At last month’s 2022 Spirited Awards, hosted by Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co’s Italian Orange won ‘Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient’.

The victory of Lyre’s Italian Orange marked the first time that a non-alcoholic spirit has won in the category since the Spirited Awards began in 2007.

This win was also notable as it was not a non-alc specific category: the Lyre’s product was chosen ahead of its alcoholic counterparts.

The Shout caught up with Lyre’s Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Livings to hear what the triumph meant for he and his team, and the non-alc category at large.

“The team is absolutely elated, it’s definitely a capstone for three years of very hard work since launching, and steering the business through the pandemic and out the other side,” Livings says.

Lyre’s Italian Orange is a non-alcoholic alternative to traditional Italian red bitter aperitifs.

“Having [the product] recognised by arguably the most important on-trade award in the world is really exciting,” Livings adds.

“It’s a real watershed for the category. It certainly demarcates the end of the scepticism of some parts of the on-trade community to the non-alcoholic spirits category.

“Products like Lyre’s and everything else from the category absolutely deserve a place behind the bars of the world.”

While Livings could not attend the event himself, Lyre’s were well represented by a “number of our vice presidents and senior vice presidents – people from Australia, Asia and Europe,” at Tales of the Cocktail.

Livings says the award win has made an instant impact for Lyre’s.

“The momentum that the award has created is already considerable. I think my team are drowning in inbound inquiries with regards to our product – so the first thing will be working through that!”

“Then of course, the second thing is how do we continue to present products from within our own portfolio that are relevant and deserving of further recognition? That’s a key focus for us, as well as innovation to keep delivering in the non-alcoholic sector,” Livings explains.

Livings is already looking ahead to next year’s Tales of the Cocktail and Spirited Awards, which will be held in Singapore, in a milestone event for APAC hospitality.

“It will be really exciting to see that franchise in particular breakout of New Orleans and into other key parts of the world where the cocktail is celebrated, and Singapore is certainly one of those.”

Finally, Livings took the chance to thank the people who create the Lyre’s non-alcoholic spirits.

“Hats off to my product development team. So David Murphy, of course, a Sydney based sommelier that I roped into this crazy project, a lot of his good work has been recognised.

“And of course, beautiful branding and marketing by the Kinetic Agency Sydney, and the marketing under Paul Gloster’s stewardship,” Livings concluded.

Lyre’s was originally founded in 2019, by two Australians living in the UK, and has rapidly established itself as one of the leaders of the burgeoning non-alcoholic spirits category.  

Click here to see the full list of winners from the 2022 Spirited Awards.

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