Soft drinks

Craft so­das were a trend in the north­ern hemi­sphere sum­mer. Now they are ex­pected to be just as big in South Africa this sum­mer, writes

Sunday Tribune - - SUNDAY MAGAZINE - Sacha van Niek­erk

THE FIZZY drinks we once drank as kids come in an as­sort­ment of iri­des­cent colours, pack a pow­er­ful sug­ary punch, and just a sip is enough to sum­mon mem­o­ries from child­hood par­ties with poly­styrene cups, stained mouths, and all.

For­tu­nately, for those of us who can no longer palate ar­ti­fi­cial flavour­ing or have jumped on board the nat­u­ral­in­gre­di­ent band­wagon, craft soft drinks, in a range of “grown-up” flavours, are pi­o­neer­ing the shift to­wards qual­ity and au­then­tic­ity in so­das.

Craft so­das avail­able in rhubarb and Mada­gas­can vanilla or grape­fruit and laven­der may not be the flavour com­bi­na­tions of your child­hood, but with their grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity, it might be time to quench your thirst with some­thing more so­phis­ti­cated this sum­mer.

From peach and ha­banero boast­ing sweet, trop­i­cal notes up-front and a tan­ta­lis­ing burn that fol­lows, to the crisp flo­ral flavours of red ap­ple and gin­ger with a pep­pery kick – these unique car­bon­ated con­coc­tions are at the cen­tre of “craft so­das” that are start­ing to make an im­pact in the bil­lion rand soft­drink mar­ket.

Also known as ar­ti­sanal, spe­cialty or small-batch so­das, these bev­er­ages pro­mote the use of nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and in­ven­tive flavour com­bos that show­case lo­cal roots and cre­ative pack­ag­ing.

Nowa­days, reg­u­lar so­das are seen as more in­dul­gent bev­er­ages to be con­sumed only as a treat, rather than sim­ply on the side of one’s din­ner. And with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and nutri­tion­ists from all over the world fiercely crit­i­cis­ing high-sugar drinks, there’s cer­tainly a gap in the mar­ket for health­ier al­ter­na­tives – which craft soda has very com­fort­ably filled.

As so­ci­ety grav­i­tates away from plas­tic to­wards more sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives, an­other at­trac­tive point of craft so­das is their sus­tain­able pack­ag­ing.

Craft soda brands use card­board car­tons, glass bot­tles, and alu­minium cans in place of plas­tic. There’s noth­ing mil­len­ni­als love more than In­sta­grammable bev­er­ages that are eco-friendly and funky.

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