I am not a big fan of hang over’s so actually think at Christmas it lovely to have some great tasting drinks in that are alcohol free. Also a total must for any driver visitors. It is also nice to have special drinks in for the children too. So I am super pleased with the lovely list I have for you.
Based in Sussex Gran Stead’s is a family run business that make classic handmade soft drinks. We tried their non-alcoholic ginger wines and traditional lemonades. The ginger wines can be enjoyed cold or warm, we tried it both ways and equally enjoyed it hot and cold. Really beautiful ginger taste and so nice to have that without the fizz for a change. The ‘Light and Fiery Ginger Wine’ warmed certainly had a huge kick to it, which is exactly what it is sold as. I really loved this one warmed as there is a hint of capsicum in there (otherwise known as chilli!) which really gives a lovely hit. Bex and Oscar really enjoy this too being hardened chilli fans but my husband Cam preferred the ‘Dark and Mellow Ginger Wine’ for it more mellow taste.
Both were totally gorgeous and love the way it is great on it own, perfect as a mixer and a great partner to some mulled wine. You can find other great idea’s on the Gran Steads website.
The lemonades all still, which again is really nice for a change. Beautiful fresh flavour that makes a perfect partner to the Gin. This is classic lemonade made at it’s best. I have made homemade lemonade a few times so these are that but nicer.
There is also a ‘Still Lemonade with a zing of Ginger’ which gives it a hint of warm ginger but not to over power the lovely fresh lemon taste.
Again the still lemonades were really enjoy by all here.
All of their range are free of artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours.
Without doubt these get a 5/5
We tried the ‘Spiced Berry Cordial’ which is a combination of blackcurrant’s with aronia berries (no I don’t know what they are!) and a really lovely blend of spices. Making it the perfect drink to have in the cupboard at Christmas. Real Christmas flavours these can be served hot of cold, though for real Christmas warmth just add warm water and wrap your hands around the mug or heatproof glass and enjoy the wonderful smell.
Everyone really loved it and with 20 servings in each bottle at RRP £3.15 it does make for a great tasting and value drink.
It would be perfect again to add to mulled wine, pop over the bottlegreen homepage and look under idea’s for ways you can use it in recipes. Some great idea’s there.
Find bottlegreen at most major supermarkets.
Again a 5/5 from all of us, especially when warm.
Cawston Press Sparkling
Generally I don’t like fizzy drinks, though the rest of Over a Cuppa household do. So I was pleasantly surprised how nice the Cawston Press sparkling ‘Apple’ was. Made with 75% pressed juice with sparkling water and a little vitamin C is all the bottle contains. Making it a really refreshing drink that even the non-fizzy drinker would love.There are no artificial sweeteners, colours or preservatives which make for a very natural flavour unlike any sparking drink I have tasted before.
We also tried the Cawston Press ‘Apple and Ginger Beer’ this was really nice too, though I did feel the ginger over took the apple flavour in this one.
I think a bottle or two sparkling Cawston Press apple would be very welcome indeed on the Christmas lunchtime able as an alternative to alcohol. Something the children will also enjoy too and feel they are having a treat as well.
Being freshly pressed there is naturally incurring sediment which you have to turn the bottle gently to help disperse it. If you picked up a bottle like me you may be a bit put off by it, but why reviews are helpful is that actually once turned though some remains it really is a small amount. I am pointing this out because if I had picked up a bottle in a shop I would have put it back because of it and I would have missed out!!!
Cawston Press do a large range of pressed juices, still and sparkling. So do pop over to Cawston Press website where you will find some very exciting flavours in their range and your nearest stockists. You can also buy direct here online.
5/5 for the sparkling apple
Now for something hot
I have told you about the ‘Spiced Winter red tea’ teapigs here, which is indeed Christmas in a cup. We have also tried a few more. One our now all time favourites here is the Liquorice and peppermint one. Not a combination I would put together but my world this is really good. As you pour in the water what suddenly hits you not only is the smell combination but also the greenness of the mint within the tea temple. Promising what is a fresh tasting and completely moreish tea. Both mint and liquorice are good for digestion so perfect to have around for Christmas, when one or two of us might eat a little too much.
Oscar loved this too, so it not just for adults and I experienced a ‘Rolo’ moment when my husband ask when I was doing evening drinks if he could have one of these. It was the last one and yes I did let him have it. More will be brought!!!
I also enjoyed the ‘rooibos creme caramel’ temple, they have a lovely sweet flavour without adding any extra sweetness to it. With natural flavours and caramel pieces give for a rather nice treat of a tea.
There everyday range was like real tea should be and much stronger than your average tea bag.
Teapigs have a brilliant selection and perfect for having in the cupboard for Christmas or anytime to be honest. These are tea’s you drink and feel like you have been treated and when you tot up how much each cups cost it is a very affordable treat. With health benefits too.
Teapigs again get a 5/5 they are a pleasure to drink.
Teapigs are available online here and also you can find your nearest stockists here too. I think for those like me who haven’t finished their Christmas shopping a great gift to give too.
Jelly Belly Soda
Yes that is right now have drinks. Now Jelly Belly do drinks too. In super cool bottles with a fab lid (which we are going to make into magnets) these bottles are filled with as expected brightly covered Jelly Belly bean flavoured fizz..
These have novelty factor, the kids loved the bottles and the bright colours. They enjoyed the drinks too but they were not as wow as you get from the Jelly Belly beans themselves, which was a bit of a shame. As you can see here we are Jelly Belly fans.
No artificial sweeteners but did contain several E numbers as you would expect from the colour.
Great as a stocking filler or for the novelty factor but the taste was a bit disappointing. 2/5 which is a shame as we love Jelly Belly beans.
Find out more on Jelly Belly on their website
We are back to botanical brewing, Fentimans have been making quality beverages botanically brewed since 1905 . We tried their mixer collection and their rose lemonade. First up the bottles already suggest something special, all their drinks are 100% natural. Using carefully selected and blended infusions Fentimans is completely natural flavoured.
The selection we were sent was in a gift pack, priced at £3.50 which contains original tonic water, light tonic water, ginger beer and ginger ale. All made perfect mixers to Gin and Rum and complemented them more than the usual cheaper brand we would use. This again would be a perfect pack to take when visiting people over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The ‘Rose Lemonade’ was gorgeous on it own and equally made a perfect partner to Gin and I would imagine Vodka too.
The rose lemonade is infused with a hint of pure rose oil. It is very subtle though you know it is there. we all enjoyed it and at £1.50 for a 275ml bottle far from the cheapest but it is a true case of you get what you pay for.
I think the Fentimans range are perfect mixers for Christmas. Go to the Fentimans website to find out what else they have to offer and to find your nearest stockists.
We give Fentimans 4/5
You can see three fantastic drinks with alcohol included here on my boozy version
I would like to thank everyone for sending us these lovely drinks.
This review has followed my strict Over a Cuppa policy of honest praise only when due.