Adventures in Gin Land

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The Duchess – A refined G&T alternative?

Whilst it’s tempting to drink gin everyday, we’re always mindful of the impact of daily alcohol on our bodies (not to mention the calories from the tonic), so we (try to!) have Monday, Tuesday and Thursday as our no booze days each week. OK, so quite often this fails by Tuesday, especially if it’s a busy and stressful week at work but the intention is there!

Neither of us are big fizzy soda fans and whilst Mr Adventures has more of a sweet tooth, we’ve been looking for something that feels more “grown up” than cordial or an overly sweet fruit juice concoction. Something that can be drunk whilst mingling with the proper G&Ts, or is a good stand-in on the booze free nights. And this is where we were hoping the Duchess Virgin G&T might fill the gap.

Launched in 2016 by South African based The Duchess Drinks Company, it is the brainchild of Johannes Le Roux and business partner Inus Smuts and claims to be the first non alcoholic G&T and is made using re-distilled juniper berries.

The branding is classically simple and refined, almost understated, with the neck collar showing a line drawing of the Duchess herself, and line drawings of the botanicals used. The range has been updated to now include Floral and Greenery varieties and the labels have been updated and colour coded to reflect this.

To taste this is an elegant and light drink. It’s not particularly sweet, being pretty low in sugars, and has a good level of carbonation. It has obvious juniper notes but we couldn’t identify other botanicals coming through. Maybe they were drowned out by our wheel of lime. It was however, a very drinkable alternative to a real G&T, but it makes us realise that the hit from the alcohol on the palette is a big part of the G&T experience and this can never be replicated in a non-alcoholic drink, however it’s been produced!

We’d be keen to try the other varieties in the range to see how they compare as these could prove to be a good option to grab from the fridge when there is an urge for a weekday G&T!

These bottles were purchased independently by us from The Gin Kiosk.

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