Ben Branson wants to change the way the world drinks.
And as the founder of Seedlip, the first non-alcoholic spirit, he is well on the way to achieving his mission. But for him, Seeplip, a brand which has taken the world by storm is, in his own words, “not enough”.
To truly build a category of non-alcoholic drinks, he felt there needed to be something more … something else. Something mighty … from little acorns grows…
So it is not surprising that Seedlip has revealed plans to introduce a sister brand of alcohol-free aperitifs, to be called Æcorn.
“Since launching Seedlip three years ago,” said Branson, “the global traction has been both surreal and overwhelmingly positive.
“We are still just scratching the surface of the category’s potential and Æcorn Apéritifs takes us another step closer to our aim …”
A Little history
Æcorn refers to an old English spelling of acorn. In Medieval England, the acorn was considered the fruit of the open land, according to Seedlip, and the word has been used for this range because it has also come to represent new beginnings, potential and perseverance.
Branson can tell you a thing or two about medieval England and about the old traditions of Apothecaries, who distilled non-alcoholic herbal remedies using copper stills so as to harness the power of nature & alchemy to solve medical maladies.
He can also tell you about Apothecaries who were making bitter non-alcoholic appetite stimulants 300 years ago … and this is the inspiration for the new brand.
The range, which has been informed by 17th Century English herbal remedies and inspired by the European Apéritif tradition, will initially comprise three varietals, each produced from English grown grapes and aromatised with herbs, roots and bitter botanicals.
The team behind the non-alcoholic spirit is aiming to launch Æcorn Apéritifs early in 2019.
A modern take …
The concept has been led by Claire Warner, who has been appointed as managing director of Æcorn. Warner, who joined Seedlip earlier this year to head up the development of a new No-Alcohol (NA) portfolio, previously held the role of Head of Spirits for LVMH.
She is joined by Emma Murphy, previously director of London Wine Week and founding team of DrinkUp.London; Murphy will take the role of Æcorn Apéritif’s head of marketing.
“We are thrilled to be following in Seedlip’s footsteps and breaking new ground in the category they created,” said Warner. “Since Seedlip’s launch, the world of non-alcoholic has shown itself to be dynamic and exciting, and we hope that the introduction of Æcorn Apéritifs will additionally help solve the dilemma of what to enjoy with food when you’re not drinking.
“Seedlip has given those who are not drinking a seat at the bar, and now Æcorn Apéritifs will give everyone who is not drinking, a seat at the table.”
The Aperitifs will be available to purchase from aecornaperitifs.com and wider distribution and will be available in 50cl (or 500mls or close to 17oz) bottles.
In an attempt to solve the problem of what to drink when you are not drinking, Seedlip has three variations available at present, Spice 94, Grove 108 & Garden 42.
With nature at the heart of the company’s ethos, it is not surprising that they have chosen the name they have the new apéritifs.
”Sadly the word ‘acorn’ was removed from the Children’s Oxford English Dictionary in 2007,” said the company. “We would like to preserve and protect its use and symbolism.
“For us, it is a beautiful word that reminds us of woodland adventures and the power of our early imagination. We are all poorer when words which connect us to nature are lost or forgotten.