This review includes Seedlip Grove 42 recipes and attempts to use it as a substitute in more non-alcoholic cocktails, while documenting the whole process. Hopefully these results and taste tests will help you decide how best to use it in your drinks at home.
There is no doubt where Seedlip found its inspiration for Grove 42, because it tastes like an orange grove in a bottle. The aromatics are strong, and a little will go a long way: sweet orange, blood orange – ripe citrus all around.
The taste is shockingly delicate, with faint citrus and orange pith flavor. Each botanical has been individually copper-pot distilled, then blended to create Grove 42. All of this seems like overkill for something that ultimately tastes like “orange essence water.”
Bottom line: Overall Seedlip Grove did not perform well in mocktails where it was the featured spirit and flavor.
It succeeded most when blended with other non-alcoholic spirits or stronger flavored ingredients. That is primarily because of its extremely delicate flavor, and nearly one-sided aromatic profile.
However, Seedlip Grove could be the perfect choice in any beverage you might want to add some sweet orange aromatics without adding sugar. It has zero calories and zero sugar.
Find out more about how it performed in the full review below that documents all the mocktails that were tested, including Seedlip brand recommended drinks.
Best enjoyed in: Garden Party
In order to thoughtfully review a product, it must be tested. Here’s the method taken for taste testing all non-alcoholic spirits:
What does Seedlip Grove 42 taste like…
- On ice
- On ice with tonic or appropriate single mixer
- Brand recommended mocktails
- Get creative
Seedlip Grove has a little orange pith bitterness at first sip, with an extremely delicate flavor. I would call this “orange essence water.” It’s not initially inspiring any creative cocktail ideas.
#2 On Ice
While ice has proven to brighten up these non-alcoholic spirits, Seedlip Grove didn’t taste much different on ice. Still very delicate, maybe even less flavorful when cold.
#3 On Ice with Tonic
Seedlip Grove and Tonic tastes like orange flavored soda. For more info, I also did a side by side comparison of the best Seedlip spirit to use for a non-alcoholic version of a gin & tonic.
#4 Brand Recommended Seedlip Grove 42 Recipes
Here are a few Seedlip cocktails featured on their website. One might assume that the recipes they list are the best representation of how to use Seedlip Grove. Here they are and what they actually taste like:
- 2 oz Seedlip Grove 42
- 1 tbsp Agave Syrup
- .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Run a lime wedge around the outside of the rim of a tumbler glass then roll the rim in salt. Add all the ingredients with ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake & strain over fresh cubes of ice into a tumbler.Garnish with a lime wheel.
Verdict: This Seedlip Margarita was very sweet, not really like a margarita at all. However, If you like sweet drinks, this will not disappoint. This was tested alongside several other variations of margaritas to find the best non-alcoholic margarita.
In a previous taste test with Seedlip Garden 108, the two paired well in Garden Party, which is actually closer to a margarita than their margarita recipe.
Even after all of these additional mocktails, Garden Party is still my favorite use of Seedlip Grove, as a loose substitute for triple sec in a drink inspired by the margarita. The flavors blend well in it, while the other mocktail tests either had too much orange “essence” or none at all.
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- 1oz Seedlip Grove 42
- 1.5oz Verjus
- 1 tsp Honey
- Top w/Cold Soda
Directions: Build in a flute glass.
Verdict: Unfortunately, this was not special. Seedlip’s 1542 Vintage seems festive and looks like champagne, but it tastes like sparkling grape juice with a little orange flavor in it.
Served in the right stemware, it could work as a non-alcoholic option at a party, but it really isn’t worth it. I don’t see any reason to spend the money on Seedlip Grove or verjus to make this beverage.
- 2 oz Seedlip Grove 42
- 1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lemongrass Stalk
- 1tbsp Sugar Syrup
- 1 Egg White
Shake all ingredients and double strain into Coupe glass; Garnish w/ Orange Leaf
Verdict: This is a nice beverage. It’s richer than I expected, probably due to the apple cider vinegar. Seedlip Grove doesn’t really stand out, but the flavors blend well. Not too citric, not too sweet. A well balanced mocktail.
For a similar but more herbal beverage, see Garden Sour.
- 2 oz Seedlip Grove 42
- 1 Bar Spoon of Caramel
- Top with Cold Ginger Kombucha
Directions: Stir & Strain in a rocks glass full of ice. Garnish w/ Plum
Verdict: I was excited to try this because it seemed unlike any other drink I’ve ever made, and it gave me a reason to make caramel (later used as an ice cream topping). However, it was a bit disappointing. The flavors blend well, so everything is pretty subtle. The ginger kombucha has lost its spice with this flavor combo, and Grove is hard to detect.
A tiny bit of caramel lingers on the finish. The version I made came out a milky color with the caramel mixed in, not quite like the beautiful picture represented by Seedlip. All in all, an underwhelming drink.
#5 Get Creative with Seedlip Grove 42
Without much success on brand recommended mocktails, I was determined to keep trying.
- 2oz Seedlip Grove
- .5oz fresh grapefruit juice
- .5oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
Shake ingredients and strain into a coupe glass. Sprinkle with orange zest to garnish.
Verdict: This concoction is sweet, with a slight depth from the bitters. It’s a little thin for texture, but pretty drinkable. This thinness is a common trait in mocktails with Seedlip. They are all quite delicate, so it’s challenging to find something that will beef up the texture while not overpowering the spirit. This would be fresh on ice.
Ingredients: Water, Natural Botanical Distillates & Extracts (Orange, Blood Orange, Mandarin, Lemon, Ginger, Lemongrass). Preservative: Potassium sorbate. Acid: Citric acid
Non-alcoholic, zero calories, sugar & sweetener free with no artificial flavours.
Storage: Refrigeration not necessary, just be sure to store it in a cool place. Enjoy within six months of opening.
Nutrition: Serving size: 50ml | 0 Calories; Fat 0g; Carbohydrates 0g; Sugar 0g; Sodium 0mg; Protein 0g*
*Nutrition information was found on the bottle and might be subject to change.