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The founder of non-alcoholic beverage Melati believes in the power of botanicals

Lorin Winata wanted to create drink that had the mood-boosting effects of alcohol without the hangover.

The zero-alcohol beverage industry is rapidly growing, as more and more people become more conscious about the products they consume. But while most zero-alcohol alternatives are direct replacements for their alcoholic counterparts, newcomer Melati wants to be an alternative instead.

“Melati does not attempt to mimic the flavour of traditional spirits. It has a deep and complex flavour profile. It is also restorative and has rare botanicals such as chokeberry, sencha, red kampot pepper and star anise. They help to detoxify the liver, increase blood flow, spark digestion, and support general wellbeing,” shares Lorin Winata, the founder of Melati.

The idea for Melati started fermenting during her time as an investment professional. As part of her job, Winata had to attend multiple networking events throughout the week and often felt pressured to consume alcoholic drinks. Naturally, she didn’t feel too good the next day. That was when she realised there was a gap in the market for a sophisticated non-alcoholic option that offers all the mood-boosting benefits of alcohol without the hangover.

A visit to her ancestral farmland in Jatiluwih, Bali was the catalyst she needed. “The botanicals that are being grown there have been being used in traditional medicinal remedies for centuries. I started thinking about how I could create a product that used these restorative properties, yet was socially acceptable to enjoy at parties, or as a way to unwind after a busy work week,” shares Winata.

(Related: Meet another non-alcoholic beverage NON)

Winata crafted Melati as a drink that would go well with soda or a tonic, or as the base ingredient in a mocktail.

Winata crafted Melati as a drink that would go well with soda or a tonic, or as the base ingredient in a mocktail.

She selected 60 botanicals and trimmed the list down to the final 26 that make up Melati. Each botanical goes through a six-week cold-extraction process before being hand-blended in Singapore. Winata also makes it a point to work hand in hand with the farmers in Jatiluwih “to build a good working relationship and ensure a fair trading process”. Winata only makes 500 bottles of Melati each time.

For the sugar conscious, Winata is glad to share that Melati does not use sugar as a filler ingredient. “Melati’s blend is particularly potent, and the flavour, mouthfeel and length has a certain depth, which is sometimes missing in other non-alcoholic beverages.”

Currently, there is only one product in the Melati range – the Classic. But Winata is working on a second product that’s slated to launch in the coming months.

(Related: Non-alcoholic brand Lyre’s enters the Singapore market)

You can purchase Melati at its online store or enjoy it at Odette, Nouri and Esquina. It’s best served with tonic (in our opinion).