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Four Pillars moves into non-alcoholic ‘spirits’

Australian producer Four Pillars has entered the non-alcoholic ‘spirits’ sector with the release of zero-ABV versions of its Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin.

 Four Pillars Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon
Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon are Four Pillars’ first alcohol-free products

Four Pillars has released Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon, which were developed over two years.

Co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie said: “When we launched in 2013 never in our wildest dreams did we think we would make a non-alcoholic product. But as we’ve grown older and wiser, booze is not always your go-to and you a need quality alternative. Enter Bandwagon.

“Bandwagon Dry has been modelled on our original gin, Rare Dry Gin, which has become something of a benchmark for modern, citrus-forward gins with a combination of Middle Eastern, Asian, and local Australian botanicals. Bandwagon Dry follows the same path – just without the booze.”

To create the product, Four Pillars used the same 10 botanicals that make up its Rare Dry Gin. The oils and flavours of the majority of the botanicals are extracted using steam distillation, with each ingredient distilled separately and then mixed together with a water base.

To bring heat to the product, Four Pillars steamed and vacuumed fresh chilli, while the natural fructose found in plants was used to add weight to the liquid.

Mackenzie added: “Aromas of orange and lemon myrtle are obvious, and on the palate, there are notes of spice and some warmth. Not from alcohol, but from a heavier load of botanicals.”

Bandwagon Dry was used as the base for Bloody Bandwagon, with the addition of Shiraz juice.

“In Bloody Bandwagon we have created an alcohol-free base of highly concentrated Shiraz and then added complexity with the addition of many of our favourite botanicals including Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and several types of citrus,” Mackenzie explained.

“This is a unique, purple, and slightly sweet alcohol-free spirit that you can use just as you would your Bloody Shiraz Gin.”

Mackenzie recommends serving 60ml of Bandwagon Dry or Bloody Bandwagon with tonic water, ice and an orange slice for garnish.

Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon will be available from the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Surry Hills Laboratory.

The products can be purchased from Booze Bud, Coles Local, Dan Murphy’s, IGA, Liquorland and Sans Drinks from 22 June. Bandwagon Dry will also be available from First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars and Woolworths.

Both expressions carry an RRP of AU$50 (US$35) per 700ml bottle.

In April, Four Pillars opened the doors to its AU$7 million (US$5.2m) Healesville 2.0 distillery, the country’s first carbon-neutral gin site.

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