There are a lot of non-alcs out there that are lolly water. We get told we cost a lot for cordial. Etota Bittersweet Aperitivo is made in the same way that alcoholic spirits are made and we do not use natural flavouring, colouring, sugar replacements or preservatives.
Etota Bittersweet Aperitivo is handcrafted from fresh and organic fruit, tea, spices and herbs. We purchase all of our ingredients from Australian suppliers and produce in limited batches. Alcohol is one of our ingredients. We buy alcohol and use it in the creation of our product.
We use a small still to macerate all ingredients together, for no less than 96 hours, in a Neutral Cane Spirit. This allows us to get the maximum flavour, tannins and mouthfeel from our ingredients. This is the same process involved when distilling alcoholic spirits. The only difference in our process is at the end; instead of burning off the water, we burn off the alcohol to reduce the ABV concentration of our product to 0.0% ABV. Yes, we don't have to pay tax on the alcohol when we move the product to sell, but the cost of goods and labour involved in the creation of the aperitivo makes up for it. We also don't price our product to match the price of an alcoholic spirit.
Our product is concentrated and was designed to mix. It is also shelf stable, has a great mouthfeel and pours brilliantly into a glass with a bold, ruby-red colour and foams when mixed. This is hard to achieve from natural and organic ingredients.
Check the ingredients on other non-alcs out there. Some are pre-mixed and therefore cheaper - they have a lower percentage of ingredients mixed with carbonated water. A lot have natural flavouring, stevia or synthetic preservatives added. The later is what gives other non-alcs and soft drinks that 'lolly water taste'. We think this is cordial too.
Remember when the Natural Confectionary Co came out in the 00s and everyone replaced their chemically filled, high sugar treats to the 'healthier version'? As consumers became more and more conscious of what they were eating, many realised that naturally flavoured products like The Natural Confectionary Co, may not actually be natural and can contain a lot of chemicals.
When it comes to natural flavouring, it can be confusing. In an article by Good RX Health, according to the FDA, a natural flavouring is an essential oil or extract from a plant or animal source. Natural flavours may come from a variety of sources, including:
Spices and herbs
Fruit or fruit juice
Vegetables or vegetable juice
Edible yeast, roots, bark, buds, or similar plant material
Meat, seafood, or poultry
Heat and/or enzymes are used to obtain the flavour from these natural sources to add them to foods. Even though they come from natural sources, they often contain artificial and synthetic chemicals added during the manufacturing process.
In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group, these flavour mixtures can be made up of over 100 chemicals. Things like solvents, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers, and preservatives can make up 80% to 90% of natural flavours, causing them to stray far from their original “natural” source.
You may be wondering why these products are allowed to be labeled as ”natural.” As it turns out, the word “natural” has no formal legal definition. Australia has not established clear requirements for natural claims used by manufacturers, which can make the use of this term highly misleading.
Etota Bittersweet Aperitivo, does not contain any natural flavouring, artificial preservatives, stevia, chemicals or colouring. We are the real deal and rather expensive to make. But we taste good.