The non-alcoholic spirits and liqueurs category has never been more interesting, with a range of complicated botanical drinks now on the market. The demand is certainly there too, as this is currently the fastest-growing drinks category. Now there’s a new, exciting player in the game: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits.
This new collection is arguably the most useful of the lot. Instead of convoluted brand-new flavour creations, each spirit in the range is faithfully based on the respective alcoholic original.
‘We didn’t want to craft original flavours that were botanical. We wanted to get as close as possible to those time tested and universally loved flavours of original spirits,’ says Lyre’s Spirits Co CEO Mark Livings. ‘We really wanted to give people an incredible toolkit to use in terms of making classic cocktails, as well as cocktails that they themselves may be inspired to create.’
What’s remarkable is how extensive the range is, already consisting of 13 different spirits and liqueurs, with more in the pipeline. There’s everything from the usual spirit categories like
gin, whisky and bourbon, to dry and rosso vermouths, through to liqueurs like amaretto, triple sec and even an absinthe.
‘It would be super easy to grab one or two fast-moving lines within the spirits category and say “Here are a couple for you to play with”, but really that’s like giving someone a canvas and only providing one or two colours to paint with,’ says Livings.
Creating such effective, non-alcoholic impersonators wasn’t easy. The process took around three years and initially drew on a library of over 12,500 extracts, essences and distillates.
A team of sommeliers was then roped in to help. One by one, each original spirit or liqueur was carefully recreated. The most complicated to produce, Lyre’s Rosso Vermouth, contains over 30 natural extracts, essences and ingredients. This not only matches the aroma, palate and palate weight, but also replicates the familiar burn of alcohol.
In contrast to so many super-sweet non-alcoholic options on the market, these are grown-up, sophisticated drinks. The intention is that a bartender can substitute these in classics or original cocktails. Lyre’s, much like the Australian
lyrebird – the world’s greatest mimic that gives the brand its name – will impersonate the original perfectly.
If it sounds like the bartender is offering someone a Liar’s Martini, that’s exactly what they’re doing; and that’s just between the bartender, you and your customer. The lyrebird, which is capable of reproducing not only other species’ birdsongs, but even Mozart concertos, can be found in the brand’s logo. In addition, each label bears an anthropomorphic illustration by renowned stencil artist Joe White, inspired by an animal which is native to each spirit’s country of origin.
‘We thought we would be a little bit cheeky and build this menagerie of different characters that come from all over the world and pay tribute to the provenance of the original spirit.’ So embrace the art of mimicry, get to know the impossible creatures of the Lyre’s range, and never fret about a nonalcoholic cocktail order ever again.
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Dry London Spirit
This unique spirit has been impossibly crafted to capture the essence of the classic London spirit, with flavours that are distinct and contemporary.
Lyre’s spirits don’t just mimic the original, they have their own distinction as a premium non-alcoholic beverage.
Arguably the most versatile of the liqueurs in the range, this delicate, fresh cocktail ingredient opens with sweet and bitter orange aromas, along with orange confectionary and subtle jaff a and mint notes.
On the palate there’s balance between orange freshness and sweetness, leading to a generous, soft finish. It can be combined with other Lyre’s spirits to create no-abv versions of various classics, such as a Mai Tai or White Lady.
One for aperitivo hour, this classic-inspired, bright-red, bitter, orange drink features blood orange and ruby grapefruit aromas, as well as cassia and orange pith.
The palate is rich, with more blood orange and red citrus, leading to a pithy dryness on the finish. Perfect as a classic Bitter Orange & Soda or Tonic, or with
Lyre’s Dry London and Rosso Vermouth for a no-abv vermouth.