Spritz O’Clock: The Byron-Born Non-Alcoholic Aperitif Brand On Our Radar
Booze-free and delishBy Penelope Pelecas | 11th December 2023
Whether we want to admit it or not, drinking is arguably a big part of Australian culture. A glass at dinner every other night may seem harmless to most, but Kate Forrester, founder of Byron Bay alcohol-free aperitivo brand Etota, has experienced firsthand the ‘ugly side’ of it.
“I learnt to binge drink early and this was common amongst my friends,” Kate reveals. “By 28, I was drinking a lot at home and had isolated myself. I went to rehab and started working through the underlying issues. I can now drink but prefer to drink less.”
Kate’s turbulent journey with alcohol and the lack of delicious non-alcoholic beverages on the market led her to starting Etota.
“I wanted something I could enjoy on a Saturday afternoon,” she says. “I was trying a few different drinks from my local grocer, but I couldn’t find a natural non-alcoholic drink that would last in the fridge after one glass.”
Etota, which is handcrafted and bottled by hand in Tyagarah, is inspired by the Italian aperitivo (aka a pre-dinner drink intended to whet the appetite). This ruby-red sipper has a sharp tang from ingredients gentian (used in Campari and Aperol) and schisandra, a restrained sweetness from grape juice and strawberry, and a dreamy depth from beetroot – it’s the perfect blend of sweet and bitter.
“When first sipped it tastes sweet and then transitions into a bitter flavour on the tongue,” Kate says.
Kate adds the easiest ways to enjoy Etota is on ice with a dash of lemon, mixed with soda or tonic water (add a garnish of orange peel for an extra dose of flavour), or if you’re drinking, paired with gin.
“There are so many ways to drink it, and this is a great point of difference for us – offering drinker’s choice.”
With one year now under their belts, Kate says they’re looking into trialling some new products in the new year. “The plan is to keep the same flavour but create a family of products from this primary profile for drinkers and non-drinkers like a non-alcoholic canned spritz or an alcoholic gin and tequila.”