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Meet The Makers: Maxim Schulte and Michael Isted

The co-founders of HERB ALL talk to Douglas Blyde about their first release, a “rounded”, “complex” non-alcoholic drink intended to delight bar-goers and budding home mixologists.

What is “HERB ALL”?

Isted: An encapsulation of meticulously sourced, sustainable classic gin botanicals of juniper, angelica, citrus, coriander seed, orris root and thyme, all carefully distilled, extracted and blended to create a living, breathing “spirit”.

How did you devise it?

Schulte: We created HERB ALL to fill a market gap in the ever-growing selection of non-alcoholic products. Having championed non-alcoholic drinks for over ten years while working in hospitality, we wanted to make a liquid of our own that provides a rounded drinking experience without having the “watery,” “synthetic,” or “sugary” aspects of others on the market. The trial’s results were motivating; now we have the final liquid.

How does it taste?

Schulte: It tastes like a classic London dry gin with Mediterranean touches. The complexity and depth of flavour allow for diverse applications, from non-alcoholic hot or cold drinks to replacing gin in your favourite cocktail or as a modifier. We love it with a good tonic or grapefruit soda and as part of a low-ABV Negroni in which it replaces the gin. It also makes water more interesting to drink.

Which hospitality venues have been particularly supportive of HERB ALL?

Schulte: Our first supporters were Amaro Bar, Zetter Townhouse Marylebone, and the NOBU at Portman Square. We were since listed at The Connaught, Lyaness, Seed Library, American Bar at The Savoy, China Tang, Twice Shy, Lisboeta, JW Marriott Park Lane, and Tamarind of Mayfair.

How many bottles have you produced?

Isted: Since launching in November 2023, we have reached four figures. Since this start-up does not have an investor, we hope it will grow organically. We are thrilled with the uptake and excited to add products to the collection.

Who is your target consumer?

Isted: HERB ALL brings the authentic flavour of nature to everyone. With no added sugar, there is no need to worry about additional calories.

How did the design of the packaging come about?

Isted: We like to think that the “O” on the label is a portal into the beautiful world of plants. The size of the bottle, meanwhile, allows twenty portions at 25ml. Mid Air Studio and Spiel Design helped us design and create the label.

What else do you do in the world of drinks?

Schulte: Michael and I consult internationally on drinks, menu development, education, and training. We work with many brands, mostly in the luxury hospitality and fashion segments. Michael also has experience as a “phytotherapist”, aromatherapist, and nutritionist.

How is HERB ALL distributed?

Isted: Distinguished home drinkers can come to our web shop while for the on-trade Speciality Drinks.

Finally, who would you raise a glass of HERB ALL to?

Schulte: I would love to share a HERB ALL and tonic with master distiller of Beefeater Desmond Payne MBE. We have some history together; he has taught me a great deal. Plus, he is a lot of fun and never holds back an honest opinion!

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