Introducing: Inka Larissa, Drinks Distilled No & Low Guide
Get to know Drinks Distilled Spirits Guide, Inka Larissa.
Inka Larissa is a spirits writer, content creator and a co-host of Whisky Sisters podcast.
Through her blog On the Sauce Again, she takes a largely female perspective as she explores various drinks around the globe. The blog covers a wide range of drink related topics; anything from gin, whisky and the burgeoning NOLO categories to tips on how to throw a party or where and what to drink locally.
Inka believes we should embrace spirits the way some people understand wine; to learn the best ways to drink them and fully appreciate the aromas, the colours and the flavours of each unique category and style spirit. She likes to explore the whole process from seed to glass.
When she is not talking about whisky, you can find her sipping tequila or searching for the best Negroni.
What are your top tips for picking no & low?
Some no and low alcohol products aren’t always transparent in their marketing, which can lead to misunderstandings. Often drinkers are expecting the ‘spirit’ to taste similar to a full-strength gin for example, which rarely is the case. I would recommend researching, reading reviews and exploring the ingredient list a little more to understand what is the best option for your taste buds.
Everleaf Forest is an ideal non-alcoholic product for those who enjoy a spritz, as it has a lovely bitterness to it with notes of citrus and a mix of spices. This also makes it a great alternative to Italian bitters.
Everleaf Forest has more texture to it than most non-alcoholic spirit products. It provides a silky mouthfeel, and its flavour profile is reminiscent of Amaro or other Italian bitter liqueurs. Expect notes of bitter orange and winter spices.
What are the most common misconceptions people have of non-alcoholic spirits?
One thing that most people don’t realise, or understand, is that non-alcoholic botanical spirits are often made using an alcohol base. Therefore, it’s nonsense to say they are like any other soft drink – they are not.
They use a distillation method to extract flavours. The essential oils derived from the distilling process ensure the premium taste. The difference is that in the non-alcoholic category the distillation will remove the alcohol entirely.
Valentian Vermouth Rosso
Commonly mistaken for a spirit but an essential for cocktail lovers, this vermouth can be served on ice or with tonic water (4% ABV/ 0.8 units per glass) as a reduced-ABV option or mixed into a cocktail.
Valentian Vermouth Rosso is my go-to for Negronis, thanks to its lighter body and perfectly balanced botanicals.
What's your top tip when it comes to vermouth?
Store your bottles properly for a longer shelf life and to maintain the quality. When it comes to no- and low-alcohol category, including vermouths and other fortified wines, make sure to store these in the fridge once opened.
You can extend the shelf life of vermouth from three weeks up to six months simply by storing it in the fridge.
Everleaf Forest Spritz
This is a great aperitif. It's perfect for celebrations but also as a refreshing after work cocktail when you just want to relax and enjoy a drink that's full of flavour, but skip the influence of alcohol.
- Fill a wine or Copa de Balon glass with ice cubes.
- Add 50ml Everleaf Forest and top with tonic water.
- Stir gently and garnish with an orange slice and sprig of thyme.
Everleaf Forest Gimlet
- Put your Coupe glass in the fridge to chill (for between 30-60 minutes).
- Pour 50ml Everleaf Forest, 35ml grapefruit juice and 5ml honey into a mixing glass with a few ice cubes.
- Stir until the mixing glass mists up.
- Strain the mixture into your chilled glass, express lime oils across the top and garnish with a lime twist.
Valentian Vermouth & Tonic
- Fill a highball, copa de balon or wine glass full of ice and add 50ml Valentian Vermouth Rosso.
- Top with 150ml tonic water and garnish with an orange slice.
Valentian Vermouth Negroni
- Add a handful of ice to a mixing glass with 25ml Valentian Vermouth Rosso, 25ml Hidden Curiosities Aranami Strength gin and 25ml Campari then stir for 30 seconds.
- Strain into a Rocks glass over a large ice cube and garnish with an orange slice.