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Gin development spans centuries and continents, evolving from its origins as a medicinal spirit to becoming one of the world’s most beloved and diverse alcoholic beverages. With the iconic Gin & Tonic cocktail, renowned for its refreshing taste, is now offered in non-alcoholic variations, catering to individuals seeking a sober option while still enjoying the classic flavor profile.

Since the Middle Ages, people have recognized the medical effects and the disinfectant healing power of juniper berries which were consumed to fight against fever and even the Black Death. The Dutch physician Franciscus Sylvius de la Boe is credited with the invention of gin. In the 16th century, he distilled a spirit infused with juniper berries, known as “Genever,” primarily for medicinal purposes. During the Eighty Years’ War, Dutch soldiers were encouraged to drink Genever to bolster their courage. Genever made its way to England in the 17th century, where it underwent further refinement, eventually evolving into the gin we know today.

The popularity of gin manufacturers soared in England during the 18th century, particularly with the introduction of the “Gin Craze,” a period marked by rampant consumption. 

Over time, gin production techniques evolved, with the introduction of column stills and botanical infusions, leading to the creation of distinct gin styles such as London Dry, Plymouth, and Old Tom. The globalization of trade and the craft spirits movement in recent decades have further propelled gin’s development, inspiring innovative botanical blends, artisanal distilleries, and a renaissance of classic cocktails. 

With its strategic launch of Gordon 0.0% in December 2020 – just before Dry January – Diageo (that owns Gordon) started a new trend for those that do not always need alcohol. Two months later Tanqueray launched its non-alcoholic variant of its classic gin and the two became top sellers in the ‘no and low’ category.   

Today, (0%) gin continues to captivate enthusiasts with its rich history, botanical complexity, and versatility in cocktails, cementing its status as a timeless spirit cherished around the world. 

Developing a non-alcoholic gin is technically challenging due to the difficulty of extracting botanicals and aromatics in a water-based medium instead of alcohol. Alcohol is highly effective at extracting aromatic components from herbs and spices, but water is not that great. Aromatics tend to be hydrophobic in nature so it is trickier to extract them in water – whereas it is very easy to do with alcohol. Hence the majority of aromas and flavorings are based on ethanol.  Alternative methods for extracting aromatics, such as water-based tinctures or solubilizers like propylene glycol, can be considered. One can use alcohol-free flavorings to infuse the base instead which could end up being the more economical option.


Do you have an innovative concept for a new beverage to be introduced in the spirit or ‘no and low’ alcohol category? Reach out to us to initiate a discussion about your requirements and aspirations. Together, we can explore the potential for your creation to become the next new (0.0%) spirit brand!