I wanted to find out more about this non-alcoholic spirit brand, so I had a chat with Sea Arch founders, Sarah and Geoff Yates.
What was it that first prompted you to delve into the world of non-alcoholic beverage making?
"We owned a wine bar in Torquay for four years and noticed that over that time people were increasingly looking for alternatives to alcohol that weren’t laden with sugar or calories, but still had great depth flavour and served with a real sense of occasion.
Owning a wine bar required us to be very sociable. Mixing with our customers and being offered drinks was great, but we also had to stay alert as we worked in a very busy environment and knew we had to focus on providing great food and a high standard of service. Like many we were becoming increasingly interested in making healthier choices, eating and drinking better.
So we too were looking for a drink which we would enjoy and would also fit into the context of our bar. Served with the same sense of theatre as our alcoholic spirits in a lovely glass, lots of ice and great garnishes. It had to be mindful without being boring or bland, a drink which didn’t compromise on taste or experience.
What was the inspiration behind the name Sea Arch?
Here on the Southwest coast of England, we’re surrounded by things made more beautiful because of what nature takes away from them.
The little sea glass pebbles we find on the beach are more beautiful without their sharp edges. The smooth, bleached driftwood that washes up on our shores is even more beautiful without its bark. And the impressive sea arches that rise out of our waters feel like portals to another world.
These beautiful gifts of nature have been our inspiration for creating Sea Arch, a crisp, fresh non-alcoholic spirit. It has all the deliciousness of gin, but none of the alcohol, and it really is more beautiful without. So you can kick back, sip it slowly and enjoy everything life has to offer.
How would you describe the taste of Sea Arch?
Sea Arch, Coastal Juniper Blend has a real freshness and purity of flavour, but enough complexity and bite to make a real grown up spirit which is perfect for any occasion.
At the first sip aromatic juniper and bitter grapefruit give a clean, crisp taste. Then comes the sweetness of blood orange and spice from the coriander. Our distinctively fresh coastal notes and Devon character are supplied by the wild seaside botanicals of sugar kelp and samphire. Cardamon ensures a balanced, warm finish.
We also make two types of gin and tonic premix. A Sea & T – Sea Arch & Tonic, which is our Coastal Juniper Blend with a squeeze of citrus and a premium light Indian tonic in a can.
And a Rose Sea & T, which is our Coastal Juniper Blend with a raspberry and rose infused light tonic. Both of these drinks are low calorie, sweetener free, allergen free and vegan friendly.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years’ time?
We are an up and coming independent non-alcoholic gin brand; however, we are big on both dreams and ambition. We have made a success of two previous businesses and have both the appetite and determination to make Sea Arch a popular brand enjoyed across the world.
What do you love most about the impact your drink makes on the world?
I love the fact that it brings choice and inclusivity to those people who for whatever reason don’t want to drink alcohol, either for a night, a month or a lifetime. Previously an underserved sector of the population, they now have an increasing array of diverse drinks to choose from that are both mindful and cool. We can all raise a glass to that!
How did you choose which botanicals would be used within Sea Arch?
We knew we wanted to bring real depth of flavour, along with a refreshing deliciousness together in one spirit. It had to be true to us and our coastal roots, hence the sea kelp and samphire native to the Devon coast. It also needed to have recognisable gin botanicals, such as juniper, cardamom and coriander to help people new to the non-alcoholic spirit world understand what it was and the context in which to drink it. Authenticity was also important. We use traditional distillation techniques to individually extract the very best from each botanical and then blend them together.
What is your favourite cocktail to create with Sea Arch?
I like to keep it simple, which means the delicious pure flavours of Sea Arch really shine through and can be enjoyed at their best. The actual serve however, should be done with a sense of theatre: For a refreshing Sea & T take a large glass, lots of ice, a squeeze of citrus, topped up with a premium Indian tonic, garnish with fresh citrus and a sprig of herb.
Sea Arch coastal Juniper is non-alcoholic, sugar calorie and sweetener free. Allergen free and vegan friendly
Where is the Devon coastline and what is it that you love so much?
Devon is a county in southwest England. The spectacular coastline features dramatic cliffs, as well as sandy beaches and secluded coves which change with the seasons. I (Sarah) was born and grew up in Devon near to the coast so it’s part of me. Whatever time of the year and whatever the weather, I defy anyone not to be refreshed and uplifted by a walk on the beach. It always does it for me, encouraging a feeling of well being of mind and body.
What is your favourite mocktail recipe?
We have a delicious mocktail recipe developed for a Livewell Festival in London last year at Old Billingsgate Market which focused on health and wellness. Our cocktail was showcased in daily masterclasses.
50ml Sea Arch Coastal Juniper Blend
20ml fresh cucumber syrup
20ml coconut water
2 leaves fresh basil
Pour the above into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Strain into a highball glass
Top up with sugar free lemonade
Garnish with fresh lemon and basil