Like Marrickville in the inner west, the industrial area of Brookvale on the northern beaches has become a hub of craft breweries and distilleries. But unlike Marrickville, Brookvale lays claim to what’s billed as the country’s first alcohol-free distillery, located in a spacious warehouse just across from Nomad Brewing Co.
Seadrift is by partners Alastair and Carolyn Whiteley, who had long felt there was something missing from Australia’s non-alc market. So they set out to create a spirit that captured the essence of the coast – but without the booze. Alastair would experiment with a variety of botanicals (including seaweed foraged from Mona Vale beach) in a traditional copper pot still in the couple’s shed. And then he started winning awards.
Today, Seadrift’s so-called “So-Bar” is a fully-realised space to showcase the brand’s spirits, alongside other local and international non-alc drinks. Stunning copper stills are displayed next to a sleek curved concrete bar, with fairy lights and fronds of greenery hanging from the ceiling above.
The Seadrift Classic is the brand’s flagship spirit, made with coriander, makrut lime leaves and golden sea kelp. It’s joined by the Coast gin featuring basil, juniper and lemongrass; and the rose-coloured style named Hibiscus.
This being a bar as well as a distillery, there are a range of cocktails made with the same care and attention to detail you’d expect from a speakeasy in the CBD. Sip on the Freshie, made with Seadrift Coast, lemon, and non-alcoholic sparkling wine, or a Pittwater Pomelo with Seadrift Classic, grapefruit juice, lime and a salt rim.
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