Big retailers understand the art of taking profit of sports events and holidays like no other. The assortment is easily adapted to the season or the hype of the moment, in order to get a piece of the pie. Completely logical of course, it would be lamentable marketing if they did not do it. During hyped, alcohol-free months all over the world we see lots of discounted non-alcoholic drinks popping up in the advertising leaflets. Nice for those who like to drink alcohol-free alternatives (now and then). This week, when Belgium is doing an alcohol-free february, Aldi promotes an alcohol-free Gin, named GinFree.
Did we see this one before?
When we saw the advertising brochure we had a déja-vu. The shape of the bottle, but especially the color of the two drinks reminded us very hard of the bottle of Ginsin that is in the cupboard at home. Well, of course it could also be a good copy of the Ginsin branding, so we went to Aldi to pick up two bottles, the blue ’12 botanics’ and the pink ‘strawberry’, for € 5.99 per bottle you can not really be fooled. When we inspected the bottles more closely, our suspicion turned out to be correct. Like Ginsin, the Ginfree by Aldi is produced by Espadafor from Granada in Spain. Ginsin has three varieties in the range: 12 botanics, Strawberry and Tangerine, Aldi took over two: the 12 botanics and the strawberry.
It is not that the GinFree at Aldi is much cheaper than Ginsin. You can find Ginsin, depending on where you buy it, for between 6.5 and 9 euros, which makes the Aldi version only slightly cheaper. It is of course possible that the two products are not quite the same, but since the energetic value of both bottles completely matches and we can not really taste a difference, we are pretty sure that they are the same products. If you like Ginsin and you live in Belgium, it is of course the ideal time to start scoring some bottles. In the rest of Europe, GinFree will probably be available later.
Sweetness makes it an easy drink
We will have a comprehensive ‘Tasted!’ of Ginsin on the site in a couple of weeks, but a few quick nips already tells us a lot. First of all, you can not really compare this product with some other alternatives for Gin that are currently on the market. On this site, for example, Borrago # 47 Paloma Blend, Memento and No Ghost in a Bottle Floral Delight and Herbal Delight were already tasted and used in recipes. These products, but also Seedlip, Nona, Caleño and other alternatives that are available on the market, can easily justify that they are about three times as expensive. The latter brands are proud that they only work with natural products and aromas and have hardly or no calories. At GinFree they do add artificial flavors and colours and the product also contains a relatively large amount of sugar. Per 100 ml. you can find 10.2 grams of sugar in GinFree, which is about the same amount as in coca cola. Because of the large amount of sugar, the strawberry is very sweet and it almost tastes like strawberry syrup. By adding citrus you get a pleasant feeling in the throat when you swallow the GinFree. Only when swallowing you really feel that this can effectively be meant as an alternative to Gin. How the Ginsin does work in mocktails we will test later, but we already know that we do not have to add a lot of sugar syrup.
To buy or not to buy?
The sweetness makes GinFree very accessible. In every one of us there is a sweet tooth hiding somewhere. If you want a slightly more sophisticated taste, I would invest in one of the alternatives just mentioned. If it depends on us we might buy a bottle of the 12 botanics to quickly pour a dash in a tonic during the week as an aperitif after a busy day. To be able to enjoy quiet Saturday night, or to serve when friends visit, we would still ensure that we always have a few slightly more expensive, less sweet and more sofisticated bottles in stock.