As a journalist, I always try to keep my personal opinions and bias out of whatever I write. If you approach anything, even a review, with a predetermined idea or feeling you have already lost the plot. But I have to be honest here. There are very few things in life I enjoy more than a nice cocktail and especially a good old G&T. That’s why I can admit when the news of a new non-alcoholic Gin called The Driver’s Tipple hit, I wasn’t really all that excited. There are so many non-alcoholic drinks that are floating around and well… they just don’t measure up. It’s the old story of ‘you can’t believe it’s not bacon’ story until you take a bite and then can’t imagine that it is or rather was any kind of animal in the first place.
Then I came across The Driver’s Tipple at this year’s Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance Classic Cars Show. I was quite hesitant at first, to be honest. What I love about gin is not the alcohol but the taste. It is crisp and refreshing. What I have found with most, if not all, non-alcoholic gin brands is that the taste is so altered that it tastes more of a gin infused or gin-variant than an actual gin (think banana flavoured milkshake). I took a tipple and honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between what I had and a normal dry gin.
Therefore when our Editor-in-Chief sent the story of The Driver’s Tipple to my desk to consider, I realised that it had to be fate! Here was, honestly, the best Non-Alcoholic gin I had ever tasted and an opportunity to introduce it to more gin lovers from around the world. This isn’t just my duty but my pleasure!
The Driver’s Tipple was founded and is run by ex-racing driver and Oxfordshire local Hamish Gordon. Packaged in a contemporary yet timeless glass bottle, its lines are sleek, elegant and simplistic. The artwork on the labelling features whimsical driving characters conceived by Wiltshire based caricaturist Bryn Parry, OBE.
With it currently being Sober October, The Driver’s Tipple is an excellent substitute for those of us who love a gin during the month of sobriety for a good cause. That being said, I use the word substitute very lightly. The Driver’s Tipple allows you to have a sophisticated drink when you are the designated driver or even over lunch. It allows you to enjoy the virtually indistinguishable taste from the real thing without the effects of alcohol.
Not only is there no alcohol (which as tough as it is to admit is a healthier choice) but is also sugar-free, has zero calories, is vegan and gluten-free! Perhaps now I can, as my gran used to do, enjoy the taste of gin post breakfast.