Unlike many spirit alternatives, which are made by infusing ingredients into a liquid, Seedlip is distilled, just like a normal spirit. Except with Seedlip, distillation is used to remove the alcohol rather than concentrate it. As founder Ben Branson explained in an interview with Tasting Table, Seedlip is made by steeping botanicals in alcohol to extract the flavor. Then the infusions are distilled to separate the aromatic compounds from the alcohol. Each botanical is extracted individually, then the distillates are mixed and diluted with water to make the finished drink.
The dominant flavor of Seedlip Garden 108 is sweet pea. On its own, it smells like a cleaning solvent. The flavor is very intense. It tastes like peas without any sweetness, which is quite an odd experience. There is also a strong hay note, which adds to the garden flavor. It’s quite evocative from the outside, but not great on its own.
Mixed with tonic it becomes a completely different experience. The sugar in the tonic adds the missing sweetness to the pea flavor, and the combination of Garden 108 and tonic creates a cucumber aroma and taste. It’s reminiscent of a gin and tonic made with a quirky boutique gin. The flavor of Seedlip is rather delicate, so you need to use more of it than you would use in a regular gin and tonic to get the full taste experience.