The Pitch: Banks Botanicals

Published on 13 October 2021

Photo: Banks Botanicals: field research

This new player to the alcohol-alternative scene is using native plants from the Yarra Valley to flavour its spirits.

Celebrating Australia's native ingredients in an alcohol-free spirit that can hold its own against stiffer competition: this is the vision of Yolanda Uys, Brian Cohen and Frank de Palma for Banks Botanicals. Named in honour of the banksia, this distinctive spirit is distilled with five botanicals, three of which are native to Australia. Banks Botanicals is the newest non-alcoholic spirit riding the wave of alcohol-alternative drinking.

We talk to Uys about Banks Botanicals and why you should give it a taste.

Who are you and what are you all about?
We’re a three-person dream team whose experience spans the drinks, health and wellbeing and creative industries. We’re seeing Australia’s drinks market take on a new face with a wave of interest in non-alcoholic products and changing behaviours towards balance and moderation. Our objective was to create an uncompromising product that heroes the best of Australia, distilled locally in Healesville. It’s the result of many months of planning, distilling, tasting and test-driving.

Give us the elevator pitch, what is Banks Botanicals?
Banks is made for the mix. It’s made for mixing it up midweek with friends. Mixing business with pleasure. Mixing long nights with early starts.

Explain like we’re five, how do you make it?
Banks Botanicals is the combination of mountain-fresh Yarra Valley water with five distinctive ingredients: wattleseed, with its nutty, rich aroma; lemon myrtle’s fresh citrus notes; the floral citrus flavour of lime; cassia’s cinnamon sweetness; and the spice of pepperberries.

To make Banks, we run five separate distillations to bring out the best of the botanical flavours then we blend them together to create our signature Banks flavour. This takes time. And even though there are speedier ways to distil, ours are unhurried because we only want the best extracts from each botanical.

What excites you about this project?
We’re passionate about providing a quality Australian product and world-class non-alcoholic choice while making a lasting difference. Banks wouldn’t exist without its native botanicals and we’re passionate about making sure that we give back to the land that we borrow from. That’s why 10 cents from every bottle sold is pledged to Bush Heritage Australia, a not-for-profit national conservation program committed to restoring and protecting Australia’s unique native flora and wildlife.

What are the perfect conditions to enjoy Banks Botanicals?
Turn the sound up or head out the door to meet friends. However you want to mix it, Banks is the perfect choice.

Is it here for a good time or a long time?
Banks is here for a good time, and to help change the face of the drinks industry for a long time.

Where can I buy it?
We are stocked in Blackhearts & Sparrows and Dan Murphy's, and you can also buy directly from our website.

Banks Botanicals 700ml, $49.99,

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