Top model Constance Jablonski and foodie entrepreneur Maggie Frerejean-Taittinger have launched French Bloom, a “fully organic, fully alcohol-free, fully French sparkling drink” that they say has the sophistication and complexity to rival wine.
Both women were juggling the various aspects of work, family, and social life when they were inspired to create something that could benefit their ‘social wellness’ as well as safeguarding their physical and mental health.
“Women have to wear so many hats,” says Jablonski, who was frustrated by her work-life balance. “I didn’t want to sacrifice my social life, but it is tricky to travel the world and be jet-lagged and to be out and social and to enjoy all these moments while drinking”. Frerejean-Taittinger, a self-proclaimed gastronome, found that when pregnant she would attend beautiful restaurants, weddings, launches and gallery openings but struggled to find an adult drink that was alcohol free, could pair with food and met her high expectations.
“There was a need for a premium alternative to alcohol, and we are conf dent that this is it,” says Frerejean-Taittinger, pointing out that despite a rise in wine sales in the UK, Covid accelerated the idea of mindful drinking. “With covid we learned that health is the new wealth and we also learned that isolation is a negative for well-being. We want to be fully present with people we like and love and fill our social tank without having to sacrifice health. It is as important for me to make my morning spin class as it is to stay up late with friends and loved ones.”
This is not about denying anything, but rather enabling choice, says Jablonski. “I am such a French drinker. I don’t drink hard spirits but it is my habit to have a glass of wine with dinner. It’s ceremonial. In the UK the idea of not having a drink is more established but if I was to refuse wine in France the waiter would give me a look. There shouldn’t be a stigma in choosing not to drink”.
Frerejean-Taittinger agrees, classifying herself as “the epitome of a mindful drinker”. She says: “I reached for a drink at the end of the day in lockdown to relax, and it left me feeling not my best. So, I took some time to understand why I drink, and I replaced those moments with an alternative. It was a conscious effort. I am a mother of twins, a girl boss, I want to be in the best shape, have my career and enjoy my social life”.
Being elegant, sophisticated women, it made sense that French Bloom, with an elevated flavour profile that could feel special and ceremonial, and could be enjoyed with food. “I tried mocktails” said Jablonski “but they are very sugary, with loads of ice. I could never finish them, let alone drink them with dinner or the whole night long”.
Frerejean-Taittinger applauds the work of the beer industry “I tried alcohol-free beers ten years ago and the industry has continued to make terrific progress. Wine is just starting that trajectory and that is why we are so confident about French Bloom. To have created something fully organic, fully alcohol free, with such an elegant taste is a feat we are proud of”.
When it comes to food pairing Frerejean-Taittinger suggests Le Blanc, with its fresh minerality, is enjoyed with seafood, exotic fruits or by itself as an aperitif. Le Rosé has a “beautiful acidity” which can carry richer dishes like foie gras and suit a meal from main course to dessert “I lived in New York for twelve years” says Jablonski “and I can say the rosé goes very well with cheesecake”.
“We want to make non-alcoholic choices sexy and cool,” says Jablonski. “We hope this helps people to be proud of their decisions”.
• French Bloom costs £29.99 and exclusive to Selfridges.