Want to be a more mindful drinker or join the moderation movement? Here’s why you should (and how ABSTINENCE Spirits can help!).

More and more people are starting to see the benefits of lowering their alcohol consumption and are reducing their intake accordingly. Requesting a booze-free beverage at a bar is also becoming increasingly less taboo. There are many factors behind this trend. The main one, however, is the health benefits, from physical to psychological, associated with cutting down on alcohol.

The mindful drinking movement

Did you know that drinking 350ml of beer or if a single shot of brandy and other spirits puts you over the legal limit of 0.05%? This means that any more than that going into your system has side effects. These include a lack of coordination, poor judgment, unstable vision, and drowsiness, to name a few. Not only that, but anyone who has experienced a hangover can attest to *awful* symptoms, ranging from a headache to nausea to all-over tenderness, that can last for a few hours to a few days! This, combined with the harmful effects of long-term consumption, such as liver damage, addiction, and heart disease, are making people rethink their relationship with alcohol. Because, like all relationships, sometimes you just need a break!

Enter the mindful drinking movement, which is growing at a rapid pace. According to surveys, between 16% and 25% of people have started becoming more aware of and moderating their intake, with some having ditched drinking altogether. This is also evident from the spike in non-alcoholic beverage sales, with the market size expected to grow by 31% by 2024.

There are also numerous motivational challenges, such as Dry January and Dry July that people across the globe take part in to see what living a low- or alcohol-free life might look and feel like. And the results are almost always positive! Participants report a host of benefits from cutting back, including:

  • Improved mental health, brain function, and clarity

  • A more radiant, healthy complexion

  • Better sleep and increased energy levels

  • A stronger immune system and less illness

  • Lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol

  • Helping the body to stay hydrated

Convinced but worried about how to fill the void? Luckily, ABSTINENCE gives you options!

A tool for moderation

Want to cut back on your alcohol intake because you want to improve your health, wake up refreshed, be a responsible driver, or well-behaved party guest? Enlisting the help of a great-tasting alternative – such as ABSTINENCE – can be an effective moderation tool.

Whether you are a weeknight unwinder or the designated driver, our award-winning ABSTINENCE Spirits and Apéritifs come in six varieties and can be mixed in a multitude of ways. This ensures that everyone gets their fix of flavour and refreshment!

Our premium distilled non-alcoholic spirits showcase the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom and can be enjoyed on ice, with mixers, or made into mocktails. They include:

  • Fresh and zesty, the ABSTINENCE Cape Citrus contains buchu and local citrus, making it the perfect mixing partner for a premium tonic to substitute your G&T.

  • For a warm, sweet take on a conventional gin and tonic, ABSTINENCE Cape Spice is made using a blend of spices and indigenous honeybush, also mixed with a premium tonic.

  • A true floral fantasy, ABSTINENCE Cape Fynbos features rose geranium as the hero ingredient. Serve with premium tonic and berries to bring out the flavours.

  • Looking for something smokier and smooth as a substitute for whiskey? The award-winning ABSTINENCE Epilogue X will definitely hit the spot and mixes beautifully with ginger ale, soda water, and cola. Add a squeeze of fresh lime for an alcohol-free take on a dark and stormy

And the apéritifs?

The multiple award-winning ABSTINENCE Blood Orange Apéritif and the ABSTINENCE Lemon Apéritif are Italian in style using locally produced and sourced ingredients. Both are fabulous when turned into a refreshing guilt-free spritz by mixing with soda water and/ non-alcoholic sparkling wine. You can also mix the ABSTINENCE Blood Orange Aperitif with the ABSTINENCE Cape Citrus for a non-alcoholic negroni.

You might not want to forfeit your evening tipple for a non-alcoholic version. And that’s okay. But isn’t it nice to know that when it comes to managing your intake, ABSTINENCE has got your back?

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Updated: Nov 26, 2021

At ABSTINENCE Non-Alcoholic Distilled Spirits, we live by our ethos to Restore Balance. This slogan encompasses all behaviours: from total abstinence to moderate drinking to taking occasional breaks from alcohol, all in the spirit of taking back the control and Restoring Balance in every aspect of your life.

Connecting people with the world of alcohol-free drinks is an essential part of helping people create and sustain lasting change. Expressions such as “mindful drinking” and “sober curious” have gone mainstream, and an entire “alcohol-free” or “sober” identity is being formed stretching across age, gender, and culture.

The process of distillation

According to a recent IWSR study, over 40% of the respondents surveyed listed one of their main reasons for drinking low/no alcohol beverages to avoid the effects of alcohol. Conversely, just under 40% said that they also like the taste of no/low alcohol beverages. This shows that there have been massive strides in getting much better quality, non-alcoholic beverages to consumers over the last year. But not all are created equally. Some products are, in fact, nothing more than flavoured water with a hefty price tag.

Our distillation process:

ABSTINENCE products are all premium, distilled non-alcoholic liquids.

  1. 24 Hours: Maceration

  2. 30 hours: Distilling (6 hours Still heat up time, 24 hours distillation)

  3. 5 Days: Marriage of Components

  4. 7 Days: Production time per product

  5. Tasted: Tested, bottled, packaged, palletised, and shipped

As makers of non-alcoholic spirits, we strive to create complex, nuanced flavours using botanicals, herbs, barks, and seeds. At ABSTINENCE we formulate our own mixtures specific to each product by using a combination of techniques:

  • Maceration: soaking the source of the desired flavour in a cold liquid.

