After two years of intensive work, Four Pillars has unveiled two new ‘spirits’ that will see them entering the non-alcoholic drinks market: Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon. Basically, these ‘gins’ with the gin are iterations of two of the Australian brand’s most iconic releases in alcohol-free form.
Calling it “the single biggest challenge we’ve faced since we started making gin in 2013,” Four Pillars started the process for creating their new non-alcoholic gins by using the same ten botanicals that make up its Rare Dry Gin. The oils and flavors from the majority of the botanicals including juniper, lemon myrtle, and coriander seed are extracted using steam distillation. Each is distilled separately, so flavor contribution and quality can be controlled, and they are mixed together with a water base.
Next, there’s the components that come naturally to alcohol but not so naturally to a non-alcoholic spirit – the heat and weight. To bring in some of that heat, the distillery steamed and vacuumed fresh chili, and to replicate some of that weight, they turned to a natural fructose that is found in plants.
In the same way that Rare Dry Gin is the base of Bloody Shiraz Gin, Bandwagon Dry is the base of Bloody Bandwagon. So it’s that clear Bandwagon Dry liquid with the addition of one ingredient, Shiraz juice.
To make Bloody Bandwagon, Four Pillars used unfermented Shiraz grapes to get that same flavor and color without the alcohol. The Shiraz juice concentrate is mixed in with the Bandwagon Dry base and voila, Bloody Bandwagon is born.
“When we launched in 2013 never in our wildest dreams did we think we would make a non-alcoholic product,” said co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie. “But as we’ve grown older and wiser, booze is not always your go-to and you need a quality alternative. Enter Bandwagon.”
Cameron added, “Bandwagon Dry has been modeled on our original gin, Rare Dry Gin, which has become something of a benchmark for modern, citrus-forward gins with a combination of Middle Eastern, Asian, and local Australian botanicals. Bandwagon Dry follows the same path – just without the booze.
“Aromas of orange and lemon myrtle are obvious, and on the palate, there are notes of spice and some warmth. Not from alcohol, but from a heavier load of botanicals. This is a botanical-based, alcohol-free spirit destined for a booze-free G&T. Use around 60mL of Bandwagon Dry with 100mL of your favorite tonic. As ever use plenty of ice and an orange slice as a garnish.”
On Bloody Bandwagon, Cameron commented, “In Bloody Bandwagon we have created an alcohol-free base of highly concentrated Shiraz and then added complexity with the addition of many of our favourite botanicals including Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and several types of citrus.
“This is a unique, purple, and slightly sweet alcohol-free spirit that you can use just as you would your Bloody Shiraz Gin. Combine 60mL of Bloody Bandwagon with 100mL of tonic or soda and you’ll have yourself a deliciously grown-up, booze-free drink.”
Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon are available from the Four Pillars Gin Shops at the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Surry Hills Laboratory, and from BoozeBud, Coles Local, Dan Murphy’s, IGA, Liquorland, and Sans Drinks. Bandwagon Dry will also be available from First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars, and Woolworths.
Both releases are priced at $50 per 700ml bottle.
For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.
In April, Four Pillars Gin announced it is the first carbon neutral gin distillery in Australia as it unveiled a $7 million dollar upgrade to its Healesville headquarters in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, outside Melbourne.
In March, the distillery unveiled its Fresh Yuzu Gin.