Racing driver Jean-Éric Vergne has co-founded a hemp-based, non-alcoholic ‘spirit’, described as a new endorphin-led alternative to alcohol.Lawyer and Formula E executive Alexander Jakobi and Vergne have formed the Endorphin Dealer Institute (Edi), which seeks to pioneer non-alcoholic, distilled, endorphin-led 'spirits'. The company will offer ultra-premium products that trigger feelings of pleasure and relaxation without the effects of alcohol. “Drinking, its effects, and the ways we socialise have been untouched for thousands of years,” said Vergne. “Despite initial industry scepticism, we’ve seen first hand the disruption of high-performance racing without petrol and see a place for feel-good ‘spirits’ without alcohol. Our non-alcoholic distilled endorphin-led ‘spirits’ replace the effects of alcohol and will be a key driving force behind the future of socialising and mindful drinking.” The first product from Edi is Spirited Euphoria, which is made from the ‘real’ hemp plant (cannabis sativa) and a ‘complex blend of high-quality, natural, active and uplifting ingredients’. The product is a blend of hemp terpenes extracted from the hemp plant, pure cannabidiol (CBD), nootropics (cognitive-enhancing supplements) and adaptogens (natural herbs and roots). All the ingredients have been sourced naturally, Edi said. Spirited Euphoria is said to give a ‘feel-good’ sensation to those who drink it, which builds over a period of time. The effect is different for each person, but generally provides an uplifted and relaxed feeling, according to Edi. Jakobi said: “Put simply, we’re on a mission to find new ways to feel good, without intoxication. “Modern drinkers want more choice, sometimes preferring non-alcoholic drinks for certain occasions and at certain times, but not necessarily wanting to forgo that unwinding feeling.” The Edi team of product developers includes former Diageo and Distill Ventures executive Helene Locke, Edi’s general manager and founding partner. Locke was behind Diageo innovations such as Tanqueray Seville, Smirnoff Infusions, Baileys Almande and Irish whiskey Roe & Co. 'World first' “Spirited Euphoria is the world’s first – and currently only – non-alcoholic distilled spirit crafted using natural hemp terpenes and CBD,” said Locke. “Alongside its functional endorphin effect offering a new way to unwind, Spirited Euphoria showcases the depth of flavour, range and variety of natural hemp, bringing an entirely new category and intriguing palette of flavours to life for bartenders and consumers.” Edi’s master blender, Anthony Wilson, also helped develop Diageo-owned non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ Seedlip and sister brand Aecorn Aperitifs. He also helped create Cockspur Rum, Baileys Chocolat Luxe, botanical blend Mary, Malfy gin and Tipplesworth cocktail mixers. To create Spirited Euphoria, Wilson developed a range of advanced distillation processes and used new technology to extract ingredients at a molecular level. As a result, Wilson captured different flavours from the hemp and specific endorphin effects from the nootropics and adaptogens. Spirited Euphoria is described as having an ‘aromatic, complex and layered balance of citrus green, herbaceous hemp and peppery spice with a smooth, woody finish’. It is recommended served with chilled soda water. Spirited Euphoria contains two calories per serve and is THC-free, alcohol-free, vegan, sugar-free, carb-free and gluten-free. Spirited Euphoria has an RRP of £39.99 (US$55.80) per 700ml. Edi will expand the range this summer with a second variant, followed by a third in 2022. The company plans to enter Europe in spring 2021, and then the US a year later.