If you’re a gin lover too, you’ll be delighted to hear that Australia’s favourite independent gin maker, Four Pillars Gin, has released a range of non-alcoholic gin. Four Pillars takes their gin seriously, in fact, they take their gin so seriously that they don’t make anything else. So when they set out to create a non-alcoholic gin, they knew it would have to live up to their reputation.
Four Pillars began by working on alcohol-free versions of their two most popular products, Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin, crafting, testing and tasting to create the best non-alcoholic gin possible. The team consider the finished products, Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon to be their best shot at Australia’s best-tasting non-alcoholic gin.
I was a huge fan of Four Pillars before I went alcohol-free, so I was very excited to try the Four Pillars non-alcoholic gin range and I’m even more excited to introduce Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon to you. I’ve created this guide to help you learn more about Four Pillars Bandwagon and their two non-alcoholic gins.
The making of Four Pillars non-alcoholic gin
Apart from the lack of alcohol, the big difference between Four Pillars Bandwagon Dry and the original Rare Dry Gin is the way the botanicals are used.
Although Bandwagon Dry is made with exactly the same botanicals as Rare Dry Gin (including juniper, oranges, lemon myrtle and pepperberry), each one is distilled separately so the flavour and quality can be controlled before they’re mixed together.
Some non-alcoholic spirits fall short in terms of heat and mouthfeel, elements that are difficult to create without the use of alcohol. Four Pillars have used some clever ingredients to overcome this challenge.
To add some heat to their non-alcoholic gin, Four Pillars steamed and vacuumed fresh chilli, which gives it a satisfying alcohol-like kick on the finish. They’ve also added a little weight to the mouthfeel by adding natural fructose that is found in plants.
In the same way that Rare Dry Gin is the base of Bloody Shiraz Gin, Bandwagon Dry is the base of Bloody Bandwagon. In order to turn Bandwagon Dry into Bloody Bandwagon, Four Pillars adds one very special ingredient — Shiraz juice.
The key ingredient in Bloody Shiraz Gin is fermented Shiraz grapes, which contain alcohol, so Four Pillars had to find a different way to inject the Shiraz flavour and colour. They did this by using pressed Shiraz grape juice, made from cool-climate Victorian Shiraz grapes. The result is a convincing alcohol-free version of the cult favourite.
Bandwagon Dry has been modelled on Four Pillars’ original, Rare Dry Gin, which has become something of a benchmark for modern, citrus-forward gins with a combination of Middle Eastern, Asian and local Australian botanicals. Bandwagon Dry follows the same path but without alcohol.
This non-alcoholic gin features aromas of orange and lemon myrtle, along with notes of spice on the palate. You’ll also notice some warmth that comes from a heavier load of botanicals.
How to drink it
Pour 45-60ml of Bandwagon Dry over ice and top with 100ml of your favourite tonic. Garnish with a slice of fresh orange.
If you’re entertaining, this Day Spa punch will impress your guests. Mix a full bottle of Bandwagon Dry with 700ml cold mineral spring water (chilled filtered tap water works well too) and 250ml elderflower cordial in a carafe or jug. Stir in 2 lemons sliced into wheels along with a whole sleeve of mint. It’s as refreshing as a trip to the day spa!
Bloody Bandwagon is based on Four Pillars’ Bloody Shiraz Gin. The original was created when Four Pillars came into a 250-kilogram load of Shiraz grapes from the Yarra Valley. The experiment paid off, with Bloody Shiraz Gin now considered a cult favourite. Like Bloody Shiraz Gin, Bloody Bandwagon perfectly balances sweet fruit and all the gin flavours.
This non-alcoholic gin has a complex flavour profile featuring Shiraz notes along with botanicals such as Tasmanian pepperberry leaf and aromatic citrus. Bloody Bandwagon has some subtly sweet notes and you’ll notice a little heat on the finish.
How to drink it
Pour 45-60ml of Bloody Bandwagon over ice and top with 100ml of your favourite tonic. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon.
If you’re a fan of a classic Gin Fizz, try this non-alcoholic gin version, very fittingly named Not a Gin Fizz. Add 50ml Bloody Bandwagon, 20ml fresh lemon juice, 15ml sugar syrup and a dash of egg white (or aquafaba if you’re making a vegan-friendly mocktail) to a cocktail shaker. Shake it up and fine-strain it into a chilled glass. Top with soda water and garnish with some freshly grated nutmeg.
Jump on the bandwagon
I hope you found this guide to Four Pillars non-alcoholic gin useful. If you like the sound of these non-alcoholic spirits, make sure you sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Instagram so that you can stay up to date with the latest news about Four Pillars and non-alcoholic gin.
If you try the Bandwagon Dry or Bloody Bandwagon non-alcoholic spirit, please leave a review — members of my loyalty club get 100 points for every review so it’s a great win-win. I hope you love this amazing non-alcoholic gin range as much as I do!