Rose Bax is the co-founder of Bax Botanics which she created with her. husband Chris after purchasing a woodland property in Northern England back in 2004. They have 30 years experience teaching and consulting to the food industry, focusing on delicious and exciting ways to use wild ingredients and culinary herbs. Now they use that considerable expertise to create unique, alcohol-free spirits with layers of beautifully complex flavors.
What brought you to non-alcoholic drinking?
I came to non-alcoholic drinking through a challenge laid down to make a drink for drivers. We live in the countryside and people would come for a campfire lunch and then have to drive home later. We wanted them to have something that reflected our love of complex flavors and was a treat, so I started experimenting with all sorts of herbs, seeds, and flowers, working as we had for the last 15 years, but this time to create a drink that would have layers of flavor, and actually feel like a grown up alternative to an alcoholic drink.
Tell us a little bit about how you created Bax Botanics and how you source your ingredients.
I started off with a small still at home, distilling all sorts of botanicals both wild and farmed. I tried pine needles from the trees in our wood, dried bark, herbs...all sorts. We ended up with two final flavors: Verbena is vibrant and enlivening, while Sea Buckthorn is more mellow and relaxing.
I soon came to realize though that if Bax Botanics was to grow, the ingredients needed to be sustainably sourced. Foraging wasn't an option, we couldn't be sure enough would be left for nature. I was thrilled to find a great company who source fair trade, organic herbs and botanicals and we are very happy to use them.
What's your current go-to non-alcoholic drink?
I had the most delicious NA cocktail recently at a restaurant in Sheffield in the UK - The Mowbray. Made with Bax Sea Buckthorn, it had a jalapeno and mango syrup in it and was topped with soda, a sumac rim just finished off on the glass. The whole drink was just gorgeous.
What's on the horizon for Bax Botanics in 2022?
I see great opportunities for the drinks in hospitality. Inspiring bartenders to work with the flavors will get the drinks into the hands of more people and help give more understanding of top quality alcohol-free beverages.
How do you feel being a woman influences your approach to your business?
I think two traits I have are very useful. They're not exclusively female but are helpful: being prepared for many different outcomes of a situation, and being appreciative of the things other people do.
I think being sure that you are doing a good thing to the best of your ability is all any of us can want. There are a lot of women out there doing a great job in the drinks industry and I am proud to be part of it. I honestly think if we can inspire people to be kind to others and the planet we are doing well.
Who is another woman in the non-alcoholic space you admire and why?
I'm choosing a lady I admire greatly who is based in Dubai. Erika Blazevecuite-Doyle created DrinkDry a couple of years ago and is a phenomenal woman. She believes passionately in alcohol-free drinks and those with great taste. She has grown her business 2000% in a year and is expanding into Kuwait and Saudi Arabia this year. As well as the very different rules and language she has to negotiate she has three daughters she nurtures to be confident and happy.