Ritual Gin Alternative
Ritual Gin Alternative
Gin / Ritual NA / 0.0%
Ritual Gin Alternative is the versatile friend who can hang at any party. Mix it with tonic and a squeeze of lime and you’ll have a truly all day G&T. The bright crisp flavor works as a substitute for vodka too, meaning your Sunday Bloody Mary just went guiltless.
Ritual Gin Alternative:
You’ve probably seen Ritual Gin Alternative in a lot of places, including Amazon and other online retailers. It’s heavily marketed alongside its Tequila Alternative and Whiskey Alternative cousins. I ordered this in the 375ml variety pack which includes all three in a handy carrying case and cocktail guide.
Is Ritual Gin Alternative Good?
Unlike Seedlip and other non-alcoholic spirits I have tried, Ritual Gin Alternative leans heavy on marketing itself as a direct substitute for the alcoholic version of gin. With its name, Ritual Gin Alternative, they have to believe most people will want to make the comparison of how it tastes against “the real thing”. I found it to be wholly different with a strong flavor profile that hits the senses in ways a traditional gin does not.
When you pick up a bottle of Ritual Gin Alternative or any of the Ritual products you will see that the brand tries to be clean, but bold. A white label with bold text and no imagery on top of a clear glass bottle and with a simple rubber stopper on top. The label calls out clearly the 12 botanicals and other ingredients that make up this beverage. It also lauds itself as Zero Proof, which appears to be a part of the trademark. I appreciate that this brand embraces its non-alcoholic profile and by aligning itself with gin, it might give the sober curious an anchor to get a sense of the spirit they are wading into.
I try to get a real essence of the core spirit, so I try to keep my cocktails very simple. In this case, I made a gin and tonic with no additional garnishes. I don’t like drinking the beverages straight because I don’t believe that’s how most people will consume them. And without alcohol or a desire to get drunk, it takes some of the straight or shot appeal away. In my cocktail, I used two parts tonic to one part Ritual Gin Alternative to bring the flavor profile out as much as possible. Although the label lists those 12 ingredients, only two seem to hit the palate hard and that is green peppercorn and peppermint leaf. The pepper taste is strong and I think it’s relatively intentional to give the sense that your drink has a bite to it, like alcoholic gin.
Ritual Gin Alternative Review
Making a direct comparison with traditional gin does make sense to me, but I think it sets a difficult bar for the drink to stand-up against. If you read even a handful of reviews on Amazon, you will notice many of them make this direct comparison, and typically not in a favorable way. I think this is exactly why Seedlip decided to take a different approach and make direct comparisons in their marketing or on their labels. If I am making the comparison myself, I think this product fails in being a crossover from gin.
Along with that strong pepper taste, both at the start and finish of every sip, there is another, less promoted ingredient not listed on the Gin Alternative label, and that is cane sugar. The sugar also hits the mouth and leaves that sticky aftertaste that sugar sweetened beverages tend to leave. I am not a fan of added sugar in beverages and I think it generally runs counter to the trends consumers of non-alcoholic products desire. With that being said, I still enjoyed my cocktail and it wasn’t as if I had to dump it down the drain or spit it out. Additionally, I commend Ritual for putting a product on the market with a unique flavor profile and giving those folks looking to wade into the NA world some hooks to hold onto.
Ritual Gin Alternative Rating
Ritual Gin Alternative wouldn’t be my first choice when looking for a cocktail base. The added sugar was a turnoff as well as some preservatives used. I also wish some of the other ingredients were able to shine through like basil and lemongrass, but they were totally overwhelmed by the pepper taste. I hope the company will refine this product over time, trying to balance the flavor profile and potentially eliminating some of the undesirable ingredients. For now, I am going to rate this product 2 stars on my 1 to 5 star scale. It’s not something that’s undrinkable and many people might appreciate the bite it brings, but it just wasn’t for me.