In stark contrast to the increase in sales of hard liquor and spirits seen during the early months of the 2020 pandemic – nearly 11% on average across all states – in 2022, sales of no- and low-alcoholic beverages grew by more than seven percent in key markets, surpassing $11 billion in market value overall, according to Forbes. Some have labeled this change in behavior a “sober curious” movement, but for actor Regé-Jean Page, who partnered with non-alcoholic spirit brand Seedlip on their newest campaign, his drinking preference simply comes down to having options.
“I don’t really have an ideology or a mantra when it comes to drinking,” the British-Zimbabwean entertainer tells ESSENCE. “I enjoy having the choice of drinking what I want to drink when I want to drink it and that’s not always alcoholic.”
In the advertisement for Seedlip’s “Choose Different” campaign, Page cheekily remarks, “Don’t mind if I don’t,” as he raises a non-alcoholic cocktail in the air. The sentiment is one he connects with personally.
“It speaks to an adventurousness, a fearlessness about not being afraid to choose differently,” he says. “It speaks to having a broad range of experiences. And I think that what Seedlip offers people is more choices, choices for more experiences that maybe you didn’t know were available to you but allow you to experience everything you’d like to do more.”
Seedlip’s portfolio includes three base spirits that can be used to craft a variety of cocktails. Spice 94 is an aromatic blend of all spice and cardamom with a more bitter profile while Grove 42 incorporates Mediterranean orange, lemon peel, lemongrass and ginger for a citrus taste that has a dry finish. Peas and traditional garden herbs like rosemary, thyme, and spearmint make up Seedlip’s third herbal spirit Garden 108.
“I enjoy simplicity so the garden spritz is definitely a favorite because it’s so simple to whip up,” Page shares. “It’s just a tonic or a soda with Garden 108, a garnish for fun, and you’re ready to go. It’s less than a minute’s worth of work for an afternoon’s worth of pleasure.”
In addition to being alcohol-free, Seedlip’s spirits are also sugar- and calorie-free so you not only skip out on the headache and hangover the next morning, but the potential detriment to your health goals as well, which many individuals will be focused on in the new year as 2023 comes to an end.
“It just feels like it’s a relatively mutual choice,” says Page. “It’s not like when people use phrases like ‘guilty pleasure.’ It’s not one of those because there’s no guilt attached. It’s just a choice that you have at your disposal to enjoy your evening and add a splash of sophistication to events without any other intrusive thoughts on top of that.”
That includes the pressure to drink that often comes with social gatherings. “Whenever people see me drinking something new and ask what it is, whether it’s a cigar cocktail or a non-alcoholic beverage, the usual response is relief and an immense curiosity. They say, ‘Oh! Is it good? Do you like it? Where can I get this?’ Being able to have that conversation is actually really empowering and a really fun conversation starter with folks,” Page adds.
With cocktail recipes for an Alternative Egg Nog and Morning Frost available on its website, Seedlip offers new ways to reimagine traditional holiday cocktails as Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approach. When it comes to the holidays, however, Page is only looking forward to one thing: “A holiday, in fact,” he says laughing.
“I think folks forget sometimes that holidays are about taking a break, they’re about relaxation, they’re about people, they’re about a time to be social with the people who matter to you, who care about you. It’s about finding that intimacy with your nearest and dearest, with family or your chosen family. So, I look forward to that,” he says. “I look forward to those social occasions that can be unfortunately all too rare and being able to lean into that and relax with people.”