Review: These Two New Non-Alcoholic Bottles Are Redefining Drinks Categories

Seedlip taps into agave, while Amaro Lucano attempts its first booze-free option

Two new non-alcoholic bottles and their respective cocktails, via Seedlip and Amaro Lucano
Seedlip and Amaro Lucano's latest bottles give hope to mocktails.
Seedlip/Amaro Lucano/Photo illustration

What we’re drinking: Seedlip Notas de Agave and Amaro Lucano Non-Alcoholic 

Where they’re from: Seedlip is considered the “world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit” — their booze-free line is crafted via a bespoke, six-week maceration, distillation, filtration and blending process, where each botanical ingredient is distilled separately.

Hailing from one of the world’s largest amaro brands, Amaro Lucano — which launched in 1894 — is a blend of more than 30 herbs and based on a secret recipe passed down from generation to generation in the Vena family. 

Why we’re drinking these: Depending on when you’re reading this, it’s still Dry January, but we recognize that booze-free spirits and mocktails are a year-round endeavor. 

As well, these releases are important in the non-alc world. Seedlip is an innovator and a market leader. Amaro Lucano, meanwhile, is entering the world of booze-free spirits for the first time in its century-plus history.

For Seedlip, the new Notas de Agave is a mix of flavors like prickly pear, agave, lime, damiana, vanilla, peppercorn and more. It’s both sugar- and calorie-free. According to a note on the bottle, the expression was inspired by The Art of Distillation (possibly the earliest book on distillation), which was published in 1651.

Meanwhile, the Amaro Lucano release is a bit more mysterious, labeled as an herbal (non)liqueur that “[captures] the rich aromas of elderberry, myrtle, rosemary, and citrus, elegantly blended with chamomile.” 

For Seedlip, we tried it neat and in two cocktails. We also compared Amaro Lucano Non-Alcoholic to its boozy forebear. 

How they taste:

  • Seedlip Notas de Agave: There’s a lot of prickly pear and citrus on the nose. Against a thin mouthfeel, you’ll find notes of black pepper, lemon, vanilla and agave on the palate. It lacks much heft on its own; in a margarita (with agave syrup and lime juice) and a Ranch Water (lime juice, club soda) it moved much closer to a cocktail sensation and was quite refreshing. 
  • Amaro Lucano Non-Alcoholic: A hint lighter in color than its alcoholic counterpart, this one is remarkable in that the no-booze version feels about 95% similar to the classic amaro. It’s a wonderful mix of bitter, sweet and floral, with notes of chamomile tea and citrus. I’d gladly add this to a boozy cocktail that called for standard Lucano if I wanted a lower ABV, or I’d happily use it as a base for a mocktail. 
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Of note: The shelf life of non-alcoholic drinks isn’t the same as boozy ones. Amaro Lucano Non-Alcoholic should be stored in a fridge after opening; Seedlip just says to store in a “cool, dry place,” but we’d also recommend refrigerator storage. 

Where to buy: Seedlip Notas de Agave is $31 and available here. Amaro Lucano Non-Alcoholic can be found here for $30 (note that a European version of the bottle is called “Zero” and that’s the one you’re probably more likely to see online, at least at the moment).


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