By now we are all very familiar with the benefits of taking part in Dry January… weight loss, better sleep, improved mood, money saved, better nutrient absorption… the list goes on.
Anyone who is trying to make positive changes to their daily routine deserves credit because quite frankly, it is very difficult to remain in control of all our naughty habits, especially when it comes to alcohol.
One thing we are sure everyone has learnt in these last few years is that willpower and motivation is like a muscle….it can tire. Some days you can say no to anything and some days, you just can’t resist that tipple.
Whether it is for dry-January, or you are looking to permanently moderate your alcohol intake, it is important to find something which satisfies your cravings and offers the experience of a well-made drink. Complexity, depth, mouthfeel and quality of ingredients are essential to any great drink. We want to show that our non-alcoholic aperitif can achieve a similar depth of flavour and complexity you might find in its alcoholic cousins.
Classic aperitifs are generally made by macerating botanicals in alcohol. We set out to find a medium (not alcohol!) that would serve a similar purpose. Our research led us to these ancient herbal tonics called oxymels. 'Oxy' = acid / 'mel' = 'honey'. This was the perfect base for Botivo because the British shores have both vinegar and honey in abundance. It takes several weeks to draw the flavours and nutrients from our ingredients. Like a classic aperitif, it is patience that allows the flavour profile to mature and develop complexity.
In our modern world of mass-produced products, Botivo celebrates craft and our incredible suppliers. We are proud to know where are ingredients come from – our apple cider vinegar is from third generation vinegar maker Becci, whose orchard Ostlers is in North Devon. Our raw, unpasteurised and unfiltered honey is from the Local Honey Man who pride themselves on producing sustainably sourced honey, whilst protecting the UK’s vulnerable bee population.
There is usually a pre-packaged shortcut to make production easier, but there is often a trade-off in quality and depth of flavour. We use real botanicals in our production which results in a taste that is true to nature.
At Botivo, we not only enjoy the longer journey to making our product, but we also know that the time spent picking fresh rosemary and thyme, zesting oranges, or the weeks waiting for the infusions results in a better product. As the world is starting to appreciate 'local' and 'craft' once again, we hope that this is reflected in what we have created.
We wanted to work with nature to give natural stability to Botivo. Vinegar has enabled humans to eat outside of the seasons for thousands of years before we had the luxury of refrigeration. Raw honey is one of the only natural ingredients that doesn’t have a shelf life. This ancient combination enables us to avoid the use of chemical preservatives such as potassium sorbate.
Fermented foods contain probiotic bacteria which promote digestion and a healthy gut. Raw apple cider vinegar is a brilliant example of this and has been used for millennia for this very reason.
Humans have been eating honey for at least 9000 years, courtesy of the humble honey bee. Our raw, unfiltered and unpasteurised honey has wonderful antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is widely considered to boost immunity which is something we could all benefit from in these times!
Botanicals are not just used for their aromatic taste and smell. Fresh rosemary is used by herbalists to boost immunity and is high in antioxidants. Thyme has antiseptic qualities and is great for sore throats.
Bitterness is well known for aiding digestion - this is why aperitifs are drunk before a meal to prepare the stomach. At Botivo we use a combination of Wormwood and Gentian Root. Wormwood is an essential ingredient to the production of most absinthes and vermouths. Gentian root is traditionally used in digestive tonics and is an ingredient in many cocktail bitters and aperitifs.
So…why not make drinking Botivo part of your daily routine? We are proud to say that it tastes great and we are excited to bring back these ancient traditions into everyday life.