For the curious
Ingredients, flavour, our ethos
We wanted to talk to you about ingredients, flavour and our ethos on both.
There has been a minor shockwave sweeping through the drinks industry after The World Health Organisation released a statement last week saying that most sweeteners are problematic, both artificial ones, such as aspartame and saccharin, as well as ones made from plants, such as stevia.
Their findings are that artificial sweeteners will not help you lose weight and have the potential for ‘undesirable effects’ from long term use, increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. You can read more here
There has also been labeling enforcements for some well known prebiotic sodas in Canada that stipulate that their claims are not scientifically proven. We are not here to throw additional shade but just to talk about our ethos.
If cooking dinner it’s often better (and easier) to put down the complicated sauce recipe, and opt for throwing together a few great quality fresh ingredients and produce. We apply the same thinking to our drinks. Our ingredients lists are short and natural. We are minimal with our can design and our recipes.
The other unofficial rule is, if you can’t picture it in your head, don't use it. Any idea what stevia looks like?
We spent a year making our first drink, the Cucumber Premium Soda. We tried hundreds of iterations. We knew we wanted to use natural ingredients and have no added sugar and definitely no sweetners, but we realised early on that a bit of sweetness was necessary to create a great tasting drink.
If you go to a bar and order a quality cocktail or mixed drink it generally needs a bit of sweetness from somewhere to bring all the flavours together and give depth.
We worked out that a little grape juice was the answer, and then balanced that with lemon juice. This combination made the perfect base for our drinks. Going back to our earlier rule, you can easily picture grapes in your head.
The use of grape juice does create calories, but a small amount, one of our drinks is similar to eating a small carrot. It also feels like we are past the era of counting calories and now focused on the quality of the ingredients.
All the alcohol we use is Vegan. The wine we use is made using organic methods, but is not officially certified, the producer is a third-generation winegrower in the Côte De Gascogne, who respects and looks to preserve the Gascon terroir, but organic certification is not important to them, which we can’t argue with. It’s good wine. Our Sake is Junmai meaning it is made using only four ingredients… rice, water, yeast, and koji with no other additives, such as sugar or alcohol.
Regardless of the findings by the WHO, in our humble opinion sweeteners just don't taste good either.
They are almost too sweet and often have a strange aftertaste. They tend to increase the use of other ingredients to try and mask this aftertaste, and then you’re in complicated sauce territory again. Next time you’re at a fridge in a store, have a look at the ingredients on the cans that contain sweeteners, they tend to be long.
We will continue to keep it simple, keep it natural and keep it delicious.