Making the UK’s first non-alcoholic Tequila alternative
A Blue Agave Base
There’s nothing like the trademark taste of Tequila. The traditional drink we all know and love is made by fermenting the sugars of the Blue Agave, a spiky, mineral coloured plant native to South America. It’s the Blue Agave plant that gives Tequila that distinctive flavour profile so building our “alcoternative” around it was the obvious place to start. Unsurprisingly, you can’t just turn up to Mexico with a pair of scissors and take a sample of Blue Agave back with you for the return flight home. We needed quality, quantity and a healthy dose of expertise to get us on our way.
A Taste of Tequila Town
Our Blue Agave comes right from the source in the town of Tequila, Mexico. Its full name is Agave Tequilana Blue Weber, but we prefer Ol’ Blue for short.
The authorities in Mexico have given Ol’ Blue the seal of approval, officially recognising it as 100% organic Blue Agave. That means Mockingbird has exactly the same quality that you’d find in any worthy Tequila.
By choosing the best quality Blue Agave, our hope is that we can bring a little bit of that vibrant Mexican culture across the Atlantic Ocean and ramp up the flavour for people in the UK.
Real ingredients and authentic flavour
Once we had sourced our Blue Agave, the next challenge was to accurately mimic the taste of Tequila without the input of alcohol. For several months we dialled up the spice, heightened the heat and tinkered with the smokiness until we were 100% happy that we had a drink that mimicked the taste of Tequila.
Getting that clean, earthy flavour without alcohol was always going to be a challenge but in the end, after much experimenting, we found the perfect balance. Some vanilla pods for sweetening; lemon to bring out the citrus notes when mixed; a dash of habanero to imitate the spicy, smokiness; and a sprinkling of cinnamon to complete the taste palate. Our non-alcoholic tribute to Tequila was nearly ready.
Now, when it comes to our ingredients, we can’t give away all our secrets, but what we can promise is that every ingredient used to create Mockingbird is authentic, quality and natural.
The Ashwagandha effect
Tastes like Tequila? Check. Made with quality, authentic ingredients? Check.
Despite successfully recreating Tequila without the alcohol, something felt unfinished about Mockingbird. Although our mission was to champion Tequila but without the hangover, we felt we could go one better. What if we could not only beat the hangover, but give drinkers a natural boost as well?
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen that helps your mind and body manage stress and anxiety. Basically, the exact opposite to what alcohol does. Ashwagandha was decided as the hero ingredient due to its immune boosting benefits to both the mental and physical aspects of our human physiology.
Mockingbird founder, Fern McCoy, came across the ancient herb while living in India and after experiencing the effects of Ashwagandha for herself, knew immediately which creation of hers could benefit from it. Where booze brings you down, our 100% organic Ashwagandha lifts you up, naturally helping you to feel more productive and creative, instead of bored or lethargic.
With the drink ready, our focus shifted towards creating a beautiful brand to elevate and propel our product.
Right from the very beginning, we were allured by the idea of centring the brand around the unsuspecting yet intelligent mockingbird. In the same manner a mockingbird would mimic the calls of other birds, Mockingbird Spirit would proudly mimic the taste of tequila.
Mockingbirds have also come to represent innocence, like in the tale of To Kill A Mockingbird, the Pulitzer Prize winning 1960 novel by Harper Lee. We wanted to use this symbolism as the converse to the guilt that sometimes comes from ‘having one too many’.
Finally, the Mockingbird, as an animal, symbolises our respect for Mistress Mother Nature. Everything we produce is recyclable from the bottle to label and we’ll always look to make our manufacturing methods more sustainable wherever possible.
Plus, Tequila Mockingbird is a pretty fun pun.
Mockingbird Spirit is a labour of love, a tale of true dedication to the cause and something we are extremely proud to share with our amazing customers. Why not pick up a bottle and try for yourself?
Team Mockingbird x