Gordon's alcoholic vs non-alcoholic gin taste test

Gordon’s recently released non-alcoholic gin on the market, just in time for people trying out a post-festive-season detox. Both products are comparatively priced, but the results were a bit of a mixed drink.

What do you think of this product, would you give it a go or are there better alternatives?


I am not a gin drinker so this is a bit academic for me.

My guess is that taste/aroma profile of the non-alcoholic version will always be limited as the real thing relies on many aromatic substances being more soluble in alcohol than water and the alcohol removal process will remove some flavour agents.

I though the pricing was silly ($39 for original $35 for the non-alcohol) given the proportion of retail price that is made up of taxes on alcohol. Depending on who you ask the taxes on a bottle of gin is around $22-25. Either it is very expensive to make fake gin or Gordon’s have made a decision to increase their margin.


Is there a non-alcoholic dry vermouth to go with it?

Just a suggestion to offer even greater scope for the taste test.

I’ll supply the olives. :wink:


Agreed, price-wise seems pretty expensive to me personally, but I can see the appeal for others.

This no-alcohol dry vermouth looks interesting, maybe we can take a look at this one next.


I bought a bottle of the Gordon’s AF to try it. I saw it while doing my shop in Woolworths. I agree it is expensive but all the non alcoholic spirits are. Lyre’s make a large range which are all $45 a bottle. I’ve tried the Lyre’s London Spirit (Gin equivalent) and I prefer the Gordon’s. It has more flavour and was just as enjoyable and refreshing on a hot afternoon. I think the challenge with Alcohol Free is to find a decent AF wine. There are now some decent AF Prosecco type sparkling wines but nothing good in the reds. If someone could find me a great one of those either Ganache, Shiraz, Pinot Noir I’d be a happy person.


Check out the Lyre’s range available online. Dan Murphy also keep some of them in store. They make a Vermouth plus many others.


I purchased a bottle of AF Gin - sorry can’t recall the brand - and thought it was pretty awful. Would be good to find an AF Gin that tastes a lot like the real stuff because IMHO if it doesn’t it’s missing the point, the one I tried should’ve had a disclaimer ‘This AF Gin tastes nothing like actual Gin’.

@BrendanMays would be interesting to see a Choice taste test. Although the taste of various brands varies greatly it’ll be pretty obvious - based on my limited experience anyway - which ones taste like Gin and which ones just don’t.


Interesting, please let me know the brand if you come across it. Sounds like there’s plenty more to the alcohol-free market to discover

… Ersatz goods, I reckon after half a dozen I could tell which was which - separate sittings of course :rofl: Why does it cost almost as much as the real thing one wonders? an effort to make the whole experience more realistic from purchase to porcelain?


Excuse the commercialised link on non alcoholic gin. Can we assume the water used in place of alcoholic spirit is more expensive to procure? Tears of an angel perhaps.

Made by distilling water with botanicals, non-alcoholic gins are a high-quality impersonator of the real deal.

Is it that non alcoholic spirits are not “excuse” tax free?

Arguably ‘Good Food’ has a vexed relationship with the Australian industry. On face value the imposts of small scale production are likely valid. The unknown is why large scale producers would not dive in to capture the market. IE at a price point somewhere between the excise laden retail of alcoholic spirits and that of bar mixed soft drinks.


the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education in Canberra also raised concerns in a recent report that the availability of alcohol-free drinks in supermarkets could normalise alcohol use.

{emphasis added}

That boat sailed a few thousand years ago.

If alcoholic drinks were newly invented and some bright spark wanted to bring it to market the chances are it would be scheduled with other dangerous and addictive drugs. As things are there is no chance of that ever happening because it is already deeply embedded in our society. Alcohol is normal AF is not - yet.

With reference to the discussion about calling plant based products ‘meat’ how can something without alcohol be called gin, vermouth, beer, etc that by definition are alcoholic.

Not shaken, just stirred

I am unsure about that. It looks to me that beverages are defined in many ways according the purpose of the definition.

For example the OED says wine is “The fermented juice of the grape used as a beverage” but it is generally accepted that other fruits can be made into wine. AF wine is made like standard wine but then has the alcohol removed, does that remove the wine-iness from it too?

Beer can be made from many different substances that can be fermented and flavoured with many more, it can also be made in a very wide range of strengths down to so little alcohol that a person cannot drink enough to become intoxicated - such as Swan Special Light. I have read of beers that are lighter still that are made that way by limiting the amount of sugar fermented rather than by removing alcohol afterwards. Does being less than 1% ABV mean these are not beer?

Me too but for example The process of fermentation in winemaking turns grape juice into an alcoholic beverage. and The average real beer contains around 5% alcohol per beer. Low-alcohol beer can contain between 0.5% and 1.2% alcohol, and non-alcoholic beer can actually contain up to 0.5 percent alcohol. There are very few, if any, non-alcoholic beers that are actually free of alcohol

In full disclosure while stirring I did not check those references.

Flexibility in marketing is key.
Mirin which is a rice wine used for cooking or Mirin - seasoning? The second is widely available at The supermarket and similar but contains no rice wine.

For something similar at least to the original Mirin rice wine there is Cooking Sake. Obento brand is 13.5-14.5% alcohol, mostly rice wine, and made in China. Also available from good supermarkets everywhere. :wink:

I’ve not tried drinking either. Not sure how close the two types of Mirin products compare in cooking. I use either or both.

very disappointing ,I drank a whole bottle and could remember everything afterwards