Three Spirit Review
It is always exciting when you discover a new company that is producing new and exciting drinks, isn’t it? In the non alcoholic industry, we have been blessed with a whole host of these cropping up over the last few years.
The speed at which these new companies have been forming and creating new drinks has been a little overwhelming, to be honest. Where once there was a black hole, we now have bottle upon bottle of alcohol free beer, wines and spirits. How do you keep on top of it all?
Well, you don’t have to – you have us. We make it our mission to stay on top of this burgeoning market, and try out the very best so that you can make the best choices. Today we are going to take a closer look at one of these new companies – Three Spirit in our full Three Spirit review.
About Three Spirits
Three Spirits was launched in late 2018, the brain child of Tatiana Mercer (co-founder of Bar Chick), Meeta Gournay (who has run several successful startups) and Dash Lilley (founder of numerous wellness orientated beverage companies). You can probably already work out where the emphasis is placed with these guys – they have set out to create a startup company that will combine the excitement and fun of going out with the more health conscious, even spiritual, world of wellness and health.
“…we’ve created plant-based alternatives to alcohol that celebrate what you put into a drink, rather than what you take out. Created by a mix of plant scientists, world-class bartenders, hedonists, herbalists and artists, it’s probably why they feel, taste and do everything a little differently.”
You get the picture already, right? They want a way for people to get the feeling that alcohol provides, but without it ruining your tomorrow.
The name ‘Three Spirit’, while obviously a nod to the hedonistic ideal that they have fully bought into, also represents the ‘third’ way of socialising. There used to be two options – drink alcohol, or don’t drink alcohol. Now there is Three Spirit.
It says a lot about the company that just three months after they started trading, they were on the menu of some of the most exclusive bars and restaurants in London, the home of the company. Now, you can find them all over the world, and this meteoric rise shows no signs of slowing down.
What we’re going to look at today is whether the drinks justify this phenomenal start to life, and whether these drinks belong in your drinks cabinet.
The Three Spirits Range
As you have probably already gathered, Three Spirit have a tendency to be a bit more than your average alcohol free drink company. They have a bold mission, not just to offer non alcoholic alternatives to drinks, but to attempt to “replicate the positive effects of alcohol”. Their drinks are supposed to have an impact on the way you feel – but rather than using the fermentation of yeast, like alcoholic drinks, they use carefully selected plants to get the feeling.
From these plants they have created three (obviously!) different drinks:
- Livener – “exotic, firey and fun”
- Social Elixir – “dark, bittersweet and curious”
- Nightcap – “decadent, woody and smooth”
Each product offers something very different, so in order to get a good feel for the company, we are going to be taking a look at all three in this article. Let’s get into it.
Three Spirits Taste Test
What better place to start than with Livener?
In fact, it is actually the drink that it is recommended that you start a night with. Billed as ‘the perfect party pick-me-up”, this actually contains natural caffeine (from green tea and guayusa) – the science behind their aspirations for a mood altering drink is sound and backed up by pharmaceutical experts.
The taste will perk you up as well. I tried this neat, with just a little ice, and before the glass had even met my lips I had a real sense of excitement. The sharp, bitter smell, gently juxtaposed with the floral notes in the background, really awakens your senses. Then you have the first sip – it is the ginger that hits you first, but this is quickly followed by the fresh watermelon and guava that beautifully balance out the flavour.
As you are aware, I had done a fair amount of reading about this drink before I took a sip, so I do wonder if my subconscious was doing a bit of the work here, but I did genuinely feel a bit more alert and awake. It was both sharp and refreshing, even as a small measure with ice. The fruity aftertaste made me want to go back for some more – but, ever the professional, I knew I had a job to do…
Next up was Social Elixir.
If Livener is that friend that is determined to get the party started, Social Elixir is the one that mingles with everyone and just goes with the flow. “Full-bodied and bittersweet with a curious savoury bite, its balancing effect keeps you blissful and tuned-in” is how Three Spirit pitch this one. They aim to create this effect by using botanical extracts of ingredients such as passion flower, caraway seed, cacao bean and green tea.
Again, I tried this on its own with a few cubes of ice (I should probably point out that this is not the recommended serving suggestion for these drinks, but I felt it the best way to get a real feel for them). This is another one that is powerful on the nose – you get a real sense of the spice that you are about to taste.
The first thing that hits you though, is the ginger. A powerful, spiky hit of bitterness, that only lasts a split second before the refreshing burst of the fruit and the tingling of the spices. The pinkish hue to the drink, coupled with the slight foaming when you shake the bottle before pouring (recommended), gives this an almost mystic feel to it. It all adds to the experience.
Finally, I reached for the Nightcap.
To continue the party metaphor from earlier, we’ve got the ‘life and soul’, ‘the mingler’ and here we have the friend that sits on the sofa all night, safe in the knowledge that the party will eventually come to them. They are easy-going and relaxed, but at the same time intriguing and complex.
For the first time, having this on its own with a little bit of ice was the exact recommended way to drink this, so I was confident I was going to enjoy it. Sometimes you can build up expectations a little too high, and then feel let down. That was not the case here.
This is an incredibly indulgent drink. On the nose you get a spicy sweetness, particularly vanilla, but this is all about the taste. The overwhelming flavour is that of the maple syrup, which is a sentence that I don’t think I have ever written before in a review of a drink. You are then hit by the other flavours – that spice comes round again to dance on your taste buds, while the sweet vanilla and hazelnut create a smooth and luxurious aftertaste.
I didn’t know what to expect from this drink, but what I got was an absolute sensation.
How To Drink Three Spirits Drinks
As I alluded to above, I have not been drinking two of these drinks as the creators intended (for good reason) so I thought it was only fair to briefly mention some great drinks that you can make with them, helpfully provided on their website.
First up we have the Fierce3 Spritz using Livener. It really packs a punch, and compliments the zesty, spiky flavour ol the Livener with the sharp grapefruit.
Ingredients: 50ml Three Spirit Livener, 25ml pink grapefruit juice, top up with kombucha or lemonade
Method: Add all the ingredients into a large, ice-filled, wine glass. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit, and serve.
This is a great drink to start your night – you will feel bright and awake, and ready for anything!
Next, I tried a Herbal Stimulant, using the Social Elixir. This is an extremely decadent drink.
Ingredients: 50ml Three Spirit Social Elixir, 25ml espresso strength coffee, 7.5ml maple syrup
Method: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and shake hard. Strain through a tea strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a raw cocoa bean for a garnish. Serve.
It was rich, elegant and smooth, and a real alternative to an espresso martini. The sort of drink that makes a night feel special, and I would heartily recommend giving it a go.
As you may have already gathered, I am a huge fan of Three Spirit drinks. I love the fact that all three offer something completely different, and that you could feasibly base an entire evening on working your way through them, and the different drinks you can make – without any fear of mixing your drinks and feeling terrible the next day!
They are incredibly ambitious. The idea that alcohol free drinks can still alter the way you feel is as bold as it is groundbreaking – they are one of the few companies out there that are taking on the way alcohol impacts your mind, as well as its taste.
My advice is to go in not thinking about that though – try out these drinks because they are delicious. You’ll feel better just from having a lovely drink, and any other little ‘buzz’ is a nice bonus.