The Magic of Hydrosols for Creating Allergen and Alcohol-Free Adult Drinks.

This month’s blog post comes from Bax Botanics all about the benefits of using Hydrosols for creating Allergen and Alcohol-Free drinks.

Find out more about them here.

Bax Botanics, distillery. Photography by Joanne Crawford

The adult soft drink sector is experiencing significant growth due to a rising preference for non-alcoholic alternatives. Many individuals are opting for soft drinks over alcohol, either by choice or because of alcohol intolerance. This trend reflects changing consumer preferences and a heightened awareness of health considerations. As a result, the market for adult-oriented soft drinks is expanding rapidly.

Can Some People be Allergic to Alcohol?

‘True allergy to alcohol is extremely rare, although skin rash reactions have been recorded. More often, alcohol exacerbates underlying conditions such as asthma, urticaria and rhinitis because it opens up blood vessels. Sensitive people may get wheezy, headaches and skin flushes.’,

The only way currently is to check the labelling – an ‘Alcohol-free’ drink must have no more than 0.05% abv but de-alcoholised can mean it contains up to 0.5% abv.

What are hydrosols and what are their benefits?

Hydrosols have a long history. Orange flower water was used in Sicily by the fourteenth century and from the sixteenth century on, bitter orange was cultivated in the south of France specifically to produce orange flower water for use as a perfume and a flavouring, and it was widely used in European cuisine by the seventeenth century. The traditional method of distilling orange blossoms involves the hand-harvesting of fresh, fully expanded flowers. The blossoms are put into a net sack in a copper pot still and covered with about one and a third times as much water. About one kg of fresh blossoms are required to produce a litre of distillate.

Contemporary hydrosol recipes have been used to create ‘Alcohol-free spirits,’ and represent a revival of age-old techniques tailored to the tastes of the 21st century.

This innovation has breathed new life into the beverage industry, offering a contemporary twist on age-old practices.

Herbarium by The Plant Room and Dr Alison Peirse. Photography by Joanne Crawford

The benefits of hydrosols in allergen free, adult soft drinks.

1.One of the most significant advantages of hydrosols is that they are inherently allergen-free. Unlike traditional soft drinks, hydrosols do not contain common allergens such as gluten, nuts, or soy. They are also free from sugar, sweeteners, thickeners, or alcohol. This makes them a safe choice for individuals with allergies or intolerances.

  1. Hydrosol-based soft drinks are celebrated for their clean ingredient lists. They typically consist of distilled water and the natural aromatic compounds from botanical sources. This simplicity appeals to consumers seeking transparency and cleaner options in their beverages.
  2. Hydrosols are prized for their intense, natural flavours. These flavours are derived directly from plants, offering a refreshing and authentic taste experience. Whether it’s the zesty aroma of lemon verbena or the relaxing essences of rose or sea buckthorn, hydrosols bring a burst of natural flavour to soft drinks.
  3. Beverage manufacturers have embraced hydrosols for their versatility. They can be blended with a variety of other ingredients to create unique and appealing flavours. This allows for a wide range of soft drink options, catering to diverse consumer preferences.
  4. Many consumers are looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake. Hydrosol-based soft drinks can be formulated with minimal or no added sugars, making them an ideal choice for those seeking healthier beverage options.

Can a drinks retailer trust that ‘Free From Notifiable Allergens’ accurately reflect the product’s composition? 

They can, provided the manufacturer holds accreditation from SALSA or BRCGS. These esteemed organisations maintain rigorous protocols that guarantee the utmost commitment to food safety, and their standards are consistently monitored and upheld through regular audits and enforcement measures. This assurance helps both retailers and consumers make informed choices about allergen-free products.

We have a great example of a drink which fits the description here. Yorkshire based proudly boast their only ingredients are ‘Water, Natural Botanical Distillates, citric acid and potassium sorbate’ with zero% sugar and zero% alcohol these modern hydrosols have been awarded Double Gold and Best in Class at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Allergen-free adult drinks are no longer a niche market. They are rapidly gaining popularity among consumers who seek delicious, allergen-free alternatives to traditional beverages. Hydrosols have emerged as a game-changer in this regard, offering clean and natural flavours without common allergens. As the beverage industry continues to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences, we can look forward to an exciting future of allergen-free soft drinks that cater to the tastes and needs of a modern, health-conscious society. So, the next time you reach for a soft drink, consider exploring the world of allergen-free options made possible by the magic of hydrosols. Cheers to a healthier and more flavourful future!

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