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The Low & No Masters 2024 results

This year’s Low & No Masters showed there are plenty of exciting expressions on offer, but brands must focus on flavour.

Low & No
The Low & No Masters is the first competition in The Global Spirits Masters calendar

Lower‐alcohol and booze‐free drinks options need not be boring. The low/no category has been causing a stir in recent years, sometimes positive, other times less so. Gone are the days when the only options for non‐drinkers were fizzy drinks or fruit juice. Today, myriad options mean there are plenty of sophisticated serves around.

Intrigue about the category looks set to continue, albeit at a slightly slower growth rate than in previous years. The latest data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis shows no‐ and low‐alcohol consumption across the world’s 10 leading low/no markets – which account for approximately 70% of global no/low consumption – grew by 5% in volume in 2023, and is now worth more than US$13 billion. Between 2023 and 2027, the low‐ and no‐alcohol category is expected to increase at a volume compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6%, led by no‐alcohol at 7%, with low‐alcohol to rise by 3%.

As a newer category, the quality of low/no products on the market has often been mixed. But how did this year’s Low & No Masters entries hold up against the scrutiny of our expert judges? To determine which products deserve a Silver, Gold, or Master medal, two panels of experienced judges gathered at Hacha in Brixton, London.

One panel comprised: Matt Chambers, spirits writer and co‐founder of the Whisky For Everyone blog; Sarah Miller, founder of the Gin A Ding Ding blog; and David T Smith, spirits writer, consultant and co‐founder of the Craft Distilling Expo, who chaired the group. The second team consisted of Richard Legg, founder of Distilled Knowledge, and Ruchira Neotia, wine and spirits consultant and drinks experience designer at Darjeeling Express. Melita Kiely, editor of The Spirits Business, and chair of The Global Spirits Masters, chaired the group.

The opening panel presented a flight of lower‐alcohol products that sat between 6% ABV and 25% ABV. Three Gold medals and three Silver awards were enjoyed in this heat. The Gold winners included: “enjoyable and fruity” Sunset Juice Rum Punch; “citrus‐forward, rounded” Hayman’s London Light; and Beefeater Botanics Lemon & Ginger, with its “botanical depth and dry finish”.

In the following flight, Non‐Alcoholic White ‘Spirits’, the first Master of the day was celebrated: Adnams Smidgin Dry Gin. The concept requires mixing a 2.5ml measure of the gin with a chosen mixer to create a full‐flavoured G&T that sits at 0.6% ABV.

“Attractive and inviting nose,” noted Miller, “with juniper to the fore and good balance. Tonnes of rich juniper – mixes well with tonic. Good robust flavour, and classic G&T profile.”

The flight brought seven Gold medallists, complemented by five Silver awards. The Gold winners included Ceder’s Classic, which impressed with a “medley of citrus” on the nose, leading to “nice woody, herbal notes” on the palate. Seedlip collected a pair of Gold medals, including one for “light and fresh” Garden 108, which had “subtle floral” flavours. While the medallists impressed, the judges did note there was still room for improvement in this category. Smith said: “Evidently, there is still some work in terms of the overall quality for no/low products, but there were some standout products.” Chambers noted: “Some evolution can be seen with more natural flavours and better mouthfeel products scoring better. There is plenty of work to do.”

Low & No
From booze-free apéritifs to low-ABV RTDs, the blind tasting uncovered high-quality alcohol alternatives

A herbal edge

From there, the tasting progressed to a flight of alcohol‐free dark ‘spirits’ (less than 0.5% ABV). Four Golds and one Silver were awarded in this flight. Two Gold medals went to products from The Social Drinks Company, including one for Sentia Red. The judges said this was “reminiscent of sloes, with a herbal edge”. Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0% also secured a Gold medal, with “vanilla on the palate” and an “aroma that’s akin to a sweeter‐style gold rum”. Siegfried Wonderoak impressed the judges with its “incense” aroma of “nutmeg, oak, vanilla and cinnamon”.

In the Non‐Alcoholic Apéritif (less than 0.5% ABV) heat, two Master medallists stood out. First, Everleaf Forest with its “delicious” palate. “Some earthy notes on the finish add some nice complexity,” noted Kiely. “I could sip this over ice quite easily – very tasty.” Legg noted the product’s “nice depth of flavour and bitterness, balanced very well with the sweetness”.

“Good Spritz potential” resulted in the second Master medal going to Gutss Italian Bittersweet. The nose was described as “zesty with herbal bitterness”, leading to a “nice and syrupy palate with plenty of orange zest and bitter green herbs – very Aperol‐like”.

Two Gold medals went to “well‐balanced, floral” Everleaf Mountain and “delicate, light and fresh” Siegfried Wonderleaf Rosé. The round concluded with four Silver medals.

Double winner

Meanwhile, Giffard enjoyed a double‐Gold result in the Low/No‐Alcohol Liqueur heat. The first of the two medals were awarded to Giffard Elderflower Alcohol Free, with “bold elderflower on the nose” and “jammy” taste profile. The second Gold was given to Giffard Grapefruit Alcohol Free, which was found to be a “decent flavour replica”.

The largest flight of the day was also the closing round: Pre‐Mixed/RTD. The medal tally included five Golds and 20 Silvers. Sir James 101 Mojito Mocktail was one of the Gold recipients, enjoyed for its “bright, fresh nose” and “delightful freshness”.

