The Green & Tonic dry cocktail at Mediterranean Exploration Company
Recently I met up with family—my cousin Ryan and his wife Sofie and their kids—for a meal at Mediterranean Exploration Company, and was super delighted to see they offer a dry cocktail, called the Green & Tonic, made with the herb-dominant Seedlip 108.
Seedlip is a non-alcoholic distilled spirit made from herbs, spices and other botanicals. I’ve been following the product’s development and growth online for over a year but had never really encountered it “in the wild.” The drink at MEC was the first one for me, and bottom line: I loved it!
Note: it does not taste like alcohol and comes from a different tradition of artisanal craftsmanship, so it would be foolish to expect it to taste just like alcohol. The server at MEC offered to bring me a sample of the spirit by itself in a separate glass along with the cocktail, which of course I accepted. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as far as flavor goes, but to me it tasted kind of green and tart—but not sweet. For the longest time, the interpretation of the non-alcoholic cocktail was a sweet drink (often a mix of juices and club soda), so the lack of sweetener in Seedlip feels kind of revolutionary. According to the website, the botanicals that make up the Garden 108 are peas, hay, rosemary, thyme, spearmint and hops.
Combined with tonic water, cucumber and lime, it made for a gentle approximation of a gin & tonic. It wasn’t quite in the Uncanny Valley, but it was a truly pleasant drink with lots of elements of the g&t.
As far as other places in Portland offering Seedlip-based dry cocktails, a cursory search yielded one other option: Raven & Rose. Their cocktail is the Dreamsicle, using Seedlip Grove 42, orange juice, seltzer, and cream. I would definitely like to give it a try.
On the topic of dry cocktails, I have to give a shout out to Eem’s “clear headed” cocktail, Ghost Dance, made with bitter soda, mango, lemon, and plum bitters.
It’s more sour than anything else, and definitely not very sweet. I loved it and find myself craving it at odd times.
Here’s to the evolution of non-alcoholic cocktails!
Disclamier: Seedlip did not sponsor this post, I’m just a genuine fan.