When Paul Mathew launched Everleaf in 2019 he’d already spent most of the previous year on a very personal journey, experimenting with countless natural ingredients and techniques to maximise their flavour. His goal? “To make the best-tasting drink I could, but one that just happens to be non-alcoholic.”
Fast forward to the present and Everleaf is found in some of the best and most creative spaces, including The Connaught, Tayer + Elementary and The American Bar at The Savoy. In the Everleaf range bartenders and drinkers alike have discovered a whole new depth of flavour and experience in low and no alcohol drinks, as well as it adding a new dimension to classics like the Dry Martini and Manhattan.
And an area where Everleaf has particularly come into its own is the spritz. A quick glance through some of the serves to be found on its website everleafdrinks.com reveals plenty of enticing inspiration.
Everleaf + nature = the perfect spritz
The Everleaf Spritz Challenge
This, though, is just the beginning, as Paul explains. “Everleaf was initially developed at my bar The Hide. And as someone who has competed in, then judged many cocktail competitions, it seemed only logical to have our own celebration of the spritz to see what bartenders would come up with, hence the Everleaf Spritz Challenge.”
The first challenge saw some 50 bartenders from around the UK, including London, Cornwall, Manchester, Brighton and Bath, take up the challenge, with the winning creation coming from Rebecca Bird, usually to be found behind the bar at The Pig on the Beach in Dorset.
She describes her spritz, A Little Vitamin Sea, “as a refreshing drink to be enjoyed after a walk, while the inspiration for the name comes from a local fresh water lake and the vitamins found in our home grown tomatoes and from our beautiful Dorset sunshine.”
For Paul it ticked a lot of boxes. “Rebecca’s journey was great, with her drink taking us on a captivating forage for gorse to make a cordial, past a freshwater lake and on to her hotel where they grow their own tomatoes. The drink also encompasses everything I try to do with Everleaf, namely that the drink should be more than the sum of the parts. The combination of Everleaf Marine, gorse and tomato gives a crazy strawberry note that was just fantastic. I love it when plants surprise you like that!”
The deliciously non-alcoholic Everleaf range
Take up a new challenge at Imbibe Live
Such was the success of the competition Paul and his Everleaf team is throwing out a similar challenge to bartenders at the forth-coming Imbibe Live. “We really want bartenders to get involved, to understand what Everleaf is about and teach us what they do with it. Like Rebecca we want them to take us on a journey out of that chaotic central London hall into their plant-filled natural retreat. It’s called the Everleaf Spritz Challenge and we want bartenders to reinforce this style of drink while tying it into their personal experience of the natural world, taking us on a journey to Forest, Mountain or Marine habitats, connecting plants, people and places though the power of scent, flavour and texture.”
Bartenders, here’s what you need to do
- Get along to Imbibe Live on either Monday 4th or Tuesday 5th July, make your way to the Everleaf stand (D125) and register for your 15 minute slot
- Taste the three Everleaf expressions; Forest, Marine and Mountain
- Take a look at the other ingredients available on the stand (it’ll be stocked with some delicious offerings which highlight the nine key Everleaf botanicals) and get creating. Each drink must contain either Everleaf Forest, Marine and Mountain, a choice of tonic, syrup, garnish and one personal bonus item foraged from from around the hall – within no or low reason
- Present your new serve to the judges, Everleaf’s Dan I’Anson and Gaetano Chiavetta
- Standby for the winner to be announced on Instagram during the afternoon of Wednesday 6th July
The judging criteria at Imbibe Live will be exactly the same as the first Everleaf Spritz Challenge. All entries will be scored on flavour, aroma, texture, presentation and, importantly, the drink should take the judges on a unique spritz journey to somewhere wild!
Of course, there’s the kudos of putting your name and the name of your bar to a brand new Everleaf spritz creation. There’s also a rather nice Everleaf limited edition summer spritz kit (take a look on the stand when you swing by to make your entry) which includes a branded blanket, apron, jigger, spoon, cans, tonic, tote bag and bottle.
Bartenders, get yourselves along to Imbibe Live, make your first stop the Everleaf stand and get ready to create an inspiring journey with your new Everleaf spritz!
For more details of the Everleaf Spritz Competition visit Everleaf, Stand D125, at Imbibe Live, Olympia London, 4th and 5th July.
To discover more about Everleaf see everleafdrinks.com
A Little Vitamin Sea
Created by the first Everleaf Spritz Challenge winner, Rebecca Bird
40ml Everleaf Marine
50ml clarified tomato juice (strain juice through coffee filter)
25ml gorse cordial*
Add the first three ingredients to a large ice-filled wine glass and top with soda water. Garnish with rosemary and olive. Serve with a sugar cane sustainable straw.
* To make gorse cordial, add four large handfuls of fresh gorse flowers to sugar syrup made with 700ml water and 350g caster sugar. Add zest of one orange and juice of one lemon. Stir and leave to cool, then strain into a sterilised bottle.