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Opinion: Fake booze too expensive for student budgets


By Shoji Whittier

Alcohol-free booze is the latest craze from Britain to come to North America, but it may not be as popular with today’s youth as the Beatles were.

Shoji Whittier argues that the price of fake booze is out of reach for many students.

Seedlip is a non-alcoholic, organic, distilled spirit made to taste like gin. It originated in 2015 in England, after a man named Ben Branson decided to provide a non-alcoholic option for high-end cocktail connoisseurs. The idea caught on at upscale bars across London, and has now arrived on Vancouver’s craft cocktail scene.

A generation drinking less

At face value, Seedlip appears to be the ultimate trendy drink. According to the British Office of National Statistics, millennials are drinking less than previous generations, and in a culture obsessed with organic products, Seedlip could easily become as cliché as the man-bun.

There’s only one problem: the price tag.

According to South Vancouver distributor Mikuni Wild Harvest, a 700 millilitre bottle of Seedlip will set you back $50. Comparatively, a 750 millilitre bottle of Beefeater gin costs less than half of that at $23. While many of my friends and I are drinking less because we appreciate not killing our brain cells, most of us are just too broke to go out drinking —  or non-drinking, as the case may be.

Fun isn’t always on the budget

Most millennials don’t have income to spare on recreation anyway, according to Dr. Monya De of the Center for Health Journalism.

“Millennials are saddled with debt and living in apartments that might cost 60 per cent of their monthly salary, while 20 years ago, the apartment would have cost 30 per cent of their salary,” De said.

Seedlip might not grow here, since millennial soil lacks richness.  It’s too expensive to be enjoyed by the budget-conscious, and gives you the taste of gin without the reward of being drunk.

I mean seriously, who drinks gin for the flavour?

  1. Brian Watts says

    If you want to try non-alcoholic drinks, why not try a non alky beer. I like O’Doul’s Amber, available at most grocery stores for about $15 a case. Only 70 calories a bottle, if you’re into that. It even looks like beer and it’s better than soda pop. It’s, of course, not real beer, but you don’t have to be carried home after a six pack. Not a bad drink at all, but that’s my opinion.

  2. Elizabeth K. Buzbee says

    Sounds like this generation is thinking for themselves unlike earlier ones I’m think of course of the short lived pet rock craze of the seventies.

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