With many of us trying to cut back on the amount of alcohol we consume in a bid to live healthier, more mindful lives, Summer and post-booze ban celebrations can present stumbling blocks. Enter the now flourishing world of sophisticated low- and no-alcohol spirits which enable responsible indulgence!
On arriving at a lazy alfresco lunch which promises to turn into late afternoon cocktails, South Africans can now choose from a range of drinks with decorum — in other words, drinks that are low- or no-alcohol, but which are still enjoyable intermingled with the odd glass of wine or G&T. Finally: a refreshingly adult alternative to sparkling juice or water in a wine glass.
One such drink that’s gaining popularity on SA’s shores is the classically French áperitif, aka the appetizer of the spirits world. Meant to prepare your palate and your digestive system ahead of a meal, the word comes from the Latin amperire which means ‘to open’ and they’re usually delightfully light, often bubbly, not sweet, dry and generally low in alcohol (given that alcohol affects the appetite).
That said, the word áperitif encompasses a wide range of drinks, for example a Martini or a Negroni could be considered an áperitif based on the alcohol being watered down with mixer and their dryness. We can all agree that our parents’ generation consumed more alcohol than ours, and the Martinis of their age were vastly different — and heavier on the alcohol — than the áperitifs of today chosen by discerning drinkers wanting to take a healthier approach to the boozy lunch.
Pampelle is one such delicious áperitif available to us here in SA which offers a citrusy hit of Star Ruby Grapefruit hand-picked from the sun-drenched French island of Corsica in the idyllic Mediterranean Sea. Its classic bitter-sweet taste makes it the perfect splash in a tall glass of tonic water or topped with champagne and a little soda for a refreshing spritz.
Pampelle contains less sugar, less calories and less alcohol with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of only 15%. It’s further distinguished from its counterparts by its three-way distillation process which extracts every last drop of flavour from the grapefruit, and it’s then blended with tree bark quinine, natural Gentian bitters and a signature Eau-de-Vie, made from grapes that have been fermented and distilled to ensure a citrus punch like none other.
But, what about those not drinking at all? Ben Branson — the creator of Seedlip, the original premium non-alcoholic spirit that took the world by storm in 2015 — coined and even trademarked the phrase ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ to describe his non-alcoholic spirit (Garden, Spice and Grove variants are all now available in SA.)
Branson was ahead of his time and there is now a plethora of non-alcoholic spirits available to us, many of them a compliment of premium drinks company, Truman & Orange who often seem to spot a global trend and offer South Africans just want they want at the precise moment they realise they want it (flavoured gin anyone?)
Enter Abstinence Non-alcoholic aperitif which offers rich, complex flavours, without alcohol. An infusion of botanicals — African Wormwood, Cinchona Bark, All Spice and Clove — support a dominant Blood Orange resulting in a classic Italian-style bitter with a mouth-watering, bittersweet mouthfeel. As with Pampelle, it’s delicious topped with soda or tonic water for an Abstinence Spritz or you can create an Abstinence Negroni with equal parts Abstinence Cape Spice or Cape Citrus and Abstinence Aperitif poured over ice.
Pampelle is available at a recommended retail price (RRP) of R399 per bottle while Abstinence Non-alcoholic Aperitif is available at a RRP of R149 per bottle. Both are available at at all premium bottle stores nationwide.
One lucky WomenStuff reader stands the chance to win a bottle of Pampelle valued at R399. To enter, simply fill in your details below:
One entry per person, please. Competition ends on Friday 16 April 2021 at 23:59. Please read our full competition terms and conditions here.