Best buys | Atopia Spiced Citrus ultra-low alcohol spirit

Best buys

Atopia Spiced Citrus ultra-low alcohol spirit

The fact that this is the second week in succession I’ve posted an alcohol-free spirit says a lot about the fact that this is the most innovative and dynamic sector of the drinks industry at the moment.

And this is one of the best I’ve tasted - which shouldn’t entirely come as a surprise as it’s made by giant distiller William Grant, their first foray into the field.

It’s called Atopia and it’s a gin-type product with a distinctive bitter orange twist - more appealing to me than Seedlip’s Grove. (According to the back label the botanicals are orange, juniper, coriander, angelica root and lemon peel with natural flavours and extracts of orange blossom, spices and wormwood.) There's a Wild Blossom in the same range which I haven't tried.

Served over a generous amount of ice and diluted 3:1 with standard Indian tonic water (Fevertree in my case) it made a very good G & T substitute. They suggest a slice of orange as a garnish which worked well too.

Like many other products of its type it comes in a strikingly beautiful bottle which helps justify the price though at the moment it’s on offer at £20 in Ocado or £22 in Sainsbury’s instead of the recommended £25.

I still struggle to see why these bottles are so expensive given they are not subject to the tax of a full-strength spirit though I'm told some of the distillation processes involve alcohol and I imagine the R & D is considerable. I suspect it's much more about creating a quality product that will make non-drinkers feel they're having something special. And why shouldn't they?

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