Four Pillars Is Releasing Its First Booze-Free Range for Cocktails Without the Hangover
Four Pillars' new Bandwagon range comes in two varieties, serving up alcohol-free versions of the acclaimed distillery's Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin.
June 10, 2022
Acclaimed the world over — and named the World's Best Gin Producer for two years running to prove it — Australian's Four Pillars has built up quite the following in boozy circles. Since 2013, the Yarra Valley-based distillery has given Aussie gin lovers plenty of covetable drops to drink, including via famed tipples such as its beloved Rare Dry Gin and bloody great Bloody Shiraz Gin.
Even if you don't sip the hard stuff, you've heard of Four Pillars. You've also got a mate with a gin shrine filled with Four Pillars bottles, because everyone does. But now, thanks to the distillery's latest range, folks who don't indulge in alcohol can taste what all the fuss is about — and anyone who is having a break from cocktails for whatever reason can keep knocking back the brand's beverages.
Meet Bandwagon, Four Pillars' new booze-free line, which'll arrive for hangover-free drinks at the end of June. Those two popular tipples mentioned above, Rare Dry Gin and Bloody Shiraz Gin, have been given the sans-alcohol treatment — after the distillery spent two years getting everything just right.
With Bandwagon Dry, the Four Pillars team started with the same ten botanicals that make up the Rare Dry Gin. Those flavours are extracted in a different way for this boozeless version, though, with the oils and flavours from juniper, lemon myrtle, coriander seed and the like gathered using steam distillation. And, each is distilled separately in order to control the flavour contribution and the quality. They're then mixed together with a water base, and combined with steamed and vacuumed fresh chilli to give the not-quite-gin the heat that comes with alcohol — and with a natural fructose from plants for weight.
As for Bloody Bandwagon, it starts with Bandwagon Dry. Bloody Shiraz Gin is made with a base of Rare Dry Gin, too, so that process is replicated — but without alcohol. Then, the clear Bandwagon Dry liquid is mixed with shiraz juice, which is crafted with shiraz grapes that haven't been fermented (so, no booze).
Basically, forget soft drinks — you only need to drink these booze-free spirits from now on.
When the Bandwagon range hits shelves just in time for Dry July, you'll find it at the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Surry Hills Laboratory, as well as from BoozeBud, Coles Local, Dan Murphy's, IGA, Liquorland and Sans Drinks. You'll also be able to pick up just Bandwagon Dry at First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars and Woolworths.
Wondering how to drink both tipples? Four Pillars co-founder and distiller Cameron Mackenzie recommends using "around 60 millilitres of Bandwagon Dry with 100 millilitres of of your favourite tonic. As ever, use plenty of ice and an orange slice as a garnish."
For Bloody Bandwagon, Mackenzie says "this is a unique, purple, and slightly sweet alcohol-free spirit that you can use just as you would your Bloody Shiraz Gin. Combine 60 millilitres of Bloody Bandwagon with 100 millilitres of tonic or soda and you'll have yourself a deliciously grown-up, booze-free drink."
It's also advised to use a bit more of the Bandwagon drinks with your mixers to help highlight the flavour.
And no, Mackenzie didn't initially think a decade back that this is something that Four Pillars would ever whip up. "When we launched in 2013, never in our wildest dreams did we think we would make a non-alcoholic product. But as we've grown older and wiser, booze is not always your go-to and you a need quality alternative. Enter Bandwagon," he said.
Four Pillars' Bandwagon Dry and Bloody Bandwagon will be available to buy from the end of June at the Four Pillars Healesville Distillery and Surry Hills Laboratory, as well as from BoozeBud, Coles Local, Dan Murphy's, IGA, Liquorland and Sans Drinks. You'll also be able to pick up Bandwagon Dry at First Choice Liquor, Vintage Cellars and Woolworths.
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