The concept of drinking alcohol as tonic – in the form of liqueurs, spirits or cocktails – is by no means a new thing. “The distillation process of spirits made sense centuries ago when a lot of diseases were carried in water and it was comparably healthier to drink spirits because you weren’t drinking water that was full of water-borne diseases,” Eau de Vie bartender Greg Sanderson says.
In more recent centuries, people have been drinking brandy, fortified wines, and even hard liquor like whisky as after-meal digestifs. What makes alco-health, the growing trend towards more health-conscious libations different, is that it comes out of the health movement that’s sweeping our landscape.
“We’ve evolved to be a more health-conscious society today and people are choosing quality over quantity – people would rather have a few great drinks than 15 poorly-made drinks,” says Sanderson. “This way, people are seeking out healthier ingredients, in contrast to the cream and sugar-loaded drinks we were drinking ten years ago. Still, I’m not going to recommend that anyone have five cocktails a day.”
Eau de Vie has a menu section based entirely on concoctions inspired by old-fashion remedies, called The Apothecary. Sanderson picked out a few of his favourites below: