HOLD UP HIGH-FLYER! This week’s Sparro spotlight is on …
Seedlip Drinks WITH Founder Ben Branson
Seedlip - pull up a pew! We first clapped eyes on you a few months back, but we know you’ve been around for a little while now. We love nothing more than a distinguished & different high-flyer, so tell us - where / when / WHY did it all begin?
Hello! Pew pulled.
Creating Seedlip was the perfect opportunity to bring together my mother’s 300 year farming heritage and my father’s brand design expertise to rid the world of poor, fruity and sweet soft drinks and solve the dilemma of what to drink when you’re not drinking with adult, complex NA cocktails using Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits.
Our story actually begins in the 17th century, my family had started farming and apothecaries were distilling both alcoholic and also non-alcoholic herbal remedies. In 2013 I was researching herbs online to grow at home and came across a book written in 1651 called The Art of Distillation that documented these remedies.
No stranger to arts and crafts, I initially just began experimenting with a little copper still in my kitchen and herbs from my garden. Three months later I was out for a meal, wasn’t drinking, and asked the waitress what non-alcoholic options they had, the pink fruity mocktail I was offered was the moment all the dots joined and I decided to do something about it!
Two years later I was hand bottling and labeling the first 1000x bottles which sold out in London in just 3 weeks, the next 1000 in 3 days and the 3rd batch sold out online in 30 minutes!
At the core of Sparro’s product development is the promise of delivering on both form and function (because a busy woman forced to compromise between style and utility is a #tailspin we all want to avoid). Can you relate?
Ha! Absolutely. My obsession with simplicity and quality runs right from seed to lip [I spent 5 minutes trying to find another less clichéd way of saying this but just couldn’t!]
From the peas we grow on my farm and hand pick as a team that are then distilled as the core ingredient for Seedlip Garden, to the hare illustration that includes our blend of plants so proudly brought to life on a back bar or shelf, what goes into making a bottle of Seedlip to how it looks are of equal importance to us. We meet a need in people’s lives and believe that executing that brilliantly and beautifully is fundamental.
You’re predominantly known for being the world’s first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit, but there’s a bit more to your offering, right?Seedlip is a contemporary brand with an old soul with both my family’s heritage and apothecaries of the 17th century providing the foundations of our company. Here are three things you might not know:
- A Seedlip is the name of a basket used to sow seed that my family were using when we started farming.
- The 94 in Seedlip Spice 94 refers to the core ingredient we use, All Spice Berries, discovered by Columbus in 1494 in Jamaica where we exclusively source ours from.
- The 108 in Seedlip Garden 108 refers again to the core ingredient, the English Peas we hand pick from my farm that take on average 108 days to sow, grow and pick.
Your products are clearly drop dead gorgeous to look at, but we know there’s more to Seedlip than meets the eye. Tell us a little about the smarts behind your stunning spirits …
We are the first of our kind and have created a bespoke sourcing, maceration, distillation, blending and filtration process for each plant we work with. We are very proud that our spirits contain no alcohol, no sugar and no sweetener and don’t need to sit away in a fridge. Our Seedlip & Tonic [our signature was of serving Seedlip] is full of flavour, not fruity nor sweet and means if you’re not drinking for whatever reason you don’t need to miss out!
Not that we need another reason to add you to the bar cart, but we believe you’re also the product of only the finest quality ingredients?
We source the finest ingredients we can working with farmers all over the world. No artificial flavours here. Real raw materials from the soil. Two ingredients come from my farm [the peas and hay] and we’re particularly proud of our All Spice Berries which we source from Jamaica.
Jamaica has the highest grade berries in the world and I was out there in August at harvest with our Farmer Mr Sherlock.
If you HAD to name drop, tell us which celebs have recently sipped on your sublime mixers (*or simply tell us some of the swankiest places we can order you) …
Very proud to have the likes of Kate Moss, David Furnish and Jamie Oliver as fans of Seedlip and surreally [if that’s a word] proud to say Seedlip is served in the likes of the best restaurant in the world Eleven Madison Park, as well as Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and the three best cocktail bars in the world [The American Bar at The Savoy & Dandelyan in London and The Nomad in New York].
We recently launched in Sydney and Melbourne and the response from those at the forefront of the food and drink community has been incredible with Seedlip already listed in top cocktail bars including Black Pearl, PS40, Restaurant Hubert and hatted restaurants like Bennelong, Bentley, Fred’s & Highline Restaurant. Onwards!
Our long, hot Aussie summer is around the corner. Any serving suggestions on how we can get the most out of you?
It’s cold in England!
But here’s a really bright summery simple serve with Seedlip Garden.
Find a nice tall glass. Fill it with ice. Full please, it actually means it will melt slower and be cold to the end.
Add a good measure [50ml] of Seedlip Garden and smell all those great green notes of peas, cucumber and fresh mint.
Crack open a bottle of good quality tonic like from our friends at Fever Tree. All the way to the top.
Now for the peas … snap a pod and add it or add some fresh pea shoots, or even a handful of frozen ones [there always in your freezer!]
Best place to acquire so we can add you to our #LifeInBag arsenal?
Seedlip is available in David Jones stores and online nationwide.
Finally, where can we find out more about Seedlip?