Devon couple launch alcohol-free gin
- Credit: Photo: Nick Hook
Available in two varieties, Sea Arch is distilled the traditional way, infused with juniper, citrus fruits and wild seaside herbs
The couple behind a luxury Devon drink which aims to provide a non-alcoholic alternative to gin have revealed how they were inspired to create it by the area in which they live.
Geoff and Yates and his wife Sarah, co-creators of Sea Arch, have many years’ experience in food and drink and hospitality, working and moving around Europe. Geoff was a pastry chef at the London Hilton on Park Lane and the couple also set up Chantilly Patisserie, supplying frozen desserts to food service businesses across the country.
But the idea for Sea Arch came at a time when they had their own wine bar in Torquay.
They noticed the increasing number of people coming to the bar who didn’t want to drink alcohol. Sometimes it was because they were driving, but it also reflected a move to more healthier lifestyles.
“People were going out more, they still wanted to socialise, but they didn’t want to drink alcohol,” says Sarah.
In most places, non-alcoholic options are limited and usually hidden away behind the bar. But Geoff and Sarah had also seen the positive response to brands like Seedlip, which was pioneering ‘grown-up’, non-alcoholic spirits, and they decided to create and bring their own adult drink to the market, one which came from, and reflected, the area where they lived.
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Sarah says: “We wanted to make it as good as it could be, to sit alongside a premium branded drink. It had to have the same credibility as an alcoholic drink.”
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Working in hospitality, Sarah was always aware of the needs of the customer, which is why she was passionate about creating a drink that met those needs. For her, the drink had to be as sophisticated and complex as a top quality gin and one which you could happily drink in the same way, with premium tonic, a slice of citrus and lots of ice - in a beautiful glass.
“The experience is so important when people have a drink,” she says.
They began to experiment. Using a still on their kitchen table, they started the complex process of extracting the flavours of various botanicals in different ways.
Geoff’s experience as a pastry chef proved invaluable. “I was used to flavour extraction and working out how to achieve certain results,” he says. “We spent about five or six months every afternoon with the still trying different ways. We wanted to make it relevant to the area, so we used samphire and kelp and then used more familiar botanicals like coriander and cardamon.”
“It has a real complexity to it and, as with really good spirits, a bit of an edge to it,” says Sarah.
As well as using seaweed and samphire, the drink’s Devon roots are reflected in the design for the bottle, which incorporates the sand patterns the couple see when they go on walks to their local beach.
“We’re in such a beautiful part of the world and we’re trying to reflect that,” says Geoff.
Coastal Juniper is not a gin, says Sarah, it contains no alcohol but “It’s beautiful without. This is a feel-good drink.”
try a ‘sea & t’
Sea Arch has just released two new ready-to-drink ‘Sea & Ts’ in a can. Sea & T is a double measure of Coastal Juniper with a light Indian tonic and Rose Sea & T is Coastal Juniper with a delicately infused rose and raspberry tonic. They are not only alcohol-free but also low in calories and free from sweeteners and preservatives
Both are designed to be served chilled in a tall glass over ice, garnished with a slice of citrus or fresh raspberry.
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