LYRE’S non-alcoholic spirits brand has launched in South Africa, servicing a need for South Africans looking for an easy solution to more mindful drinking. The world’s most awarded premium quality spirits brand launched with five variants, carefully crafted to pay homage to the flavours of the world’s most classic, time-tested spirits, that give you the freedom to drink your drink, your way.
Lyre’s was created by entrepreneurs Mark Livings and Carl Hartmann in 2019 to replicate the world’s most popular spirits in a non-alcoholic format, each as close to the original premium volume spirit as possible, with the aim of changing the way the world drinks.
“The non-alcoholic spirits market in South Africa is growing slowly and has been, until now, only serviced by a small number of local brands catering only to white spirits, mainly gin, leaving a significant majority of consumption preferences for dark spirits completely untended until now,” says Mark Livings, Lyre’s co-founder and CEO. “We recognised there is a broad trend in and around the lack of no- or low-alcohol drink options and asked ourselves, how can we stay social without compromising taste?”
The brand was developed over three years, working with one of the world’s leading food houses, utilising a library of over 6000 extracts, essences, and distillates, and step-by-step advised by restaurateur, one of Australia’s most respected sommeliers, and decade-long wine specialist, David Murphy, the flavour architect for Lyre’s. “By way of example, our flavour architect, David Murphy, drew on no fewer than 25 different natural essences and extracts in his quest to produce our Dry London Spirit,” says Livings.
“Lyre’s is created not by distillation, but the meticulous blending of natural essences and extracts by our flavour architect,” he explains. “Lyre’s spirits don’t just mimic; they have their own distinction as a premium non-alcoholic beverage.”
The spirits are crafted as you would blend wine, by experimenting with combining each flavour component in different percentages, says Living. “We used cutting edge food science, to ensure the spirits pay homage to the traditional spirits people have come to love,” he adds.
“This has resulted in recreating the closest possible texture and palate weight, that deliver the tell-tale burn of alcohol in the beverages finishes,” Livings says. “Lyre’s is a mix of natural flavours, extracts and distillates derived from fruits, botanicals, spices, nuts, seeds, and other natural sources.”
The Lyre’s range is substantially lower in kilojoules, in some cases by more than 90 percent, than the original spirit and all products are vegan, with packaging that is 100 percent recyclable.
Five variants are available in South Africa: Dry London Spirit (gin alternative), Italian Spritz (an Amalfi Spritz), American Malt (Bourbon alternative), Coffee Originale (for an Espresso Martini) and White Cane Spirit (white rum).
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