From keto-friendly natural wines to liquors spiked with herbs and botanicals, wellness spirits have made a big splash in the past year.
This has been a banner year for so-called “wellness spirits.” From keto-friendly natural wines to spirits spiked with herbs and botanicals, here are some of the more interesting finds.
Gem & Bolt, launched by two female artists with a passion for mezcal, incorporates a traditional Mexican herb called damiana into its mezcal. The herb grows in the same region as agave and is known for both its power to heal and as an aphrodisiac. It can also reportedly help treat symptoms of peri-menopause and menopause. One of the few certified organic mezcal factories in Mexico, Gem & Bolt’s mezcal is produced by a fourth-generation family operation in Oaxaca. “Utilizing fair-trade, organic, and sustainable agave, Gem & Bolt Mezcal is a reflection of our deep care for what we take into our bodies,” according to the website. This “Honey and Smoke” mezcal cocktail—which uses honey, simple syrup, ginger beer, and lime—could be an elegant signature cocktail at your holiday party.
Gin may well be the original wellness spirit. The spirit is made primarily with the “super berry” juniper, which provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal effects. Juniper berries may even promote heart health as well improve diabetes! In addition to juniper berries, gin is also made with a variety of botanicals and herbs. According to Food & Wine, The Botanist, which is produced in island of Islay, off the Scottish coast, is one of the world’s best gins. Before slow distilling the spirit, the company hand forages for nine kinds of berries, barks and peels, and 22 botanicals, including lemon balm, chamomile, hawthorn, and elder. You can definitely sip this one on the rocks, but also try this “Merry Christmas Cocktail.”
Natural Wine Club
When regular wine gives you a headache or makes you flush for no reason, try a natural wine instead. Natural wines are minimally processed, made with organic grapes (usually), and have very few or no chemicals or additives. They also may offer a host of health benefits—in addition to offering a variety of polyphenols, natural wine provides plenty of bacteria good for the gut microbiome. There are many natural wines to choose from, but Dry Wine Farms makes it easy to choose a good one. A modern wine-of-the-month club, the company curates sustainably-grown natural wines from small family farms all over the world and then “lab-tests them for the highest standard of health.” Every sugar-free bottle is low in sulfites and alcohol, mycotoxin and mold free, fermented with wild native yeast, and both low-carb and keto-friendly. This mulled wine recipe is perfect for cozying up next to the fireplace.
Sometimes you want the complex tastes an alcoholic beverage provides—but without the alcohol. Enter Seedlip, a company that provides a non-alcoholic spirit that’s actually distilled; the company macerates herbs and botanicals in neutral grain spirit and water, then puts the concoction through copper-pot distillation before removing the alcohol prior to bottling. The sophisticated cocktail recipes that Seedlip provides sure don’t taste like grandma’s Shirley Temple. For the holidays, gin fans may prefer this “Martino” cocktail made with Seedlip Garden, while whiskey lovers might like this “Spiced Mule” cocktail made with Seedlip Spice.
Want more holiday cocktail ideas? Check out these healthier holiday drink ideas.