Truman & Orange has introduced two new non-alcoholic spirits to their portfolio: the locally-produced Abstinence and the imported Fluére.

The global wellness trend has spurred a move away from artificial flavours to lighter, more natural ingredients and South Africa is no different. The no-alcohol sector attracted an additional 620 000 shoppers in 2019 and Covid-19 alcohol bans have further accelerated this shift.   South Africans are ready to embrace a range of premium, sophisticated spirits which are created using processes and ingredients common to their alcoholic counterparts and enjoyed during the same occasions and rituals, but which are healthy and alcohol-free: credible adult drinks for those not drinking.

Inspired by the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Abstinence is a sophisticated, layered, complex non-alcoholic spirit made using a proprietary artisanal single batch distillation process similar to craft gin-making. The botanicals are extracted by maceration and infusion and distilled with the same distilling equipment used in gin making, but without alcohol for extraction, meaning more of each of the botanicals are needed. 

Each Abstinence spirit variant has a distinct, indigenous hero ingredient that is unmistakeably and authentically South African. The Cape Citrus variant has Buchu and Western Cape Citrus at its core, the Cape Spice variant captures a medley of spices and Honeybush and the newest addition to the range, Cape Fynbos, showcases Rose Geranium. Abstinence Cape Fynbos is a beautifully floral creation including Juniper berries, Angelica root and Coriander which imbue it with trademark gin flavours and slightly bitter, slightly herbal, and faintly nettle-like notes. It’s best served with premium tonic water, lemon peel and fresh berries.

 Abstinence Non-Alcoholic Aperitif offers rich, complex flavours, without alcohol. An infusion of botanicals – African Wormwood, Cinchona Bark, All Spice and Clove – support a dominant Blood Orange resulting in a classic Italian-style bitter with a mouth-watering, bittersweet mouthfeel. Top with soda or tonic water for an Abstinence Spritz and create an Abstinence Negroni with equal parts Abstinence Cape Spice or Cape Citrus and Abstinence Aperitif poured over ice.

 Fluére – the Latin word for ‘flow’ – comes in three variants: Fluére Original, Spiced Cane or Raspberry.  Fluére balances a blend of steam-distilled botanicals including essential oils of Juniper, Lavender, Coriander and Lemon Peel, which offer a premium taste and a unique after-bite. Fluére’s signature is the use of only the finest ingredients and botanicals: seeds from the exotic Casablanca Coriander, Sugar Cane Molasses from Dominican Republic, the best Juniper Berries from the high peaks of the Himalayas, exquisite Lavender from Provence and Mediterranean Lemon Peel.

 Says Rowan Leibbrandt, founding owner of premium drinks company Truman & Orange, and occasional non-alcohol drinker explains, “Abstinence and Fluére” are not meant to replace alcoholic drinks. Rather, they add diversity and more options so that when you aren’t drinking you don’t have to compromise on flavour or ingredients. Mixologists can experiment with mixers, garnish and flavour combinations to create perfectly balanced cocktails, just as they would with an alcoholic spirit.   Finally, the range offers a variety of price points from the super-premium to the more affordable (for those wanting to experiment with non-alcoholic spirits).”

 Last year, Truman & Orange introduced South Africans to Ben Branson’s iconic Seedlip: the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit. 

Finally, Rowan adds, “not all evenings needs to end with someone shouting Frank the Tank and streaking out of the bar, so next time you’re out and about try one of these interesting new drinks… You might just like them!’’