Unlike many spirit alternatives, which are made by infusing ingredients in liquid, Seedlip is distilled, just like a normal spirit. Except, with Seedlip, distillation is used to remove alcohol rather than concentrate it. As founder Ben Branson explained in an interview with Tasting Table, Seedlip is made by soaking botanicals in alcohol to extract their flavor. Then, the infusions are distilled to separate the flavor compounds from the alcohol. Each botanical is extracted individually, and then the distillates are blended and diluted with water to make the finished beverage.
Seedlip Garden 108’s dominant flavor is sweet pea. On its own, it smells like a cleaning solvent. The flavor is very intense. It tastes like peas without any sweetness, which is quite a strange experience. There’s also a strong note of hay, which adds to the garden flavor. It’s quite evocative of the outdoors, but not great on its own.
Mixed with tonic, it becomes a different experience entirely. The sugar in the tonic adds the sweetness missing from the pea flavor, and the combination of Garden 108 and tonic creates a cucumber-like aroma and taste. It’s reminiscent of a gin and tonic made with an eccentric boutique gin. The flavor of the Seedlip is rather delicate, so you have to use more than you would use in a regular gin and tonic to get the full flavor experience.