Barbet “Light Wave” (Cucumber/Pineapple/Lavender) (Alcohol 0%) Website $38.40 (12 x 355ml cans)

Despite tasting wines, beers, and spirits on a daily basis, sometimes my body requires a little break, and so I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting non-alcoholic options. Also, as I have mentioned many times over the years, my wife has been in recovery for almost a decade and a half, so it does me well to come home with new booze-free libations every so often.

I picked up this vintage-styled offering from Barbet around two months back, and it has become a firm favourite in our house, especially so with me. I now have to hide these right at the very back of the downstairs fridge so my wife doesn’t find my stash. Seriously.

While I happen to enjoy all three of the main elements of this brew individually, I would never have considered them working quite so fantastically in combination, and so my first taste of this was a little epiphany in itself.  White grape juice brings the sweetness, but it’s a very delicate sweetness in what is essentially a stylishly light drink. The aromatics and flavours are abundant, yes, but there’s gentle subtleness here that makes it all the more alluring. The same goes for the carbonation, which is reasonably soft and makes this very easy to consume if one is extremely thirsty. Saying that, I feel that this is designed to be sipped and savoured rather than gulped down (as I am often want to do).

I’ve played about with this over ice, but I feel that on warmer days this will lead to some serious dilution of the flavour profile. Personally, I enjoy it quite well chilled and straight up in a tall glass.

Now, I know this most probably defeats what Barbet founders Katie and Andrea were aiming for, and I’m sure I’ll be getting into some hot water here, but Barbet’s Light Wave also tastes utterly delicious with the addition of some decent gin. I added a healthy splash of the Newfound Distillery’s Gunpowder & Rose Gin, and the results were electrifying in a very good way.

(Five out of a possible five apples)