Packing a Punch


It’s a tricky situation when everyone around you is having a drink but either you’re driving, taking some time out from drinking, or you’ve had one too many. And while soft drinks are a great alternative, they just don’t seem to have that kick you’re looking for, or they’re full of sugar or nasties. But what if there was a non-alcoholic drink that was made in the same way as spirits, but without that pesky alcohol?

Altina Drinks might just have come up with a solution, as they have developed a formula for drinks that are ‘Powered by Plants’. Christina and Alan from Altina have reinvented the methods traditionally used to produce alcoholic drinks to get maximum flavour from botanicals, herbs and spices without producing alcohol in the process. The result is natural, low in sugar and packed with flavour. We talked to Christina and Alan and they’re making a special offer to our Handmade friends. Read on for details…

As a fairly new Canberra local business, Altina is taking the drinks industry by storm with its first cocktail called ‘Light Me Up’. It’s a lightly sparkling drink, based on the native Australian flavours of forestberry (a native eucalyptus with a strawberry taste) and wattleseed, combined with apple and green tea and finishing with a kick. It’s perfect for a relaxing drink with friends, and it even comes with complementary handmade garnishes to add to the cocktail experience

Christina and Alan will be coming to the Handmade Market for the first time on 23 & 24 March, where they can give you their stories and explain their processes. Christina is the scientist behind this unique formula that allows you to indulge in a full flavour while avoiding the culture of drinking that’s easy to fall into. “Everywhere you go, alcohol is the norm, and drinking water or sugary soft drinks all day isn’t all that appealing. When we cut back on drinking at social occasions, we noticed the change in vibe and the increased frequency of the question, “are you okay? You’re not drinking”. Socialising and drinking is such an ingrained social norm, but it’s not very inclusive if you don’t drink alcohol. That’s why we decided to make premium, sophisticated and flavour driven drinks with no alcohol and minimal sugar. We’ve reinvented methods used by the alcohol industry that allow us to make complex drinks, without the need to use or produce alcohol in the process.”

Alan is passionate about making changes in the Australian drinking culture – focusing on the sustainability of the business and its contribution to change. It’s Altina’s mission to shake up the Aussie drinking culture and it is doing so by partnering with organisations that work on alcohol harm. Their tastings, masterclasses and alcohol free events are helping to educate people, all while drinking their indulgent cocktails. Says Christina, “As a social enterprise, we have social change in our DNA. We’re using our brand as a vehicle for change by starting the conversation about mindful drinking and continuing it by creating unique and memorable alcohol-free experiences. Not only do we want to create drinks made from natural, low sugar ingredients, that have complex flavours, and are alcohol free – we want to showcase indigenous ingredients to Australia and the world. We source our native ingredients, forestberry and wattleseed, from a local producer just outside of Canberra.”

Christina and Alan have been to Handmade as customers before and have always been amazed by the quality of products from Australian businesses. “We are really excited to be among these businesses and look forward to meeting customers and sharing our story and products. Our cocktails are unlike anything people have tasted before, so this is a great way to come and see what they taste like!”

To get you started, Altina is offering customers who sign up before the market a free glass of their signature cocktail when they come and visit us. You can sign up HERE.

When asked what the best thing is about Canberra in the Autumn, Christina was quick to answer “The colour change in the leaves, hands down! The cooler weather also means we can be out and about more – we love a picnic by the lake (with some fancy zero proof cocktails of course!)”

Altina’s cocktails should be on everyone’s menu and they have a free recipe card for their grapefruit sour to giveaway. Click on the link HERE. And there are some new warmer cocktails on the cards for Winter. Watch this space, or better still, pay them a visit at the market on 23 & 24 March.