Sentia is a botanical herb-based, alcohol-free spirit that is heralded as a non-alcoholic way to enjoy a social event. The brand claims drinkers can experience the feeling of ‘two glasses of wine, without going beyond that and also promises that there is no hangover.
Among the ingredients are calming and uplifting herbs which include; passionflower, Ashwagandha (an adaptogen that helps the body overcome and adapt to stress) Damiana, Tulsi (a form of holy Basil which is a medicinal food) various spices, and naturally, the special secret ingredient that is a GABAergic, which is known to increase alpha brain waves which leads to a relaxed state, and reduces stress and anxiety.
My bottle of Sentia arrived Saturday. If you haven’t read my previous blog about Dry January, you can see it here: https://www.kazb.co.uk/blog/?p=2318
Otherwise, in a nutshell – I’m doing my best to stick to Dry January as much as possible. Normally, if I were to have a drink it would be on a Saturday night. It was important to me to break the habit of a Saturday night treat and not to just simply replace alcohol with something else, so I decided to wait a day and test the Sentia on Sunday.
Various people have asked for my feedback on the Sentia and have been extremely encouraging. Only one relative suggested they thought it would be a waste of money and hailed it the ‘Emperor’s new clothes’. I pointed out that if it relaxed me and I could get back to normal activities quickly, with no ill effects, it was in fact better value than alcohol. I may have gone a little over the top and in a facetious manner, claimed it was the best drink I’d ever had and that I’d never enjoyed anything this much before. Not precisely true, of course, but it amuses me to play devil’s advocate and exaggerate when people are deprecatory about things they have no experience of.
After reading the instructions, I started with a 25 ML measure over ice and mixed with lemonade, to be consumed while I cooked the Sunday dinner, which was a magnificent meal I might add as I puff my feathers up! (I probably shouldn’t add that I used one of my favourite life hacks and steamed the vegetables in the microwave!)
The beverage consisted of a rich dark liquid, not dissimilar to red wine, but cloudier. The smell was pleasant, sweet, and herby, but not overpowering. I sampled a little off a teaspoon, neat. I could detect tones of marshmallow, Turkish delight, hibiscus, and the in lower notes that came through, I detected the faint flavour of cloves.
I could feel the heat rising through my abdomen as the drink made its way down, which very was similar to the effect of drinking spirits. At this dosage, I did not notice any significant effects, although I was at least 50% less irritable – I’m not good with sharing the cooking with relatives, I’d rather take care of it myself, seeing as I am absolute dictator in the kitchen, but I found myself feeling a lot calmer.
Once dinner was ready I poured another 25 ML drink with a mixer, which I drank with dinner. My head felt completely clear, and perhaps it was my imagination, but the room seemed suddenly brighter and colours more vivid. A calm settled upon me.
On a general day, unless I am writing, listening to music, or engrossed in a stimulating conversation, my mind whirls at full velocity, skipping from topic to topic and pondering life, the world, and the universe! These intrusive thoughts seemed to slowly melt away and drift into something far more pleasant.
My relative kept asking me if it was working, how I felt and suggested I was experiencing a placebo effect. I could argue that holding a glass of wine is a placebo effect, but instead, let the thought float away into the ethers.
I poured myself a final 50 ML measure, taking my dosage up to 100 ML. At this dose, I started to feel a little fluffy inside and very relaxed. My mind still felt focused, but the intensity of my thoughts had reduced to something more analytical as if I was observing my thoughts, rather than racing along with them. This didn’t distract from holding a conversation either.
To put it into context, there was no music and it was a dull, dark, Sunday evening on which I was regaled with some ghastly stories about people dying tragically. Normally, this kind of thing would have left me feeling anxious or reaching for a huge Gin, but I let the thoughts pass me by and had no urge to fill my glass with more of the burgundy elixir. I decided to save the bottle for another day when I’d be in a more social environment. With that in mind, I went off to go and read my book instead. I opened my book and my focus was perhaps even slightly enhanced as minor distractions, no longer seemed to bother me. Normally the harsh, shrill of the phone would startle me and if I didn’t answer the call I would be awash with guilt. I simply returned to my book, eager to reach the end of the chapter.
100 MLS is a very low dose (in my opinion – that’s the equivalent of 2 double Gins or thereabouts) but it gave me an excellent insight into Sentia and what sort of vibe to expect in the future. Will it get you smashed and slurring? No. Will it help you to relax in a social setting without the worry you may end up swinging from the chandeliers and throwing peanuts at your relatives? Yes.
I can concur that I experienced no unpleasant side effects nor a hangover from the spirit and would be inclined to opt for this when in a situation where I wanted to avoid alcohol, but relax a little. Perhaps I will find out next time if I can reach the “two glasses of wine” feeling with Sentia.
If you are looking to get undeniably blotto and play trolley dashes down the high street with the carts you tea-leaved from Tesco, then this probably isn’t for you. If your goal is to try and switch off a little after a busy day and relax in a social environment without getting lathered, then you might just enjoy this!
If you decide to try Sentia, please let me know how you get on. I would love to hear how you find it.
Happy Monday and have a great week!
Love & Light