you everything you wish for.

Kip by the saltplain


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