Former heavy boozer launches alcohol-free tipple for 'grown ups'.
Read the full article on 7NEWS here.
Kate Forrester spent ten years drinking heavily.
Caught up in the Australian way of drinking at every possible occasion she found herself taking it to the next level and, by her late twenties, she’d spiralled out of control.
“I always had more than everyone else. I think I was trying to make socialising more comfortable,” Kate, now 38, tells 7Life.
“I remember thinking that I couldn’t be an alcoholic though.
“I was a young, middle-class Australian woman who had been given every opportunity.”
But as Kate moved from town to town, her life started becoming unmanageable and one day, when she was 28 and living in Byron Bay, she didn’t turn up for work.
A girlfriend scaled her back fence and found Kate in a bad way.
“I was drinking 24 hours a day at that point,” Kate says. “She got my dad up to Byron and we started talking about rehab.”
A centre had availability and after four weeks treatment Kate emerged a changed woman.
Rehab had come at exactly the right moment and it opened a door which set her on the path to complete alcohol abstinence for the next four years.
The only problem Kate found was that there was never a drink that filled the gap alcohol always had.
“I found myself looking forward to something nice on a Saturday but I could never find anything I liked,” she says.
“Kombucha made my stomach hurt and there were some cool brands at my local grocer but there was always something not quite right - one didn’t last well in the fridge and one didn’t mix well.”
Busy with her own marketing business Kate didn’t think too much about the problem until 2020 when she realised maybe there was an opportunity.
“I’d always wanted my own brand and a non-alcoholic drink made sense because of my own journey,” she says.
She started working with award-winning bartender Nick Royds on a formula and six months later they’d cracked it.
“It ticked all the boxes,” Kate says.
“It was all natural, had a great mouth feel, mixes well, looks good in the glass and is shelf stable.”
Called Etota, the burgundy-coloured drink has a unique flavour that Kate says is really different.
It’s sweet at first taste but this quickly turns to bitterness.
Etota is made with natural grape juice instead of sugar and contains an organic mushroom that means it keeps for longer. Other ingredients include dried schisandra berry, fresh strawberry, rhubarb and beetroot. You can find a full list of ingredients on the website.
“The feedback has been really good,” Kate says and hotels, restaurants and bars like Three Blue Ducks and Nomad in Melbourne have been quick to pick up the new drink.
Reviewers have flocked to the Etota website to pour praise on the beverage.
‘I’d drink that all day. It actually feels like a grown up drink.,” said one.
“Love the taste. Drank it all. Better than all the other non-alcs I have tried,” said another.
But Kate’s not stopping there and her next step is to launch more products including a non-alcoholic spritz in a can, accessible for the ready-to-drink market.
“We want to look at the overseas market too,” Kate says.
And after all her hard work, she’s glad that at last she has a drink that she can sit down and put her feet up with.
“It’s nice to have something that feels really adult,” she says. “It looks as good as it tastes.”
To read the full 7NEWS article, head here.