Have you ever found yourself wishing to enjoy the sophisticated and complex flavors of your favorite craft cocktail without needing to worry about the inevitable effects of drinking alcohol? It’s time that we reinvigorate what it means to enjoy an adult beverage; instead of emphasizing consumption of alcohol, prioritize pleasing your palate with flavors that you love.
This week, we had the extraordinary opportunity to talk with the US Head of Education for Seedlip Spirits, Laura Lashley. Laura shared with us what she does at Seedlip, why it’s a brand you need to know about, and how spirits can be more inspired than just the classic cocktail.
Don’t miss out on our exclusive Instagram Live event with Laura coming up on Wednesday, February 10th!
What is Seedlip?
Seedlip is a UK-based company that has functioned as a pioneer of non-alcoholic, handcrafted, and distilled spirits. For the last four years, Seedlip has been changing the way adult beverages are perceived by creating a whole new realm of possibility with their natural, non-alcoholic spirits.
Interview with Laura Lashley
Q: Can you tell me about your role with Seedlip?
A: “It’s a very broad title. I am a former bartender, and I was the first full-time employee in the US with Seedlip. It’s been almost four years now! I’ve kind of worn a lot of hats as our team has grown and shifted so much over the years. Right now, what I do with education is I work across all of the channels, such as IG lives, to educate our consumers about Seedlip. I do training classes with bartenders in person and virtually. I also do a lot of work with our distributors and accounts. Because alcoholic spirits are a new thing, education is important to us. We want to teach people what we are and how to use our products.”
Q: Can you tell me about how Seedlip has gotten to where it is today?
A: “When we launched seedlip in 2014, there wasn’t anything like this product. It’s been a huge and exciting category in which to see so many new innovations. Whether it’s nonalcoholic craft beer coming to the market right now, or spirits like ours, it’s a really good moment. We’ve been so lucky to be a part of this surge in people searching for new and interesting adult beverages that are not boozy. It shouldn’t have to be booze in order to be considered an adult beverage. Things like bitterness and herbal notes, as flavor components, are still very delicious and exciting to people even when not connected to booze.”
Q: What is your favorite part about working in education with Seedlip?
A: “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, because there are tiny rewarding moments that happen all the time. I feel this product really fits a need in people’s lives because they’re so excited and appreciative when they find it. One of the more rewarding parts of my job is watching the bar and restaurant industry’s mind change about how important non-alcoholic beverages really are. When I first started, people were very dismissive, and I think I have gotten to be a part of watching that attitude totally change.”
Q: Why are Seedlip’s products important?
A: “We’re such a society based around socializing and going out for drinks and dinner at restaurants; it’s a huge part of our culture. It’s how we connect with people and celebrate things.
Currently, for me, I’m realizing what I’m craving about not being able to go out to a bar or restaurant is that I’m so missing the experience of going somewhere, and having someone serving me, and spending time with my friends. All of that is not so much about the booze in the glass, but the experience all around it.”
Q: Can you talk about the benefits of Seedlip products?
A: “I think with working from home, I really need a button at the end of my day. Something like the ritual of making yourself a drink can really do that, and there doesn’t have to have alcohol in it to have that effect. I’m passionate about bringing this option to people because many feel like they can’t partake in something that they actually totally can.”
Q: How has the culture around non-alcoholic drinks changed since you were in the industry?
A: “When I was a bartender for 12 years in NYC, if I look back at the way that I approached non-alcoholic drinks, I didn’t really give it that much thought or care. I think it’s mostly because I was uninspired since the only tools that I had were just syrups and juices. When people wanted a non-alcoholic drink, I knew it wouldn’t be as cool as the other things I was able to make for their friends who were ordering craft cocktails. That’s one of my favorite things about Seedlip, from a creativity standpoint; you’re not just drinking a juice, there are all of these adult flavor profiles. We’re working with flavors of nature – herbs and barks and teas. It gives you that same, if you’re a bartender, the foundation that you’d get from a whiskey or rum or gin, then you can layer those other flavors in. I think we’re moving away from stubbornness and toward being hospitable and inclusive – providing more options that are better for all kinds of people.”
“It’s the genuine shift of our culture into taking better care of ourselves and the planet – you can’t really argue with that.”
Q: What are common misconceptions about the products that go into making cocktails?
A: “I do occasionally get people who are really upset that we call it a spirit. They think the very definition of ‘spirit’ or ‘cocktail’ entails alcohol; there are purists out there who want to be very specific. The reason we call Seedlip a spirit is because we have a thoughtful and intentional craft with how we make the liquid. We do distill it – we want people to know it’s just as carefully crafted as your gin or rum would be. It’s the core foundation of the cocktail, that’s why we call it a spirit. The other misconception would be people who have had bad experiences with super gross and sugary non-alcoholic drinks that were basically like a kid’s drink. If this is why you don’t think you need these types of drinks, I think you should give it another shot; there are ways to make great flavors pop. It’s not all just pineapple juice and sugar.”
If you want to learn more about Seedlip, and how you can start reshaping the way you enjoy your beverages, join us at our event with Laura coming up on February 10th. You will not regret bringing these delicious, inspired, and mindful spirits into your life.