The sober movement is still going strong as we head out of lockdown. While some are looking forward to enjoying a pint or two in a beer garden, others are perfectly content with a non-alcoholic beverage. We caught up with STRYKK™ founder Alex Carlton to discover more about the world of non-alcoholic drinks.
Luxurious Magazine: STRYKK has been touted as the distilled non-alcoholic spirits brand for the new generation of partygoers. Why has it been marketed as such?
Alex Carlton: The majority of non-alcoholic spirit brands have taken the position of all or nothing. In other words, they are the brand for the non-drinkers/abstainers.
At STRYKK, our core values centre around balance, choice, friends, vibes and high temp social moments. We slot seamlessly into many moments, giving our customers choice as to whether they fancy mixing STRYKK between alcoholic drinks on a big night out or if they’re having some time off.
LM: In your opinion, what has given rise to a trend towards cutting down on drinking alcohol and a subsequent increase in the popularity of non-alcoholic drinks coming onto the market?
Alex: For a start, consumers are better informed and educated. Information is abundant online and on social media discussing the detrimental effects of excessive alcohol consumption on mental and physical health.
There is a new level of vanity in society. People are more dialled into what they’re consuming and what effect it has on their health – how they look, image and representation is everything.
People are brands today, and they don’t want to be seen coming out of the pub drunk, falling all over the place. There is a heightened awareness, and general society seems to be more self-conscious than at any other time.
LM: We saw several reports during lockdown saying people were turning to alcohol as a means to cope. Do you think the drinking habits of the nation changed during the lockdown?
Alex: We know this to be true as on the last and latest lockdown. It has been widely reported people had made a conscious effort not to repeat habits of lockdown one when excessive alcohol consumption was rife. People are more aware of the quantity of alcohol they consume.
I think the changing habits are here to stay, and more people from different age groups will follow suit, not just the millennials. We have seen a wide range of age groups purchasing STRYKK, and older than we expected.
LM: Let’s talk specifically about non-alcoholic spirits. Where is STRYKK bottled and distilled?
Alex: STRYKK is blended, bottled and distilled in the UK, thereby supporting British business. We source the majority of our ingredients from here in the UK, and we are looking at sourcing more of our packaging from UK-based businesses moving forward.
LM: How long did it take to perfect the recipe for all three? (NOT G*N, NOT R*M and NOT V*DKA)?
Alex: How long have you got? It’s been a work in progress and a labour of love! We originally launched back in October 2018 with our first product and tweaked it subtly ever since. We are working tirelessly and endlessly to create spirits that mimic their namesake counterparts.
It is no easy feat, as alcohol is complicated to replicate without using alcohol, but we believe we have some of the best, most believable non-alcoholic alternative spirits on the market today. It certainly seems that way when you read reviews from our hundreds of delighted customers.
LM: On a night out, where can we expect to see STRYKK being poured into a glass?
Alex: Pre-lockdown, we were listed in some of London’s finest restaurants, bars and hotel chains, and we were in conversation with some of the leading national accounts in the UK. However, this came to a grinding halt as of March 2020.
Discussions have begun again with some of the popular high street brands that we know and love. I expect we will still be available in our pre lockdown venues, such as Caravan Group, Nine Live, Notes Coffee Shops, Alchemist bar group and Absurd Bird.
LM: What are the best ways to enjoy each of the three drinks?
Alex: Always with friends, with great tunes, NOT G*N and Tonic, NOT R*M and Cola, NOT V*DKA Soda and lime. These are the simple, no-nonsense enjoyable serves, but clearly, STRYKK spirits make fantastic non-alcoholic Mojitos, Pornstar Martinis, Woo Woo and Brambles, to name a few.
LM: What’s next for STRYKK? Can we expect to see other mainstream spirits joining the STRYKK collection?
Alex: We have just launched two delicious new Ready to Drink cans, NOT G*N and Tonic and NOT R*M and Cola, both under 18 calories per serve, with no added sugar or fat. They are perfect for parks, festivals, third spaces.
Early consumer feedback has been very positive. We have hit the nail on the head with this new launch. We also have some signature serves in our 70cl range in development.
STRYKK – Where and How?
STRYKK is available now from Tesco, Ocado, Amazon, and of course, STRYKK.com. A 70cl bottle retails from £18.
Read more drinks based articles and guides here.