These days, there doesn’t seem to be a bar or restaurant menu that doesn’t have mocktails on offer. But what if you want to enjoy the same zero-proof refreshment at home? Enter Clearsips, a Canadian family-owned business dedicated to bringing sophisticated non-alcoholic beverages to Canadians.
Launched in May, Clearsips is an importer, distributor and retailer of national and international esteemed non-alcoholic spirits, wine, beer, cider and ready-to-drink beverages, all of which have been carefully vetted by a team of wine and spirit professionals. The company is owned and run by theThompson family: David, Margaret, Mary and Emily Thompson, a father, mother and two daughters, three of whom are sober, while the last is sober curious. Elevating this lifestyle, and providing premium N/A drink choices, is an authentic and personal passion for them.
“I [used to work] as a server and bartender, and this experience gave me an appreciation of food and wine, along with interesting insights into the industry and customer behaviours, including the negative behaviour that could sometimes result from overconsumption of alcohol,” reveals Mary, Clearsips’ marketing manager. “To better manage my own hectic world and lead a health-focused lifestyle, I made the conscious decision to minimize my alcohol consumption, and have enjoyed discovering the wide range of newly developed non-alcoholic beverages that help to support my lifestyle choice.”
Her family launched Clearsips when they noticed a “limited selection or availability of good quality alcohol-free wine, spirits and beers” in Canada. “Our mission is to offer Canadians a range of high-quality non-alcoholic beverage options that they can enjoy for every occasion, and to make sure those who are choosing not to drink can feel included when they go to social gatherings and events,” she explains.
To that end, Clearsips offers non-alcoholic beverages directly to consumers as well as wholesale offerings to restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, retailers and event venues. “Our long history as wine importers gives us an edge in procuring the best tasting products, at the best price point for our customers,” Mary says. “We bring in premium products from Canada, the U.S., Italy, France, Sweden and the U.K. We look at the quality, price and brand story as the main criteria for deciding whether or not a product will become part of our portfolio.”
There are, however, specific elements Clearsips searches for, depending on the product category. For example, spirits must “hold” and come through in a cocktail, as this is one concern with some of the non-alcoholic spirits on the market today. For non-alcoholic wine, the family looks for products that most closely reflect the original wine (also known as typicity). “From the taste to the packaging, we want our customers to feel that they are experiencing a drink that is sophisticated and special,” she says.
Currently, Clearsips offers non-alcoholic wine (L’Arjolle, Oddbird and Pierre Chavin), spirits (HP Juniper, Monday, Sobreo and Solbru), beer/cider (Nirvana, One for The Road, Nonny and Sober Carpenter) and pre-mixed drinks (Cipriani, Edna’s and Piquette Zero). As for Mary’s favourite zero-proof drink? It’s Monday Zero-Alcohol Gin with soda water and fresh lime: delish!
Win! A $100 Clearsips Gift Card!
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