“Soda, at Christmas?” you might think. Well, in our opinion, our favourite fizzy pops are just as good in the cold season as in the Summer. And what’s more, they’re perfect for an alcohol-free Christmas tipple. Here are 10 of our favourite seasonal sodas.
What: Everyone’s talking about this showstopper ginger beer, and it was flying off the shelves at our Mindful Drinking Christmas Festival. And that is because it is no ordinary ginger beer. Pimento is a refreshing, non-alcoholic ginger drink with a distinctive chilli kick. It packs a punch which is not for the faint-hearted, but will be devoured by chilli and ginger lovers alike. It will warm your cockles like nothing else in this wintery weather, and is (probably) guaranteed to get rid of a cold in under 30 seconds. Perfect as a festive aperitif served with ice and a generous squeeze of lime.
Where: Available to order from their website, and other stockists listed here.
What: Black Castle started making sodas because they were fed up with what was on offer in bars and restaurants for non-drinkers. Why was it that the teetotaler of the group was left out from experiencing a thoughtfully crafted drink, while others mulled over the berry notes in their wine, or the hoppiness of their craft beer? The Berry Bramble Sting is a refreshing mix of fragrant blackberries and stinging nettle using demerara sugar to create a fruity and sophisticated sparkling soft drink. It’ll bring you back to early autumn walks down country lanes.
Where: Get in touch with them by email or visit one of their stockists in Ireland here.
What: Square Root’s motto is “if it’s in season, seize it” and our members have certainly been stocking up. This year our friends from Hackney have a floral and fragrant bergamot soda on their winter range – think earl grey tea, but cold, and better. It’s got a unique citrus flavour with subtle herbal notes that is a perfect antidote to the winter months. Or, if you’re overwhelmed by choice, indecision and love of Square Root (which we are also), then check out their Xmas Survival Pack containing a mixed case of 15 seasonal bottles and a surprise Christmas gift.
Where: Available from the Square Root website.
What: Kitsch’s mission is to reclaim soda from the soulless, and we think they’ve done a pretty good job. The Cucumber and Fennel Soda is their second offering following their equally aromatic Rhubarb and Thai Basil, which flew off shelves and began the journey of helping drinkers live a life free from the boring, bland and artificial. Cucumber and Fennel Soda is made from hand pressed English cucumber juice, which is infused overnight with fennel seeds, giving it a light aniseed flavour.
Where: Available from the Kitsch website.
What: This one’s a bit of a stretch, as it’s technically a fermented tea rather than a traditional soda, but it’s lightly carbonated, hand-crafted and all-natural, so we think we can get away with it. Brewed from Yunnan black tea from Southern China, Smoke House has a warm, golden colour and malty apple and caramel undertones. It’s musky and velvety to drink, and Real Kombucha promise it’ll be loved by anyone “with a taste for anything frothy and traditional”. We believe them.
Where: Available online or in-store from Borough Wines here.
What: Inspired by the making of shrub drinks during the Prohibition in USA, Shrb’s ingredients are steeped in apple cider vinegar to capture its raw, deliciously acidic flavours. Then, they add water and a touch of fizz to create a drink that is lightly sweet, tart and herbaceous. This apple and cinnamon captures subtle flavours of freshly pressed apples, nutmeg and a hint of lavender. You won’t believe it works, but it does. What’s more, it makes for a deliciously refreshing, moreish adult drink.
Where: Available from As Nature Intended stores in London, or other retailers listed here.
What: A ‘jigger’ is an old English word meaning a good measure, and as each bottle of this drink contains the juice of eight mandarins and the zest of Seville orange, we feel it’s deserved. Deliciously tangy, citrussy and full of flavour, there is no better (and more pleasurable) way to get your vitamin D fix on these dark winter days.
Where: Available from Ocado or find your nearest stockist here.
What: Double Dutch’s limited edition soda has a winter glow, and so will you after you drink it. It’s packed full of cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise, with balanced intense fruity flavours and sweet vanilla for a lingering warmth. Oakwood is often used by winemakers to deliver smooth deep flavours – for Double Dutch, it rounds the drink and brings an earthy, woody flavour that soothes and chases away the winter cold. A perfect mulled wine alternative for those that want something colder, lighter but still full of classic Christmas spices.
Where: Available for a limited time only from Ocado.
What: Heartsease Farm is a family farm that makes craft sodas with natural flavours and their own spring water. We love their traditional apple and rhubarb flavours, which are fruity, sweet and mellow. The rhubarb flavour is subtle and not too sweet, making it a great non-alcoholic alternative.
Where: Available from Ocado.
What: Imagine your favourite ginger beer, but healthier, with more zing, and even more delicious. Jarr Kombucha have created a sophisticated adult drink using freshly juiced ginger root, which they add to their original recipe for a zesty and fiery delight. We love the tartness, spiciness and sweetness that they somehow manage to roll into one.
Where: Order from Planet Organic or their website, where you can also check out their stockists all over London.