It can be a challenge to find non-alcoholic choices that have any real flavor, quality, or character. Paul Mathew, the founder of Everleaf, created three non-alcoholic aperitifs to meet growing consumer demand.
What do they have in common? They are all made with Alland & Robert acacia gum. Paul Mathew believes this ingredient makes all the difference, giving his natural botanical blends their subtle flavor, silky texture, and full mouthfeel.
Interview of Paul Mathew, founder of Everleaf.
Why did you enter the non-alcoholic beverage market?
Paul Mathew: Today’s market is being driven by a growing demand for beverages that are non-alcoholic … but not flavor-free! The impetus for this shift is people’s improved awareness of how excessive alcohol consumption can be harmful to their health.
But even people who don’t choose to drink still want tasty alternatives with adult sophistication, especially when enjoying the nightlife in cocktail bars and clubs. But making such a drink presents plenty of challenges: a mouthfeel that’s comparable to spirits, rich, complex aromas, and visual appeal.
What does acacia gum bring to cocktails made using your Everleaf beverages?
P. M. : Acacia gum is really the ingredient that changes everything! It gives each sip a silky, delicate texture. It’s also important as a binder and lengthens the finish on the palate, leaving more time for the various flavors to unfold. When we drink wine, bourbon, or a cocktail, it awakens all our senses: sight, smell, earing, touch, and, of course, taste. The aromas evolve and the drink’s texture, thickness, or fluidity make the tasting experience complex and complete, something you don’t get with non-alcoholic beverages.
As a conservation biologist with long family ties to botany, as well as a former bartender or “mixologist,” I wanted to successfully craft non-alcoholic beverages that were truly multifaceted and delicious. My expertise in both plants and spirits helped me in creating three different beverages, and I use acacia gum in all of them as a binder and to add texture without distorting the flavors. Everleaf blends give you an experience as sophisticated as those you enjoy with alcoholic cocktails.
Why did you choose Alland & Robert?
P. M. : I always carefully select the ingredients I use: I like to know the story behind them and be confident of their origins and how they’re produced. I want to be able to tell our clients the origin of every single ingredient I put in my drinks. That’s one reason I chose to work with Alland & Robert. Their transparency, the way they care about their harvesters’ standard of living, and the longstanding relationships they forge with these workers are unlike anything else on the market.