Non-Alcoholic Winter Cocktails with Feragaia.
As someone who avoids alcohol wherever possible – a part-time teetotaller – I have tried many a non-alcoholic drink from beers to spirits which have rather dulled my own spirit. I am aware of the massive increase in the alcohol-free drinks market and agree that the quality of what is available on the market improves all the time. I fully support the expansion especially as it enables me to come to the party with something to fill my glass. Not that we are having many parties these days but that is another matter. However, it is refreshing – in every sense of the word – to come across a drink that is genuinely enjoyable without attempting to be something it is not.
Feragaia is a botanical, alcohol-free spirit that has loads of flavour and makes easy friends with mixers. Pronounced /fe-ra-guy-a/, it means wild earth in Latin and Greek. This distinctive drink is distilled in the Scottish Lowlands and consists of 14 responsibly sourced land and sea botanicals including serrated wrack, a kind of seaweed. The list of ingredients makes for interesting reading – ranging across cayenne pepper, blackcurrant leaf, kaffir lime, chamomile, lemon verbena, ancho chile, green tea, apple and hibiscus. Goodness! That accounts for the pleasingly complex flavours. The distillation process takes place over a two month period during which the natural flavours are captured through multiple distillation runs. Distillates are blended by hand and cut with pure Scottish water. The result is an O.O % ABV drink that is gluten-free, vegan and low in sugar and calories.
Fegaraia’s co-founders, Bill Garnock and Jamie Wild have a combined decade of experience in the global drinks market and their mission is to connect a community of drinkers to their natural surroundings. Anyone who has spent time in the wilds of Scotland will appreciate the inspiration from which they drew.
On opening the elegant bottle and getting my nose in I was met with a pleasantly sweet aroma. Feragaia has a gentle amber hue and the flavours are quite distinct and develop from the initial citrus notes to a spicy and smoky finish. I moved on to peruse the tempting list of cocktail suggestions that were included with the bottle I was gifted. I tried out two. The Thirst Quencher mixes Feragaia with tonic or soda water and is garnished with a bay leaf. A quick visit to my outdoor bay tree had the garnish sorted. All I had to do was decide between regular tonic or the gorgeous pink Fevertree aromatic tonic that had been included with the bottle of Feragaia. As this drink is so botanical, I opted for the aromatic tonic and this was not only very pretty on the eye but was genuinely thirst-quenching. Having recently come indoors from exercising, I found that the Thirst Quencher went down a treat. I often drink tonic water neat so having an interesting tasting spirit to add to it makes it possible to serve this at any time of the day. It would look rather fabulous with a tray of nibbles to tempt your guests or while sitting in the garden on a warm summer’s day.
The next one I tried was the Winter Wanderer – a seasonal drink for the months ahead. This one was equally quaffable, muddled with Fevertree ginger ale and mint. For those who don’t fancy the heat of ginger ale, this might be a bit full-on, but I happen to adore the gingery drink so this one suited me perfectly.
Here’s the recipe, just so you can see how easy it is to make something delicious!
A refreshing, gingery, alcohol free cocktail
- 50 ml Feragaia
- Ginger ale use a good quality drink like Fevertree
- Fresh mint to garnish
- ice cubes
This could not be easier to prepare. Place ice cubes in a tall glass. Add 50 ml Feragaia and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with fresh mint.
There are many other cocktails to choose from and they all look tempting. The wild mojito is the next on my list – mixed with line juice, mint, gorse flowers, honey and topped up with tonic. Living rather far south for gorse flowers I will have to see what can be substituted. But this one is certainly one for when I want to enjoy an alcohol-free mojito.
The smokey old fashioned looks like one to curl up with next to the fire – fresh lime and ginger syrup and lapsang tea. Or the Paloma with pink grapefruit juice and tonic.
By the time I have worked my way through these, it will be time to get another bottle. Looking for something non-alcoholic and sophisticated for Christmas? I have found just the bottle.
Feragaia can be purchased at www.feragaia.com at £28 for 50cl.
Looking for something different? Here’s an excellent mocktail with pomegranate and apple that is just perfect for winter