As part of our Meet the Maker series, we chat with Stuart Coleman from Haelu.
Tell us about Haelu Cocktails
HAELU is a grown-up non-alcoholic drink packed with adaptogens, vitamins & minerals. It comes in two gorgeous flavours, Salerno Spritz and Havana Heat. We call it the perfect alternative to alcohol as they're both definitely adult-tasting drinks and our HAELU HAPPI formula helps you feel relaxed and sociable.
What inspired you to launch Haelu?
We're a proud lockdown start-up! The three founders, myself, my brother Rod and our old friend Jamie, noticed that during the first lockdown our alcohol consumption increased. We were all struggling to find a great alternative that wasn't a non-alc beer (which are great!). Something that wasn't too sweet or that required you to be an amateur mixologist to put together. We wanted something simple to pour that tasted great and that was good for the mind and body.
What is Haelu Happi and what are the benefits?
HAELU HAPPI is a unique formulation of adaptogens, vitamins and minerals that create a happy, calm, relaxed feeling when you drink HAELU. We wanted our drink to be more than simply a great taste and the concept of happy hormones really resonated with us all. We collaborated with an amazing consultant, Kristy Cimesa, who helped us find some natural ingredients that were either scientifically proven to stimulate the production of endorphins, serotonin and oxytocin or that had been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to treat anxiety, improve mood and help with sleep (amongst a load of other benefits!).
How are the drinks created?
We have two components. The flavours are created using a blend of botanical ingredients and rare essences. For example, Havana uses an amazing oak essence that comes from the inside of the barrels used to store dark rum. It's full of oaky, smoky, molasses flavours and gives it a unique taste! The second element is the HAELU HAPPI formula, mixed by our awesome friends at Alkemista who we worked with for over a year to develop our drinks. Everything is then sent to our blenders to carefully mix the two elements.
Haelu Alcohol-Free Cocktails Products & Tasting Notes
Salerno Spritz - Salerno is a classic Italian spritz with hints of grapefruit and rhubarb...perfect in the sunshine served over ice with a slice of lime.
Havana Heat - Havana is a unique taste and has to be experienced! It has that oaky, smoky, rum taste with a hint of orange habanero chilli. We love Havana in a tumbler, over ice with a shaving of orange peel.
What’s next for Haelu?
We're about to launch a Crowd Funding campaign to help us to scale. We want to take HALEU across the UK and then to new international markets. We'll also be creating a totally new flavour with a new type of HAELU HAPPI formula.
What excites you about the future of the no/low category?
It's amazing to be a part of something so new where there are so many cool brands and smart, passionate people. It really feels like a community and everyone wants to help everyone else. The independents are really leading the way, developing some incredible products and long may that continue.
Discover Haelu's divine cocktails here
Read more from the Meet the Brewery series here