I’m not tee-total. But you don’t need to be to enjoy the Three Spirit. Whilst alcohol-free, they are not some cheap substitute for booze. They are complex and rich in their own right.
The drinks are functional, plant-based, vegan and provided in sustainable packaging. With just 40 calories per serving, you can drink without affecting your post-lockdown body plans too!
Each month, I am exploring the ingredients list of each of these tasty drinks, and showing you one to grow, and one to make! This month, we chat through the drink that will give you the best nights sleep- the wonderfully complex, silky ‘Nightcap’!
Decadent, and best consumed between the sheets! The Nightcap is soft and silky; a complex botanical blend of tree saps, aromatic plants and ancient remedies. From the shade of the bottle to the tone of the liquid, the Nightcap is indulgent, woody and spicy, and will leave you feeling blissed out beyond imagination!
Here are 5 of the most eye-catching ingredients in the Nightcap!
1. Hops – and not just any hops, these are a modern selection bred in Germany and named ‘Melon Hüll’. Their flavour is bitter and sexy, and gives a complexity that sets the Nightcap apart. Part of the Cannabis family, it’s no surprise that it promotes calm and reduces anxiety.
2. Turmeric – you’ve no doubt heard of this one! I remember my Grandma having a car of turmeric, and using it to colour her pickles! There’s a lot more to Turmeric though, having been used in folk medicine for centuries. The flavour is earthy, mustardy, with a zest to revitalise the body! Other uses include dyeing materials and use as a food, indeed the leaf is often used to wrap around sweet rice cakes in Goa.
3. Ashwaganda – another plant with much discussion around it! Withania somnifera has been sued for centuries in ayuverdic medicine, and is a known adaptogenic. Calming the mind and body, the flavours are subtle, bitter and somewhat nutty!
4. Maple Syrup – much famed in Canada, the unique flavour of maple syrup is a delight, yet cannot be explained by chemistry! The late season sap is harvested directly from the tree, and has a robust flavour which can be described as sweet, woody and a bit spicy. Rich in minerals and sugars, maple syrup really brings the indulgence to the Nightcap!
5. Lemon Balm – the most chilled out of all herbs, with a punchy citrus flavour. Used in cooking, perfumes, soaps, medicinal remedies, and even toothpaste! First used by the Greeks and Romans over 2000 years ago, and those nectar-rich blooms attract bees and are a great addition to any beekeepers garden! Lemon balm tea can also be an uplifting tonic for all!
Grow your own Nightcap ingredient!
Did you know that you can grow Szechuan Pepper in the UK and Northern Europe?? It’s a somewhat wiry plant, which can be controlled, and has lovely fern-like foliage. The lookalike elder blooms make way for bright red berries towards the end of the summer, and these can be harvested and used in your cookery!
The flavour of Sichuan Peppercorns has a delightfully split personality; a numbing pungency coupled with a spicy heat, much more complex than black pepper. Try it if you haven’t already! Plants grow successfully in any well-drained soil, or can be grown in pots where they can be pruned to shape!
Make your own Nightcap ingredient!
Glycyrrhiza glabra is more commonly known as Licorice, and it’s a plant that grows easily in our climate. You can indeed harvest your own roots, roots can reach 13 feet beneath ground, so it’s easy to harvest some whilst leaving the plant in place, or re-planting. Used for flavour agent or medicinal with many turning to it when they have a cold or sore throat. The taste I’m surer you recognise, it’s pungent and salty, and somewhat addictive! You can even chew the root fresh for that fix!
Preparing Licorice to chew or make a tea!
- Harvest the thicker of the horizontal roots carefully, re-planting the plant firmly into the soil.
- Clean the root, and shave off the bark (as it can be a little bitter)
- Cut into 3cm lengths, and split each length in half lengthways
- Simmer in hot water for 6 minutes
- Strain, then drink! Can be drunk hot or cold.
Why not go explore the Three Spirit range? You may even be tempted by the Taster Pack. I seriously cannot recommend these drinks enough. When I first got my set, I drank them all within a week! I’ll be doing some special recipes for IGTV soon too, so keep an eye out!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook – and writes a plant-focused Substack called Grow This, Not That.