Going out to dinner and drinks is an important part of the life of many Singaporeans, especially when a new bar or restaurant always appears.
This was especially so for Melati Drinks founder Lorin Winata. The 27-year-old worked in investments and was often expected to attend networking events after work.
Alcohol was often presented at these events and she felt pressure to drink when she had a relationship with friends or co-workers, despite being worried about not feeling so cool and resting the next day.
Lorin felt that there was a lack of sophisticated, adult-centered beverage alternatives that would satisfy and provide the same complexity as alcohol, and it was difficult to find a drink that would pair well and complement the dishes.
He realized that while Singapore was a world capital of food and drink, there was a huge gap in terms of low or low drinks in ABV that were delicious, complex and would not look out of place at a glamorous event or Star Restaurant Michelin.
A life-changing trip to Bali
Melati’s idea really came to life during a visit to Lorin’s ancestral farmland in Jatiluwih, Bali.
According to Lorin, the botanical products grown there have been used in traditional medicinal remedies for centuries and something clicked in his head.
Why was there no product that used the repairing properties of these ingredients, but was socially acceptable and enjoyable? – To go to parties or as a way to relax after a very busy work week.
Lorin Winata, founder of Melati Drinks
After that visit to Bali, he shortlisted 60 botanists who he considered intriguing and who had significant health benefits. He then worked alongside an Ayurvedic specialist and food scientist to refine this list to 26 botanical plants.
These botanical products were selected for their detoxifying and mood-stimulating properties, as well as because they blended to create a deliciously complex flavor.
With this, he created Melati, the first Asian non-alcoholic snack inspired by traditional Asian remedies. An aperitif is an alcoholic beverage that is usually served before a meal to stimulate appetite.
The Classic Melati is created from rare and individually selected Asian botanists and the team works closely with farmers around the world to ensure a fair trade process and establish a long-standing relationship.
Botanical products are treated individually by cold extraction for up to six weeks for maximum benefits, before being carefully blended in Singapore.
To ensure optimum quality and freshness, the team only manufactures 500 bottles at a time. Each bottle contains zero percent alcohol and only 12 calories per serving.
According to the Jasmine website, a 500 ml bottle of Melati will be priced at $ 68. Sets are also available, with a gift set for S $ 75 and an initial set for S $ 38.
Is it a substitute for alcohol?
The key difference between Melati and existing non-alcoholic options is that Melati is not intended to directly replace alcohol and does not attempt to mimic the taste of traditional liqueurs.
In addition, Melati is a restorative product, due to its use of rare botanical products such as chokeberry, sencha, red kampot pepper and star anise. These vegetables work together to offer antioxidant and detoxifying qualities.
Together, they help detoxify the liver, increase blood flow, cause digestion, and promote overall well-being. Melati also does not use sugar as a filling ingredient, so the blend of botanicals is particularly potent.
According to Lorin, “the taste, taste in the mouth and length have a certain depth that can sometimes be lacking in non-alcoholic beverage options.”
When asked how Melati tastes, Lorin said it’s a deliciously complex bittersweet appetizer reminiscent of red vermouth or sloe gin.
Due to the unique blend of botanical products, the complex flavor of Melati means that it is best enjoyed in a classic spritz service: you can simply add one-part Melati and one-part tonic or soda water on ice and garnish with a slice of orange. to make it easier to enjoy at home or in a bar or restaurant.
Melati is currently on the menus of some of the best restaurants and bars in the city, including three Michelin-starred Odettes, Michelin-starred Nouri and Native, ranked in six of the top 50 bars in Asia 2020.
Is it the future of non-alcoholic beverages?
There has recently been an increase in popularity of alcohol alternatives as more Singaporeans try to reduce alcohol consumption for one reason or another.
Other zero or low alcohol brands, such as Lyre’s Non Alcoholic Spirits and Seedlip, have entered restaurant and bar menus over the past year.
While they represent a small amount compared to alcoholic cocktails, there is steady growth and I see an increase in demand. Three years ago, one in ten customers ordered a zero-alcohol cocktail, but now it’s one in five.
Aki Eguchi, program director for The Jigger & Pony Group in an interview with The Business Times
In fact, Lorin believes that “this is just the beginning of the path for non-alcoholic spirits and spirits,” as there are more people than ever worried about what they are putting on the body, from the health benefits of each product. to its form of origin and elaboration.
Spirits and non-alcoholic snacks offer consumers the chance to abstain from alcohol in an interesting and sophisticated way, while at the same time enjoying a tasty drink.
“As the non-alcohol scene continues to grow, I think there’s more than enough room for various brands and products. Essentially, the category barely existed until a few years ago, so it’s really exciting to see how it continues to evolve. and how new players respond to consumer demand and tastes to develop new and exciting products, ”said Lorin.
Featured Image Credit: Dsgcp / Melati Drinks