Celebrating International Women’s Day with the Guardian
To feel inspired is a fleeting thing and happens once in a while depending on what it is that gives you inspiration. Spring is about as inspiring as it gets, so is watching the Olympics and seeing someone’s lifetime goal achieved right there on the screen; but it’s not every day you listen to a bunch of women speaking about their experiences, saying in all truth what they have feared and faced with courage, how they’ve overcome prejudices and challenges with strength and how they now give back to others by sharing honestly and with love, giving a message of hope. And not just acknowledging the problems and challenges, but going on to formulate really constructive solutions. That’s the spirit!
This was last Thursday when the all women team I work with attended an all women event for International Women’s Day at the super smart and very trendy offices of the Guardian on York Way, Kings Cross. We were asked to supply Botonique, so the women networking would have a non-alcoholic alternative that tastes unique and complex and is so much more exciting than sparkling water! Why, oh, why do we have to drink sugary alternatives if you don’t fancy a glass of vino and why, oh, why is there only sparkling water as the choice for those determined to stay healthy?! #clearheadnetworking
I still feel uplifted and proud to have been a part of the evening and so proud to be part of Genius Drinks Ltd, taking Botonique to the bars, restaurants, health food shops, on-line platforms, pop-up bars, deli’s and most importantly wine shops so that there is more choice for those who want to #paceandreplace
Botonique went down a storm at the Guardian ‘Women’s In…’ event. We served it ice cold in champagne flutes, how it should be served, (this was the most popular) with a choice of garnishes: strawberry to bring out sweetness; orange zest to bring out bitterness; and lime, mint and cucumber which is the Botonique Sterling Serve – so refreshing and delicious. #demandmorechoice
We had great fun serving our Blush prototype and asking for comments which we will be using in our soon to be launched crowdfunding campaign. The support was fantastic, we networked ‘til we dropped and Botonique made a lot of new fans. A big thank you to the Guardian team for asking us to be a part of the evening.
Posted by Danielle Weston-Webb
In celebration of the first ever Mindful Drinking Festival, we are offering a chance to win a case of 6 bottles of Botonique, delivered to your door.
Entry closes Sunday 20th August – one week after the Festival. The winner will be drawn on Monday 21st August
To Enter: Just follow Botonique on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and answer the following:
Come join us at the Botonique Botanical Bar this Sunday at theMindful Drinking Festival in Bermondsey Square London.
The first ever Mindful Drinking Festival will feature a range of innovative non-alcoholic drinks to taste and buy, talks from producers, mocktails from top mixologists, music, street food and much more.
Botonique is a proud sponsor of this very forward thinking Mindful Drinking Festival, demonstrating that great fun can be had while sober!
We are delighted to be involved as the event will be the first of its kind to truly showcase this emerging sector of the drinks industry.
What’s "mindful drinking?
It could be cutting down on alcohol. Or doing a sober sprint. Or even going completely alcohol-free. It is really up to you.
London Bridge Station (Jubilee and Northern lines, National Rail) is a short walk away: exit the station through the Shard exit, walk east on St Thomas’s Street, turn right to Bermondsey Street, and as you walk past St Mary Magdalen church, just cross Abbey Street and you’re there!
Alternatively you can walk from Bermondsey tube station (Jubilee line) which is a longer walk, but takes you past Maltby Street Market which is also open on Sunday.
The square postcode is SE1 3UN.
FREE Goodie Bag
Entry is free
The tasting glass costs £3 but with it you get a free goodie bag courtesy of Club Soda and Botonique.
We will be serving a menu of mouthwatering summer mocktails, beautifully crafted by Botonique creator and mixologist Hilary Marsh, showcasing the amazing versatility of Botonique and demonstrating why Botonique is considered one of the most outstanding drinks in the non-alcoholic sector.
The Botonique Sterling Serve, with fresh lime, mint & cucumber
Botonique Basil Beauty, made with fresh basil and grapefruit
Botonique Bellini, with fresh peaches
Botonique Summer Sling – with cranberry juice, juniper, lime and lemon
Botonique, rosemary & blackcurrant spritz
In celebration of the festival we are holding a competition to win a case of Botonique. To Enter: Follow Botonique on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and sign up for a chance to win a case of Botonique! Someone has to win!
Hilary Marsh launched a drink to help people look after their health
As a life long wine lover, wine merchant and professional wine-taster, Hilary Marsh realised she needed to protect her long-term health, but found non-alcoholic wine alternatives to be frustratingly lacking in flavour.
Based on the happy experiences of her childhood, making hedgerow wines and elixirs with her family, as well as her experiences from being an experienced Covent Garden restaurateur, Marsh launched Botonique in June last year, as an alternative to wine with additional health benefits.
(1) Who are you and what’s your business?
I’m Hilary Marsh, founder of Genius Drinks Ltd. We’re the home of Botonique, the new and unique British-made natural, dry, sparkling non-alcoholic drink alternative for lovers of wine. Our mission is to help people drink less alcohol and look after themselves, but without loss of pleasure.
