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Producer Spotlight // Wild Eve + Temple Collective

Producer Spotlight // Wild Eve + Temple Collective




A recent, little collaboration with the inspiring non-alcoholic spirit Wild Eve is underway and we can’t wait to reveal all to you very soon. Exclusively for our FwB, we’ve united with the remarkable Temple Collective - a distinctive wellness purveyor that cultivate the finest therapeutic plants and harness their transformative qualities to create a unique skincare line, AS Apothecary, and non-alcoholic tantalisingly tasty wellness spirit, Wild Eve.

In the meantime before we reveal all about our collaboration, we spoke to the force of nature behind it all - Temple Collective’s founder, Amanda Saurin - and found out a bit more about why, where and how they do what they do, and what makes their products so special. Guaranteed ‘wow-wee’ and ‘let’s go get some’ thoughts after reading.


When did it all start? What made you start Temple Collective and subsequently, Wild Eve?

I started to develop Wild Eve years ago for several reasons - I don’t drink alcohol, I never really have and I was really fed up with the insipid mocktails, elderflower cordial and orange juice which were the only offerings in pubs, clubs and most restaurants. I watched friends enjoying complex, delicious drinks and thought this must be possible in an alcohol free drink too. My background is in plants - I’m a proper old fashioned Apothecary and I realised that using that plant knowledge acquired over decades I could create something not only delicious to drink but also therapeutically active. I thought this might offer other people, who might want to moderate their alcohol consumption or stop entirely, a drink that made them feel relaxed and calm but also satisfied. It took over 4 years to get it right!

My background is in therapeutic plants - I’ve worked with plants for 40 years, growing and using them in my therapeutic practice. Temple Collective brings all my plant work together into a rather beautiful wellness brand. I’m a Homoeopath and specialist in mother tinctures, which are to support the different functions of the body. I’m also a producer of essential oils and aromatic waters, I have a skincare company A.S Apothecary which makes incredibly lovely, effective skincare and is now being used in Claridges Spa amongst others. I also make therapeutic tinctures, bitters, wild flower and seaweed teas and I roast speciality bean coffee. Wild Eve fits so well into the overall brand being both therapeutic, plant based and delicious.

All my work is a celebration of the power of plants and there are enormous overlaps between each part of Temple Collective - many ingredients are shared between products, everything is made in tiny batches and every part of the business has environmental stewardship at its heart.


Can you tell us a bit more about your exact location - what makes it so special and bountiful for your specific product, why Harris?

The Isle of Harris is part of the Outer Hebrides, it is an extraordinary place, windswept and seaswept with a tiny population of less than 2000. For me it is a treasure trove of medicinal plants, I walk the mountains and the machair meadows looking for plants, we grow 350 Roses on my croft alongside hundreds of other plants. I have the space to work with a 24m x 8m greenhouse and 6 acres of croft land. It is magical. I grew up in Edinburgh and remembered visiting the islands when I was 16 - it obviously left a lasting impression because when the Isle of Harris Distillery asked me to go up and develop both Harris based skincare for their shop and a Sugar Kelp Aromatic Water for their Gin, I leapt at the chance.

When my last daughter (I have 5 children) left for University in 2019, I decided to move up to Harris - it offered all that I needed and I haven’t regretted it for a minute although it is not an easy environment in which to live and work. I often reflect on years in Sussex and Cyprus where the growing was so easy in comparison. There are days in Harris where the gusts of wind quite literally knock you off your feet, where you can’t open the car door if it’s facing into the wind and where the roof slates jangle all night in the wind. But then there are days where the sky is so blue and the air so clear that you couldn’t imagine being anywhere more beautiful. Days when the sea and sky blend into one and you feel as if you’re inhabiting a liminal space. It is so special.

As a Scottish brand, we’re really proud of our island heritage and delighted to be part of the craft Scottish food and drink scene. I think there is something so special about producing in the wilds of Scotland, it imbues the products with a wildness which is really wonderful. In Wild Eve I can taste the island - how wonderful is that.

