|Dear non-alc explorers,|
Is The Pathfinder the Pappy Van Winkle of booze-free? As I told the author of this piece when we spoke last week, “No.” The adult non-alc drink industry is still young and doesn’t yet have a Pappy Van Winkle level hype monster.
For those who aren’t familiar, Pappy is perhaps the archetypical example of the premium, limited edition bourbon whiskey that a new generation of rare whiskey collectors prize highly. Pappy has many different batches and ages, but they all sell for well over the MSRP and many trade hands on the secondary market for thousands of dollars per bottle.
Will there ever be a non-alc spirit or drink for which the quantity demanded so far exceeds the quantity supplied?
My first thought is that age is one of the driving factors in bourbon desirability and most non-alc drinks deteriorate with age. Have you ever tried a non-alc drink that improved with age? Tell us about it. The only one I can think of is Woodnose’s Sacre, but I’m sure there’s an age beyond which even that begins to deteriorate.
Is Pappy level hype even something to aspire to? I’m no bourbon connoisseur, but I suspect that most “dusty hunters” themselves acknowledge that super rare bourbons are rare and sought after mostly because they’re rare and sought after, not unlike art and other collectibles.
For those who are interested in the history of the bourbon hype machine, Aaron Goldfarb has an interesting 1, 2, 3 part series in Punch. As recently as just a few decades ago, Americans didn’t give a damn about bourbon and much preferred clear spirits like vodka.
What do you think? What will the “Pappy Van Winkle of non-alc” look and taste like? Tell us about it! Brooke LeBlanc had some interesting perspectives on rare + super premium non-alc in her High Spirits interview.
To be clear, I think The Pathfinder is one of the best booze-free spirits on the market and I drink more than my share of it.
Odds and Ends
I recently stumbled upon Olivia Noceda’s videos and she has some great NA cocktail recipes and interesting perspectives on mindful drinking.
That said, this first one doesn’t resonate with me at all. At no point in our lives are we finished growing and evolving. Every day is a new opportunity to create better habits. Old dogs actually can learn new tricks. As adults, let’s discard the myth that who we are today is defined by what or how much we drank in college many years ago.
I loved this second one though. Life is too rich to numb ourselves. I want to feel everything deeply. Feel the good, the bad and the ugly. This is more physical than emotional, but cold winter morning runs have provided me opportunities to reflect on feeling truly alive and how both pleasure and pain play a role in engendering that feeling.
New on Dry Atlas
– Alt organic sparkling wines
– Botivo aperitif
– Dr. Zero Zero
– Gnista’s two new wine alternatives
– Joni‘s delicious verjus cocktails
– Kin Euphorics’ Actual Sunshine
– The Bitter Optimist’s Cali Amaro
– Saicho sparkling teas – Will these rival the ever-popular-at-Spirited Away Copenhagen teas? TBD!
– New de-alcoholized wines from Studio Null
– Uwe beers
Several of those were recommended to me by Frederike and Wim from the Netherlands’ Nix & Nix non-alc bottle shop. If you missed their interview in last week’s newsletter, here it is. And here’s the complete list of their favorite booze-free drinks.What new brands and products are we still missing? Send them to us on Instagram or Twitter!
In high spirits,