When Chris Hughes offered his friend a third spritz, he refused...
An early morning at work the next day...
But the spritzes Chris was serving that night didn't contain any alcohol - just his homemade, non-alcoholic aperitif made with rosemary and bitter orange.
This was the aha moment for Chris "Wilfred" Hughes... and Wilfred's Bittersweet Orange & Rosemary Aperitif was born.
Before launching Wilfred's, Chris was an engineer working on Japanese speed trains. He's exacting to say the least. And Chris applied the same methods and high standards to formulating Wilfred's. He worked on it for 18 months before approving the blend.
And the result, as anyone who's tried Wilfred's will tell you, is extraordinary.
The first thing you notice with Wilfred's is the beautiful bottle and the ruby-red liquid inside.
Tall and slender with vibrant and fresh orange, red and green hues... It hints at the bright flavors inside the bottle. As Chris likes to say it's "sunshine in a glass."
For this review, we sipped Wilfred's neat. This non-alcoholic aperitif is meant for spritzing, but it's actually quite pleasant neat.
The first sip of Wilfred's is undoubtedly bright! You get both sweet and citrus notes of lemon and bitter orange up front. That fades into some warm, clove. Then you get the bitter, herbal punch from rosemary and gentian.
And the flavors linger on the palate.
Wilfred's isn't aggressively bitter, like some other non-alcoholic aperitifs. It's pleasantly bitter (thanks to the bitter orange and gentian root). And the herbal flavors, particularly the rosemary, do a nice job of making this drink feel "adult" and slowing you down as you drink.
Wilfred's also has great mouthfeel... it coats the tongue and makes for a wonderful drinking experience. Not something alcohol-free aperitifs (or any non-alc spirits for that matter), often achieve.
And these strong flavor characteristics allow Wilfred's to stand up nicely in a Spritz.
Simply add ice, premium tonic and garnish with an orange wheel (served in a wine glass, of course!) and you've got one of the best non-alcoholic spritzes out there.
If you're looking for a non-alcoholic Aperol substitute, Wilfred's is a no brainer. It makes one of the best non-alcoholic spritzes we've tried (here's our reviews for Figlia and Lyre's Italian Spritz)
We're not the only fans out there... Wilfred's was named "Britain's #1 Non-Alcoholic Drink" in the 2020 Great British Food Awards.
You can pick up a bottle of Wilfred's in our online Bottle Shop.
And unlike Chris' dinner guest, feel free to have a third drink...