Equally for Rapscallion, having access to the Scottish soft fruit farms must be amazing - you are world class producers and it shows in the drinks.


What sets you apart?

I don’t think there is another company that so thoroughly embraces the full spectrum of plant work and applies it across so many areas. Our approach to our plantwork and products set us apart, we never use bought in tinctures to aid scaling the business, we prefer to keep small and true to our principles.

We use regenerative farming practices, we grow organically, we’re committed to environmental stewardship of the land we use, all our planting is designed to encourage biodiversity and preserve habitat.

All our products are made by hand in small batches, every ingredient is included to make the product the best it can be. By hand making, we avoid including ingredients which big commercial makers add to make machines run smoothly.

We produce all year round with seasonal ingredients - some we use fresh, some we freeze, others are dried or macerated or tinctured for inclusion in products throughout the year.

Many of our ingredients are local - all our key ingredients are from Harris but some others we can’t grow locally so for now we import them from trusted friends.

We cap production of Wild Eve at 10k bottles a year to protect our fragile local ecology. The cap only rises if we grow more. We hope to inspire people to consider degrowth as a sustainable approach to consumption.

We follow the Living Wage Foundation guidance and we have a flat company hierarchy accepting that every person within the company is as important as another.


Are there any misconceptions you want to dispel - about anything!

Ha ha, where to start!

There is a popular misconception that non-alcoholic drinks aren’t full of flavour - Wild Eve is full of flavour, complex and long. I built it using perfume theory categorising every ingredient as if it was an essential oil or resin - so it has the same fleeting citrus top notes that you’d find in a perfume, giving way to the floral heart of the drink and finally with the roots and bitters as the base notes which are the flavours that give it extraordinary length.

“Nonalcoholic drinks have inflated prices given there’s no alcohol duty to pay”.
No! For a nonalcoholic drink like Wild Eve to offer the full bodied taste that it does, it needs way more plants than an alcoholic counterpart. Alcohol is such a brilliant extractor of flavour you can really use very few in distillation to get a strong drink. It’s not so in a water based extraction. For us to produce sufficient plants we need to employ people year round to grow and harvest on and off the croft. Every bottle takes days to make and we can’t benefit from the economies of scale so all our costs are huge. We also live on a remote island so delivery costs of anything to us are about 50% higher than the mainland. Wild Eve is an expensive drink to produce.


Quick Fire Round:

Are you noticing anything in particular about your customers / consumers - are habits changing, evolving?

Yes definitely, there is far more acceptance of non-alcoholic or moderated drinking as an option. The 50+ Michelin starred restaurants we work with are so enthusiastic about offering something great for their clients and their clients are demanding it. We’re finding that the women who buy A.S Apothecary products are now buying Wild Eve as part of their online ordering, especially at menopause where there is often heightened anxiety and sensitivity to alcohol, Wild Eve is offering a wonderful alternative. We’re also finding many younger people don’t want alcohol and instead are choosing Wild Eve and other alcohol free alternatives. It is a rapidly changing landscape and we’re so excited to be part of it.
Personally, what’s your favourite way to serve Wild Eve?

I love it straight on the rocks with a sprig of Mint and a quarter slice of pink Grapefruit - it’s really feisty.

When did you come to know about us at Rapscallion?

I met Gregor at an event at the Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh, he was fantastic. Our approach, although different, felt at its heart exactly the same. I tasted Rapscallion Soda at the Townhouse and thought it was wonderful - full of vitality and flavour. Brilliant work.

I loved the Ginga Ninja, it was so tasty and I love the playful names.

What’s next for you guys - anything exciting on the horizon that you can reveal, or anything customers should keep an eye out for?

This year we’re really concentrating on the wellness sector - having Wild Eve as the welcome drink at Claridges Spa has opened up a whole new area for us, it offers us the opportunity to bring together A.S Apothecary products and Wild Eve as a single offering to spas and retreats. I’m really excited about that.

We Love A Laugh

But we never muck about when it comes to sourcing the best produce and creating the purest flavour.


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