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HomeFoodF1 Star Lewis Hamilton's Nonalcoholic Tequila Is the First of Its Variety

F1 Star Lewis Hamilton’s Nonalcoholic Tequila Is the First of Its Variety



Grasp distillers make alcohol and race automotive drivers race automobiles. Every possess years of coaching, specialised licenses, and complex data of their chosen discipline, always searching for to take care of the right stability. They usually usually follow their very own lane. 

However when Lewis Hamilton, Components 1’s winningest driver, partnered with biochemist Iván Saldaña, the person accountable for a few of Mexico’s most progressive spirits, they each sought to push the foundations. The consequence was the creation of the primary alcohol-free “tequila” created from blue Weber agave, Almave

Saldaña possesses a DPhil (equal to a PhD within the U.S.) in plant biology/biochemistry from the College of Sussex. “I grew up in a key agave area in Mexico and spent my complete life round agave,” he says. “My background in biology stemmed from my need to discover it and its function in spirit-making.” 

It’s this background that helped Saldaña to discovered Casa Lumbre in 2011, which has since gone on to create Ancho Reyes, Abasolo Ancestral Corn Whisky, Montelobos Mezcal, and quite a few different manufacturers which have been a part of the Mexican spirits renaissance during the last decade and a half. Nevertheless, the model has been faraway from the budding alcohol-free market that’s skyrocketed in reputation over the previous couple of years. That’s till Hamilton got here knocking.

Courtesy of Lewis Hamilton


A real fan of tequila

“I’ve at all times beloved tequila,” says Hamilton, when requested about his drive to create Almave. “I like its nuances and its versatility.” However the seven-time F1 World Champion realized he wanted one thing that “permits [him] to remain clear-headed across the clock.”

The alcohol-free market has loads of nonalcoholic tequila-adjacent merchandise. Ritual Zero Proof, Lyre’s, Spiritless, and different producers make distillates geared in the direction of tequila followers. However none totally happy Hamilton. 

“When it got here to substances, manufacturing, and style I simply wasn’t discovering something that introduced me the identical stage of story and delight,” he says. “To not point out, [authentic tequila is] really made in Jalisco, Mexico.” That’s when Hamilton discovered Saldaña and enlisted him to create a nonalcoholic tequila.

“It took little or no convincing,” says Saldaña. “After many years spent researching and producing agave spirits, I noticed this as a singular alternative to take the standard substances and distillation strategies of tequila and create a blue agave spirit that goes past proof for many who prioritize nuanced, high quality style.”

A nonalcoholic tequila is born

Creating Almave compelled Casa Lumbre to take a unique strategy than different alcohol-free merchandise. 

“Usually, to make alcohol-free beer and wine, the spirits undergo a fermentation course of after which a separate stage to take away the alcohol,” says Saldaña. “Different N/A spirits will be water-based and use flavorings and components to imitate pure flavors.”

“Our course of mirrors conventional tequila manufacturing whereas skipping the fermentation. We as a substitute directed our give attention to extracting as a lot taste as doable from the agave plant in order that the ultimate taste and mouthfeel emulate that of tequila.” —  Iván Saldaña, chief innovation officer at Casa Lumbre

As a substitute of going the standard route, Saldaña and his group “achieved [creating an alcohol-free tequila] by way of cautious agave fiber choice adopted by a multi-step distillation course of finished in conventional copper pots,” he says. “Our course of mirrors conventional tequila manufacturing whereas skipping the fermentation. We as a substitute directed our give attention to extracting as a lot taste as doable from the agave plant in order that the ultimate taste and mouthfeel emulate that of tequila.”

Whereas Saldaña and his group have been accountable for a lot of the extra “scientific” elements of the method, Hamilton was alongside for the experience at each flip. 

Courtesy of Lewis Hamilton


 The collaboration

“Lewis was very near the creation course of for each Amabar and Blanco,” says Saldaña, referring to the model’s two expressions, which mimic the flavors present in aged and clear tequila, respectively. “We had a number of tastings in Mexico, but additionally in different areas. We held the ultimate tasting collectively in Monaco, the place Lewis lives, to log off on the liquid earlier than manufacturing.”

“I had this unbelievable, hands-on alternative to enter the blue agave fields in Jalisco with Ivàn and study first-hand concerning the plant and the way vital it’s to Mexico.” — Lewis Hamilton, Components One racing driver

That closeness between the biochemist and the driving force is one thing Hamilton emphasizes, whereas additionally noting the schooling he acquired alongside the best way. 

“I had this unbelievable, hands-on alternative to enter the blue agave fields in Jalisco with Ivàn and study first-hand concerning the plant and the way vital it’s to Mexico,” says Hamilton. “Tasting every new batch of Almave was important for me to actually perceive the depth of the method.”

Whereas Almave is created from blue agave, Saldaña is cautious to not name their product tequila. “It’s vital to notice that for the true ‘tequila’ appellation, the spirit should include alcohol,” he says. 

Nonetheless, Hamilton feels that Almave accomplishes the targets he and Saldaña set out once they first started working collectively on the model. 

“Our foundational perception is that alcohol was inappropriate,” says Hamilton “Ivàn and I consider that the spirit of tequila is within the substances, like blue agave, and within the conventional practices, just like the distillation course of. Eradicating these removes rather more than the ABV.”



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