Nothing like the usual ‘blah’ non-alcoholic drinks these days, Seedlip has already been taken up by over 100 Michelin star restaurants globally, and this year has made its way to our beachy shores to shake up summer season.
I caught up with Seedlip founder Ben Branson when he visited Sydney, to chat about Seedlip’s launch in Australia and how Seedlip came to fruition.
Branson currently resides in his 1400’s cottage in the British countryside, a rather unassuming place to become the visionary behind the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit.
Make no mistake, this guy and his brand Seedlip, have already gone global.
What struck me straight away was that for Branson, Seedlip is more than a business, it is a passion and a way of living his life, Branson’s own contribution to the world becoming a healthier place and one connected with nature.
He’s not donned in the most expensive suits, the fancy cufflinks and tiepins that you might expect from a young man who has come in hot and made a fast name for himself in the business world, but his character is entirely reminiscent of Seedlip’s brand, a product that was made out of a love for nature and more importantly, a love for people just being healthy.
“Seedlip didn’t start as a business idea. The whole process was really born out of my love for nature and a desire to keep my family’s farming legacy alive.” Branson says.
“I was always really interested to see what had been lost or forgotten about farming. One day I went on the internet and looked at old cook books and found a centuries old copy of ‘The Art of Distillation’, and decided to purchase myself a copy”.
This copy that Branson had bought himself, was written in the 17th century, and having flicked through its ancient pages Branson decided to by himself a copper still from the internet and begun pressing flowers from his garden.
Branson described the process of pressing different flora purely as a hobby, until one night out in London for dinner.
Branson explains; “It really turned into a business idea a few months later after a dinner in London where I ordered a non-alcoholic drink at a beautiful restaurant, and received a fresh juice with pineapple. It really got me thinking that how in this day and age its possible we don’t have a nice, adult, non-alcoholic drink option?”
And so Seedlip was born.
Seedlip was founded in 2015, and in just two short years is now heading to Sydney and Melbourne.
“We’ve already had incredible success in Australia, the David Jones in Bondi has already sold out of all their stock just this morning which was really exciting.
The food and drink scene is great here and you’re really ahead of the game when it comes to health and fitness; you have so many incredible chefs that work with different farmers and suppliers with an emphasis on good quality food and drinks.”
Australians certainly have a healthy appreciation for the great outdoors, as well as some incredible flora, some of which native ingredients Branson has been trialing with when he was travelling around Australia.
“Seedlip is all about working with nature to create the best quality drink. I found your natives really inspiring and have been experimenting all this week with wattle seed and wax flower which has been really interesting”.
From such humble beginnings too making its way to Michelin star restaurants all over the world and now to select venues in Australia’s most prominent food and drinks scene, Seedlip has well and truly answered the question of “what to drink when you’re not drinking”.
Seedlip is available to buy in David Jones and selected bars and restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne.
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