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Seedlip distillery

The idea behind Seedlip was simple: create the world’s first distilled non-alcohol spirit that would allow people to have a night off the sauce without compromising their enjoyment of cocktails or nightlife culture. Something that meant you could ditch boring soft drink alternatives or sickly mocktails and instead order a non-alcoholic drink that looks and tastes almost the same as your favourite serves.

Ben Branson founded Seedlip while he still owned his own design agency, which worked on product design for food and drinks brands including Absolut Vodka. Inspiration came in the form of physician John French’s 1651 book The Art of Distillation. It was filled with non-alcoholic herbal remedies for illnesses, none of which required any sugar or fruit juices. The name was taken from an agricultural process of hand sowing seeds using baskets: seedlips.

Seedlip drinks are made in the same way as gins, by combining botanicals and distilling them using alcohol, however, the alcohol is removed before bottling. Juniper is not used at any stage, which is why Seedlip defines its products as non-alcoholic spirits, not non-alcoholic gins as some may think. Its botanicals are sourced from around the world. The lemon peel is distilled in Argentina and five other botanicals are distilled in Germany using “a secret process. All blending and bottling is carried out in England.

What followed was two years of experimentation to develop a distillation process for each individual ingredient. The first product, Spice 94, debuted in Selfridges in late 2015 and success quickly followed. The very first batch of 1000 bottles sold out in just three weeks. The next 1000 bottles sold out in three days, and the third 1000 took less than half an hour. It wasn’t long before iconic bars, hotels & restaurants wanted some of the action, and Seedlip soon found itself receiving orders from the likes of The Fat Duck, The Clove Club, Dandelyan, The Savoy, The Ritz & The Hand & Flowers and even Buckingham Palace.

Seedlip has grown into the market leader since its initial launch 2015. It has essentially become the go-to non-alcoholic spirits brand. Branson now works with an international team of over 40. Seedlip boasts products in 20 different markets and can be found in top-rated restaurants, some of the world’s best cocktail bars, luxury hotels and, of course, high-quality retailers.

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