Welcome to Wild Eve


I moved to the Isle of Harris for the peace. I planned to join the select few people who move to this little island on the edge of the Atlantic and develop their creative selves, to write, make pots, paint and knit. I studied ceramics many years ago, I’m a half decent painter and I really love to knit. What I overlooked was that I would be bringing myself to Harris and I am a restless soul.

 As a plantswoman of 35 years, Herbalist and Homeopath, the peace allowed a whole different idea to flourish and it was a drink. 4 years ago I started work on a non-alcoholic offering, as a non-drinker I was tired of going out and having the choice of soft drinks, fruit juice or one dimensional non-alcs. I wanted something as well thought out, complex and intense as a really good alcoholic drink. I wanted heat, length and real complexity.

 So I spent about a year, thinking and experimenting. I used a lot of different plants borrowed from the plethora of plants we grow for my other business A.S Apothecary, I got a decent flavor profile and then put it on a shelf and forgot about it as life became very busy.

 When I moved to Harris 2 years ago, I revisited it. Now, with the most extraordinary set of plants at my disposal from mountain, machair meadow and sea and a theory of how I could do something truly exciting, I started work again and I gathered together a team of fantastic like-minded people to help me.

 Wild Eve is the culmination of all those years of thinking, testing and coming to understand the best ways of extracting flavour. It draws on decades of acquiring plant knowledge, understanding plant medicine and a theory that plants, like essential oils for perfumery, can be categorised into top, middle and base notes to construct something really exciting.

 What virtually all non-alcoholic drinks lack is richness – the delicious opulence of alcohol, that full bodied flavour, the layers of taste, the heat and the mouth feel. Alcohol is the most wonderful extractor of flavor and plant complexity. Water extraction results are different, it draws out a different flavor profile to alcohol, that’s why the gin/rum/beer/wine look-a-likes struggle to achieve the same taste without using, and then trying to remove, the alcohol. So choosing plants with good water solubility was also key because I didn’t want to use a single drop of alcohol.

 So I decided on a radical path.

 I would make a drink that had all the taste properties of alcohol, that made you feel chilled out like alcohol, that made you want to keep on sipping but which had no alcohol in any part of the process and which didn’t pretend to be a gin substitute.

 It would stand alone as something to choose to drink because it would taste fantastic irrespective of its non-alcoholic status.

 And now, after years of development, I’m proud of what I’ve made, I’ve achieved all I set out to do and more. The peace of Harris may not have turned me into a crafty, painting potter, instead it has allowed me the time to make a truly exceptional drink.

 The key botanicals are found in this place and we are slowly building up our stock of them on our croft and through our friends and although this year we have foraged for the Honeysuckle, Bogbean and a lot of the Roses, we hope that going forward we’ll be able to grow more and more ourselves. We don’t plan a Sugar Kelp farm in the immediate future but that’s something I’m musing on to secure our needs and to protect the wild seaweed. Fortunately we use very little and as a carbon sequestrator the more that remains in the sea the better.

 Whilst most drinks makers in the non-alc world rely on commercial extracts and flavours, we don’t. What you taste in Wild Eve is pure plant and that’s important because plants offer the vitality and complexity that commercial extracts can’t. It’s only through the use of the actual plant that you extract the full taste and active/moderating ingredients – so for example Rose, Chamomile, Oat and Ashwaganda (we can’t grow that here …yet) in combination make you feel relaxed and calm, they all have amazing properties and centuries of use as stress busting, peace inviting plants and they extract beautifully into water. We use them all.

 You won’t find Wild Eve in a supermarket or anywhere that high volumes are required because that’s not how we work. Each batch is 29 bottles and we can only make so many with the plants we have available. It’s also incredibly labour intensive growing or finding and picking the plants we need. Instead, soon you’ll find it in some beautiful places and in the meantime you can pre-order it online for delivery in mid-August.

 Welcome to Wild Eve – we hope she’s going to be a game changer.

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