Somehow I managed to get a fridge full of drinks to review, so I thought I’d do a mini round-up of some new drinks available on the market now.
Equator non-alcoholic beer: ideal for drivers and pregnant women?
I tried a few non-alcoholic beers, when I was pregnant and never really took to any of them. I tended to go for things like orange juice and lemonade or a glass of milk if I could get it. But sometimes you really really do want a glass of ice cold lager and when you do, then a non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beer can do the trick.
Equator is better than most I’ve tried and it has the benefit of being completely and utterly non-alcoholic, rather than just low-alcohol. It tastes quite like beer, though I don’t think there’s any question that it’s not beer. It’s refreshing and, if it’s been well chilled, you definitely get the cooling effect that you get from a cold lager.
Personally, I probably wouldn’t make a habit of drinking it, even if I were having to give up alcohol for some reason (I have no plans to the pregnancy or breastfeeding thing again, though I suppose one day I might learn to drive). I would still go, the majority of the time for a nice soft drink – my favourite these days being a pint of fizzy water with some orange juice in it. However, I know that there would definitely be times when I would crave an ice cold beer, to go with a curry or on a hot day sitting in a pub garden and I’d happily drink Equator then.
Oh, yes, and it’s also calorie- and carbohydrate-free, so it would be great for people who are slimming.
Ingredients: carbonated water, barley malt extract, flavouring, lactic acid, salt, colour E150c, iso hop extract, concentrate from safflower, sweeteners: sucralose
LOL fizzy juices
LOL are a new fizzy juice drink which will be available to buy in July. The idea is that they are a cool drink that kids will like to be seen drinking, but at the same time are healthy. They come in three flavours, LOL B Currant (apple and blackcurrant), LOL Razz Bri (apple and raspberry) and LOL O Ranj (apple and orange).
They are mostly fruit juice (75%) and carbonated water, with some flavourings and malic and ascorbic acid. They each contain one portion of fruit (in juice form, obviously), have no added sugar, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colours and no caffeine. I’m especially pleased about the absence of sweeteners, as so many kids’ drinks market themselves on the ‘no added sugar’ front, when they are packed full with sweeteners, some of which have been anecdotally linked to behaviour problems in children (on a quick search, I couldn’t find any conclusive studies to support these links). Of course, they do still contain a fair bit of sugar – from the fruit.
The girls (almost 6 and almost 3) liked them – even RoRo, who has never been keen on fizzy drinks of any kind. I felt they tasted a bit too much like squash, as did my sister. I’m not entirely sure how this can be, without any added sugar or sweeteners, though! Perhaps it’s because the largest juice ingredient is apple, which is a particularly sweet fruit (I often use grated apple in baking when I want to cut down on added sugar, for example). I probably wouldn’t choose them myself, if I had plain fizzy water as an alternative, or fizzy water with my own added orange juice, which I love and use 75% fizzy water to 25% juice (so I suppose I’m used to a less sweet version).
But for kids, I would happily put these in packed lunches or take them on picnics, if they were into fizzy drinks. I’d much rather give them this than Fanta or Coke, though I’d still prefer just normal fruit juice or water if they were happy to drink that.
Ingredients (of the raspberry flavour): fruit juice from concentrate (75%) (apple (73%), raspberry (2%)), carbonated water, flavourings, acid – malic acid, blackcurrant concentrate, carrot concentrate, antioxidant – ascorbic acid.
Welch’s pure grape juice
Welch’s have recently launched two new flavours of grape juice. We were sent all three flavours to try out – Welch’s 100% Pure Purple Grape Juice (the original flavour), Welch’s 100% Pure White Grape Juice and Welch’s 100% Pure Rosé Grape Juice.
I really liked the white and rosé juices, but didn’t really like the purple one (it had what I think of as a pollen taste, though I have no idea if it actually is anything to do with pollen). Chris, on the other hand, really liked the purple grape juice. LaLa (almost 3) loved the white grape juice and had it instead of her usual apple juice for a while. RoRo (almost 6) quite liked the white grape juice and the rosé. Neither of them were keen on the purple grape juice either.
I’ve particularly enjoyed drinking the rosé juice mixed with fizzy water – about 30% juice to 70% fizzy water – and it was very refreshing on the hot days that we had before the recent glut of rain.
They are all 100% pure grape juice, so there’s not much to say about their ingredients, except that it’s all good. They do need to be kept refrigerated.
I would definitely buy the rosé and white grape juice again, if they stocked them in the local Co-op (which they don’t at the moment).
Ingredients (purple grape juice): American Concord Grape Juice from concentrate (65%), Grape Juice from concentrate (35%)