I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to Beverage Daily it’s a real ‘go to’ magazine for the drinks industry. Have a read of the Q&A here or click through below to read on Beverage Daily. A big thank you to Rachel Arthur and her team and to the Gong Bar for the great photo of the Punjabi NA cocktail.
Tell us about your brand
Founded in 2019 by Chris and Rose Bax, two food and drink flavour meisters with a passion for unique tastes and a love of wild places.
Bax Botanics have two alcohol-free spirits –
Sea Buckthorn – Mellow and bittersweet with fragrant rich botanicals: Sea buckthorn berries and bitter orange are complemented by aromatic herbal layers of rosemary and thyme that linger on the palate…. this is the one to relax with. It’s not trying to be a gin, but people often say it’s gin like. The BBC even said it was the best alcohol-free gin in 2021!
Verbena – Vibrant and refreshing meadow botanicals are herbaceous and bold on the palate. Lemon verbena forward gives a bright refreshing zing, with summer herbs and citrus balancing bright mint, fennel and subtle florals. The overall flavour is dry, not sweet – this is the one to lift your spirits. Like lying in a summer meadow.
After years teaching and inspiring people with exciting wild flavours Chris and Rose launched Bax Botanics AF spirits. The recipes are carefully balanced blends of 100% Organic botanicals which create complex, delicious hydrosols. They are small batch distilled in Yorkshire by the couple in their small eco-friendly distillery
“We consider the environment and sustainability across every decision we make” Says Rose, “from the smallest detail to large scale decisions, the impact on the planet is important!” The company won a Global Good Award in 2020 and since then have carried on improving production, now using a closed loop water cooling system with more innovation to come in 2023.
What sets your brand apart from the rest?
Authenticity and creativity!
Bax Botanics make pure distillates in a time-honoured way, as rose water has been done for thousands of years. The products are healthy with no unnecessary additives like sugar, thickeners or colours. Unlike other alc-free spirits Bax Botanics doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated so sits well on the bar back for 6 months once opened. The pure tastes of Bax can be mixed in many different ways making great spritzes or complex alcohol-free cocktails.
What does your job involve?
Haha, the job of a founder! I am lucky to have a very varied job, some days we are distilling some days we may be visiting new suppliers. There are lots of conversations with our suppliers and those with people we supply to. My responsibilities are around creative decisions, but many more things too. The main challenge I find is prioritising jobs and deciding how much time to spend, as I always want to do everything in the best possible way!
How have you see the low/no market change since the founding of your company/brand? And how do you expect to see the market evolve further in 2023?
When we launched there were just a handful of alcohol-free spirits on the market. It’s fantastic for consumers that there are now so many alcohol-free options to choose from. I see the market splitting into more categories with large companies bringing out more alc-free versions of their popular brands and the brands who launched the category fitting into a more exclusive craft sector.
What markets are you available in? How do you see the low/no alcohol movement developing in these markets?
Bax is available in the UK, US and UAE. I see the market increasing throughout, although different products will fit different customers tastes. It’s incredibly difficult to predict, but I do see Bax being a great addition in many areas where customers are looking for 0.0% alcohol and healthy sugar free drinks.
What does Dry January look like for your company/brand?
We are treating Dry January as a fairly normal but busy month. It is a sales peak, there’s no doubt, but sales throughout the year have caught up a lot! This year we are very proud that Bax Botanics will be in 4 alcohol-free cocktails at the Gong Bar, the Shard and we will be telling lots of people about it!
And what should we look out for from your company in the rest of 2023?
We are keeping our cards close to our chests but watch out for something important coming in the next couple of months!
What inspires you on your low/no alcohol journey? Are there any other brands out there you look up to or have been inspired by; industry events you find useful; any big pieces of news for the category that have inspired you, etc)
I’m always interested in flavour, authenticity and craft, so tasting some new drinks last year at Boisson and Sechey was very interesting. I especially enjoyed the Saskatoon by ‘For Bitter For Worse’ and the range by Nonsuch Shrubs who we met at Low2NoBevShow.
On a broader note, it’s awesome to find so incredible female leaders in the industry. From Erika Doyle at Drink Dry in Dubai to Amanda Thompson heading up Noughty AF, there are so many women showing the way in this space and giving a voice to non-drinkers and female entrepreneurs.
What’s your favorite product from your company/brand’s line-up and why?
They have different times and places for me. A Sea Buckthorn and tonic is my go-to when I want comfort and relaxation, I sink into a chair with this one and feel the relaxing vibes wash over me. Verbena with its vibrancy is my aperitif at 6pm or a summery sunshine drink at lunchtime. They are both my recipes and I guess a bit like children.