STUTTGART – Whether it's "Dry January" or "Sober Tourism:" Especially among young people, the trend is increasingly toward non-alcoholic beverages. In Baden-Württemberg, home of large wine-growing regions, the nation's second-largest variety of beers, and countless distilleries, people accept the challenge. Breweries, in particular, have long shown that what tastes good with alcohol, can work even better without it! In addition to pregnant women, motorists and health-conscious people also enjoy the sparkling alternative drinks that are absolutely delicious and lack absolutely nothing.
Completely calm: An Alcohol-free “Böser Kater“Hangover
In this case, where "Böser Kater" is written on the label, there is actually no hangover and no angry cat. Could this be a fraudulent label? No, not at all. The fruit distillery Schleihauf from Eppingen produces spirits under this brand inspired by Kater Rüdiger from managing director Adrian Clausing. For those who don't want the name to become part of the recovery program the next morning, there are two variants. "Böser Kater Non-Alcoholic" is made with organic juniper berries in both the "Gin" and "Glühwein-Gin-Alternatives." The latter also tastes delicious “on the rocks” in summer. By the way, cats really like the “bad cat”: With every purchase, the distillery supports cat protection projects.
Rethinking at Leibingers: Alcohol-Free from Bierbuckel
In 1901, the Ravensburg-based Max Leibinger brewery created something new in the region when it launched the first bottled beer. No less than 120 years later, at the "Bierbuckel" - where the brewery has been based since 1894 - people are working on getting the best out of non-alcoholic beer. The master brewers have developed an innovative process that uses a special yeast organism. With this, the "alcohol-free vom Bierbuckel" is brewed naturally cloudy, which means that the usual process of de-alcoholization, or early interruption of fermentation, is no longer necessary. The process also ensures that the aromas of the exclusively regional raw materials come into their own with the alcohol-free "Seeweisse Hefeweizen."
An all-around winner: Vincent Alcohol-Free
Start the end of the day with Vincent: this is what the Alfred Schladerer distillery in the Black Forest has to offer. For once, neither the alcoholic apéritif nor its driver-friendly equivalent comes in the distinctive square bottle in which the distillery from Staufen im Breisgau has been selling its fruit brandies for decades. The label is bright ruby red and tropical, with the distinctive feel of a beach bar on the slender body of the bottle. There are Black Forest raspberries, natural herbal extracts, and a wealth of experience from over 175 years of distilling tradition. All of this comes together in a special bittersweet taste experience.
Shaken not stirred: Cocktail Distillates from Northern Baden-Württemberg
You don't need to use high-percentage alcohol to create a successful cocktail. The Heimat-Distillers from Schwaigern offers a rum alternative with the "Heimat Vogelfrei Sugar Cane." Instead of alcohol as a flavor carrier, chili is used to create the typical sharpness and a full-bodied taste experience. In Abstatt near Heilbronn, Scarlett Gönnenwein has even created a new type of drink with her alcohol-free distillate: whoever mixes "Neckarlicious" into their drink holds a "Glowtail" in their hands. With its natural ingredients, the tropical beverage base is designed to bring a shine to the face of everyone who sips from the glass.
The boar sets standards: “BOAR ZERO”
The "BOAR Distillery" from Bad Peterstal-Griesbach doesn't do anything less than superlative. While "BOAR Gin" is currently the most awarded gin in the world, its alcohol-free brother is also making headway: "BOAR ZERO" is the world's first alcohol-free distillate while also being organic. The farm's own spring water is combined with 19 botanicals to create a balanced composition that harmonizes with tonic water, but also works as a basis for cocktails and long drinks. The creation with the unmistakable boar on the label received perhaps the best proof that zero percent is popular: in the first month, the zero variant was sold as often as the award-winning gin in the entire first year.
New developments with aroma: Alcohol-Free Wine from Baden-Württemberg
"Zero," "NIXLE" - some wineries with these names in Baden-Württemberg leave no doubt: there is no alcohol in this wine. The trend towards non-alcoholic wines has long since arrived in the world of vines. At "Baden's best wines" there is even an award in the "lead-free" category. "In terms of development, non-alcoholic beer is 20 years ahead of wine," says Thomas Diehl from the Diehl winery in Stuttgart. A fifth of the flavors are lost during de-alcoholization process. But in the land of inventors and tinkerers, solutions were still found: the Remstal winery creates their "0.X" from the outset with very aromatic grape varieties. Thanks to its gentle vacuum distillation, the Zotz winery from Heitersheim already has four non-revolution wines and sparkling wines on its shelves. The wine south is being enriched by these new developments.
Creations from the orchard: Manufacture Jörg Geiger
For 20 years, the meadow orchards of the Swabian Alb have been a supplier of Jörg Geiger's distillates, sparkling wines, and ciders. But the head of the Schlat factory of the same name also knew right from the start: There are good reasons not to drink alcohol. With his “PriSeccos,” Geiger likes to experiment: meadow fruit meets green tea, celery, or is combined with oak leaves. The manufactory has a zero-percent creation for every taste and requirement. Always keeping an eye on the big picture of enjoyment, Jörg Geiger names the right drinking occasions for his products. He recommends food pairings that harmonize best with his drinks.
Enter the Arena: “Piff Paff Hydrolat“
What a circus! After various forms of the "Applause Dry Gin," the top tier southern spirits producer presents its next program "Piff Paff." Inspired by the former circus on Stuttgart's Marienplatz, its label is once again artistically colorful. The price, which looks like an admission ticket, hangs on the neck of the bottle and invites you to the alcohol-free arena of the Hydrolat. Steam travels through flowers and herbs during production and absorbs their aromas. In the creation process, the plant water needs four times the amount of botanicals - from sage and bee balm to rosemary - compared to a gin. With his strong profile, the taste artist knows that the public is on his side. applausgin.com