Decem 10% Light Spirit Aperitif

Deliciously moreish and grown up aperitif

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On their website Decem point out that by law in the UK, a spirit, to be called by its category name, has to be 37.5% or more, and to be called low alcohol, a drink must contain less than 1.2 ABV, which leaves a huge grey area in the middle.  Decem’s drinks, as their name hints, contain 10% ABV, or just seven units a bottle,  around half a unit for a 50ml measure.  This allows people to enjoy what they creatively called ‘school night drinking’ but contains just enough alcohol to give a warmth and hint of fire to their drinks.

These were developed by Billy Wright, a Masterchef finalise who aimed to ‘find the most interesting combinations of fruits, herbs and botanicals to blend genuinely different liquids that hold complex flavours yet are easy to drink with the simplest mixers.’  I think he’s done a good job. I like this a lot.  There’s sweetness in the opening notes from the strawberries and grapes, but this is then flooded out with dark, earthy complex tastes, that remind me of childhood experimentation with hedgerow leaves and berries.  It feels rounded and grounded, the sweetness lingering at the edges while an intensely flavoured bitterness lasts and lasts.   It’s brave and bold, offering far more than one simple taste, refreshingly different after all those citrus aperitifs, and somehow it feels as if it speaks intensely of the English countryside.  If it were a play, it would be Jerusalem.


Makers Notes

Using a special combination of botanicals, from the hedgerow to the vegetable patch. Chosen to create that lip smacking bitterness, but cleverly rounded off with the tart strawberry and sweet grape to create the most adult and uniquely moreish of aperitifs. We macerate the botanicals for 2 days to extract maximum flavour, before carefully blending with the real fruit juices to create this distinctly delicious flavour. How we socialise together is changing rapidly. Alcohol is a beautifully, functional elixir but (like most of us know already) too much of it is never a good thing. DECEM is designed to be enjoyed anytime, as a lighter alcohol option which means you can keep the conversations flowing late into the night.

Tasting Notes

  • Colour: conker
  • Nose: red fruits in the hedgerow
  • Taste: bitter and complex
  • Finish:long lasting

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Other Drinkers' Ratings

ABV achieved by
Decem Drinks Ltd
Bottle size (ml)
Reddish brown
Principal ingredients
Strawberries, Guelder Rose, Wormwood, Rowan Berries, Burdock Root, Hawthorn Berries, Red Grapes, Gentian Root, Rhubarb Root. Fennel
Strawberries, grapes and wormwood
Shelf Life
3 months, keep in a cool place
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