(2) How long have you been around for?
Since 2013. We learned a lot from our first drink, the controversial GoodShot. However, our new flagship product Botonique was launched in June 2016 and is going strong.
(3) How do you make money?
By creating and selling new and innovative drinks, that are manufactured righ here in the UK.
(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?
Unlike other non-alcoholic drink alternatives, Botonique isn’t sweet. We listened to demand and created a drink that has a sophisticated taste associated with alcohol, but without including it.
It also has unique health benefits due to the inclusion of the beneficial elements of Prelixir, a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids which alcohol is known to deplete.
This unique element means that Botonique is able to provide anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, alkalising, detoxifying and hydrating benefits, resulting in all the pleasure of drinking without the negative side effects!
(5) What was key in terms of getting started?
Botonique listed on Ocado in November 2016
I qualified as a chartered management accountant, and at aged 27 I was director of a venture capital investment company specialising in startups, so I knew certain things from a financial perspective.
I’d also been co-founder and managing partner of a 15-strong business consultancy, and was CEO of a young software company, so I know entrepreneurship, but it had all been business-to-business at that time. Learning about fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) was difficult, but it helped to win a menteeship with the Grocery Accelerator.
The ability to create the product itself went back to my childhood, where I acquired an aptitude for blending flavours, and hospitality, without realising it, helping my Mum cook and Dad make and blend hedgerow wines to satisfy our stream of house guests and parties in spite of them having a civil servant’s income.
The reason for creating non-alcoholic drinks specifically is due to the realisation that after having previous job roles as a wine merchant, taster and Covent Garden restaurateur, I had to look after my long-term health. However, rather than stop drinking altogether, I decided to create a non-alcoholic drink with a long and complex finish like wine.
(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?
In terms of Genius Drinks, it would be getting Botonique listed on Ocado last November, and being the number one best selling product in their Discovery Shop.
Personally, it would be building Cafe Baroque, the restaurant, wine bar and music venue I created and ran in Covent Garden for seven years.
(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
The biggest setback at Genius Drinks was the mixed reception for our first drink. This was called GoodShot, and was positioned as a functional mixer “for a better tomorrow”.
Consumers and bar staff loved it, but we couldn’t get mainstream listings, as someone in the decision chain would always think it looked as if we were encouraging people to drink too much, which was never the intention. So, we pivoted and launched a drink positioned firmly to help people drink less and look after their health.
(8) In five years’ time, I will be…
Hopefully running a global functional beverage company, Or, having sold or moved on from that, working on one of my many other business or public service ideas!
(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Use the whole you, dare to be different, but most importantly listen and adapt when you have to. You cannot do everything on your own.
(10) Who are your business heroes and why?
Mohammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank which pioneered micro loans through networked local peer groups of women in Bangladesh. Its paradigm shifting, effective, and makes the world a better place – though of course, like all businesses, they’ve had their share of problems.
- Fred Heritage · 26 MAY 2017
Thanks to Anouk, Botonique's resident foodie
This is the Botonique answer to the fabulous Italian drink with fresh peaches and prosecco. Tip: This makes a fantastic “apertif” to welcome your guests to your summer garden party!
What you need:
- 4 ripe peaches, peeled and roughly chopped in somewhat even chunks
- About 2 cups of Botonique
- Some sugar to your taste (tip: if the peaches are nice and ripe, no/ not much sugar is needed)
How to make it:
- Heat the peach over low heat with the sugar until the almost fall apart, wait to cool a bit and then process in a blender.
- Add Botonique and quickly blend in
- Pour the mixture into the popsicle moulds
“Virgin champagne popsicles”
Time to put smiles on your friends’ & families’ faces with these bright fruity popsicles. No sugar is needed for these popsicles, as the ripe sliced fruit will give you plenty of sweetness.
What do you need:
- Red and black fruit to your taste – Tip: slices strawberries look very pretty in these popsicles
How to make it:
- Slice the fruit and “build” them into the popsicle moulds. Tip: put the fruit in diagonally and use some whole bigger berries like blackberries to distribute fruit all over the mould and still leaving enough room for Botonique
- Poor over Botonique until the moulds are full
- Carefully transfer to the freezer 😊.
Virgin or non-virgin “Gin & Botonique” with fresh cucumbers
These popsicles are strictly for adults; virgin or virgin, without added sugar. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth through, you can always infuse some sweetness. Tip: These popsicles make a great refreshment in between the main dinner and the pudding t a long Sunday roast with family or friends!
What do you need:
- A good squeeze of lime juice
- Sugar/ Agave Syrup (easier to mix) to taste
How to make it:
- Thinly slice the cucumber and put the slices into the popsicle moulds
- Mix Gin, Botonique, lime juice and if you want sweetness (syrup is easiest to mix)
- Poor the liquid over the cucumber and freeze.