  • Steam distillation: this extracts essential oils from the botanicals by passing steam through the ingredient.

  • Hydrosols: water-based products made from the distillation of fresh flowers, leaves, fruits, and other plant materials.

It’s this combination of maceration, infusions, steam distillations, and hydrosols that have produced award-winning liquids in some of the most respected international beverage competitions in the world.

Hero botanicals:

Abstinence Non-Alcoholic Products are made using our hero botanicals found in the Cape Floral Kingdom, the largest and most diverse floral Kingdom in the world.

Some of these include:

  • Buchu - great for detoxing and reported to improve kidney and renal function. Buchu imparts a blackcurrant taste depending on how its extracted. It is often used as a general tonic and has many reported medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and pain relief. (Present in the Cape Citrus, Lemon and Buchu Aperitif).

  • Honeybush - is full of anti-oxidants, is an anti-aging product that contains hesperidin and mangiferin, the latter being a unique polyphenol occurring only in honeybush. (Present in the Cape Spice, Epilogue X)

  • Rose Geranium - most literature focuses on the essential oil distilled from this plant. Most common properties are associated with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and sedative effects (Present in the Cape Fynbos)

  • Impepho - calming, anti-insomnia, spiritual state (Present in the Epilogue X)

  • African Wormwood - artemisia is great for pulmonary function, respiratory tract, clearing the head. Anti-bacterial and anti-microbial (Present in Blood Orange Aperitif, Lemon and Buchu Aperitif)

Distilling and Extraction, here’s the facts:

Ethanol, the type of alcohol we drink, is made naturally by the fermentation of sugars by yeast. Distillation reaches a higher concentration of alcohol by separating the components of a liquid mixture by exploiting differences in the relative boiling points of the mixture's components. In a traditional spirit distillation process, ethanol is converted into vapor and then condensed into a liquid. Distillers repeat the process several times until they achieve a desirable alcohol-to-water ratio. The familiar spirits, such as vodka, rum, or whiskey, are distilled in this way to obtain a higher concentration of alcohol than possible by fermentation alone. However, distillation can also be used to reduce the alcohol content, and that is exactly what some non-alcoholic products do. They start off with alcohol to extract and then remove it later in the process.

distillation process – meet our distiller

If you’ve ever mixed water and oil, you know that not all liquids are mixable, or even able to be mixed by employing clever techniques. Water, for example, is a polar molecule, while oil is non-polar. Alcohol sits in between: it has both polar and non-polar parts, meaning it can mix with either polar or non-polar molecules. This is what makes alcohol so good at carrying flavours. Since the alcohol evaporates readily, drink makers can then further distil the resulting mixture to remove most of the alcohol and concentrate the flavours. At ABSTINENCE however, we use completely different, alcohol-free methods to extract and carry flavour, but we can’t give away all the secrets. For one, it means that we readily have to use more of our botanicals and ingredients than you would with alcoholic extractions.

Restore your balance with ABSTINENCE Non-Alc Spirits

Changing drinking habits starts with making better choices. Better choices can be made if the products don’t compromise on liquid excellence. There are no cutting corners when it comes to producing quality products, and the same holds when producing every bottle of ABSTINENCE non-alcoholic spirit or Aperitif.

distillation process – restore balance

So when you shop, make sure you are, in fact, buying more than flavoured water with a hefty price tag. Try ABSTINENCE’s premium, distilled non-alcoholic drinks that are incredibly versatile mixing partners covering all drinking occasions.

Shop the ABSTINENCE range at online Cutler & Palmer

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The increasing popularity of the mindful drinking movement is showing no signs of slowing if the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC) results are anything to go by.

Based in the UK and proudly boasting as the oldest drinks competition in the world, the IWSC has been tasting and reviewing the world’s finest wine and spirits for over 50 years. In that time, it has earned a reputation for innovation and engagement, as well as for unbiased, meticulous, and authoritative judging.

For 2021, the competition saw a marked increase in the number of entries for its low and no alcohol categories, growing 389% compared to 2020 competition entries.

“The rapid increase in the number of products entering the low and no categories has highlighted the increased importance for a competition to select the best amongst them.”

IWSC’s Judging Committee member Christine Parkinson

Awarding products with an abv of 1.2% or below from more than 26 countries, the competitions highest accolade, a Gold Medal, was awarded to only 23 products, making up only 11% of all entrants.

We are elated to announce that our newly launched ABSTINENCE Epilogue X made a stunning debut scoring a mammoth 95 pts out of 100 in the blind tastings.

The judges had the following to say:

We are proud to add this accolade to our trophy Cabinet, which includes our Double Gold and Gold Medals we have received for the ABSTINENCE Cape Citrus, ABSTINENCE Cape Spice as well as the ABSTINENCE Blood Orange Aperitif from the Spirits Business No and Lo Masters in the UK, as well as the San Francisco Wine and Spirit Competition in the USA respectively.

Liquid excellence is one of the pillars of the ABSTINENCE brand and getting global recognition for our products makes us even more excited to get the world to try our award-winning range of products.

ABSTINENCE - Restore Balance

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