De Kuyper Zero 0% Pornstar Martini and De Kuyper 0% Margarita both bagged a Gold medal. The Pornstar Martini delivered “juicy, sour fruit” on the palate, with “some vanilla”. Meanwhile, the Margarita replicated agave notes on the nose, leading to “citrus and Tequila hints” on the palate. “For 0%, this is nicely done,” noted Kiely.

Fi‐Ga Fiori di Guarana delivered “tropical notes” and offered “good balance” to win Gold. Completing the Gold medal streak was Margarita Next by NIO Cocktails. This cocktail delivered “bright agave notes” on the nose, leading to “tangy citrus” on the palate, and an overall “beautiful balance”. Silver winners included De Kuyper Fizzy Peachtree, Sir James 101 Ginger Mule Mocktail, and Archers Lemonade.

With the flights done and dusted, the Master winners were resampled by all the judges. Two products in particular stood out to the panellists – but given how one was alcohol‐free, and the other alcoholic, it was agreed two Taste Master awards should be given out in this competition. Therefore, the Low‐Alcohol Taste Master accolade was awarded to Adnams Smidgin Dry Gin – “a great way to lower the ABV”. And the No‐Alcohol Taste Master award was given to Everleaf Forest, which was “delicious on its own – very well balanced”.

The panels agreed the Master winners were fine examples of how to create lower‐alcohol, or zero‐ABV ‘spirits’, without compromising on authentic flavours. While the experts praised the creativity across the category, they noted the need for full and authentic flavours to entice more drinkers and continue driving interest in the sector. If producers can achieve this, the aforementioned growth forecasts look set to come to fruition.

Low-Alcohol (6% to 25% ABV)
Company Product Medal
Sunset Juicee Sunset Juicee Rum Punch Gold
Pernod Ricard Beefeater Botanics Lemon & Ginger Gold
Hayman’s of London Hayman’s London Light Gold
Casa Savoia Savoia Orancio Silver
Sunset Juicee Sunset Juicee Gin n Juice Silver
Rheinland Distillers Siegfried Classic Low Silver
Non-Alcoholic White ‘Spirit’ (less than 0.5% ABV)
Company Product Medal
Adnams, Southwold Adnams Smidgin Dry Gin Master & Low-Alcohol Taste Master
Pernod Ricard France Ceder’s Wild Gold
Pernod Ricard France Ceder’s Classic Gold
Rheinland Distillers Siegfried Wonderazul Gold
9 Meadows Alpine Sky Gold
9 Meadows Citrus Fields Gold
Diageo Seedlip Spice 94 Gold
Diageo Seedlip Garden 108 Gold
Diageo Seedlip Grove 42 Silver
Pernod Ricard France Ceder’s Crisp Silver
Rheinland Distillers Siegfried Wonderleaf Silver
9 Meadows Morning Forest Silver
Wildjac Distillery Natural Dry Giniper Silver
Non-Alcoholic Dark ‘Spirit’ (less than 0.5% ABV)
Company Product Medal
The Social Drinks Company Sentia Red Gold
The Social Drinks Company Sentia Black Gold
Diageo Captain Morgan Spiced Gold 0.0% Gold
Rheinland Distillers Siegfried Wonderoak Gold
Gutss Drinks Gutss Cuban Spiced Silver
Non-Alcoholic Apéritif (less than 0.5% ABV)
Company Product Medal
Everleaf Everleaf Forest Master & No-Alcohol Taste Master
Gutss Drinks Gutss Italian Bittersweet Master
Everleaf Everleaf Mountain Gold
Rheinland Distillers Siegfried Wonderleaf Rosé Gold
Jnpr Spirits Vrmh N°1 Silver
Everleaf Everleaf Marine Silver
The Mocktail Club N°1 Basil & Elderflower Silver
The Mocktail Club N°7 Lemongrass & Chilli Silver
Low/No Alcohol Liqueur
Company Product Medal
Giffard Giffard Elderflower Alcohol Free Gold
Giffard Giffard Grapefruit Alcohol Free Gold


Company Product Medal
Sir James 101 Sir James 101 Mojito Mocktail Gold
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Zero 0% Pornstar Martini Gold
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Zero 0% Margarita Gold
Italfood Qualita e Scelta Fi-Ga Fiori di Guarana Gold
NIO Cocktails UK Margarita Next Gold
NIO Cocktails UK Negroni Next Silver
Italfood Qualita e Scelta Fi-Ga Light Fiori di Guarana Silver
Intune Drinks Grapefruit & Mint CBD Drink Silver
Intune Drinks Pomegranate & Ginger CBD Drink Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Zero 0% Mojito Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Fizzy Strawberry Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Fizzy Peachtree Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers Archers Lemonade Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Fizzy Watermelon Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Fizzy Passionfruit Silver
De Kuyper Royal Distillers De Kuyper Zero 0.0% Strawberry Daiquiri Silver
Pals Pals Zero Alcohol Central Otago Peach, Passionfruit, and Soda Silver
Pals Pals Zero Alcohol Hawke’s Bay Lemon, Cucumber, and Soda Silver
Pals Pals Zero Alcohol Red Peach, Yuzu and, Soda Silver
Sir James 101 Sir James 101 Spritz Mocktail Silver
Sir James 101 Sir James 101 Pink G&T Mocktail Silver
Sir James 101 Sir James 101 Ginger Mule Mocktail Silver
Sir James 101 Sir James 101 G&T Mocktail Silver
Intune Drinks Elderflower & Hops CBD Drink Silver

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