Monday, 16 September 2013

Enlightened Refreshment: Koji Drinks

Being the editor of a booze blog, it might come as a surprise to you that recently I've actually been trying to consume less alcoholic units per week. I know, right? I'm a slave to my stupid liver.

In all seriousness, I've been trying to drink less crap, and save my drinking for really high-quality wines, cocktails and beers that cost a little more but reap so many rewards, taste-wise. It means money better spent, it means a (slightly) healthier weekly alcohol intake, and it's also been kinder on the calories.

When the nice folks at Koji Drinks said they'd send me a couple of low-calorie, alcohol-free drinks to try, it couldn't have come at a better time. Still, at only 49 calories per bottle and with no added sugar, I was skeptical about the taste.

They call themselves 'The World's First Flawless Soft Drink', which makes it sound almost biblically good, and indeed the flavours - mandarin and cranberry, and lemon and ginger - do sound a bit goody-two-shoes. So what are they like?

Well, tango, sprite, and J2O fans, look away now. These aren't satisfying in a 'feel the sugar on your teeth' kind of way, they don't give you an energy rush or go well with fast food. However, if you're looking for something that satisfies because it tastes natural, fruity, and not too sweet, you're onto a winner.

In fact, they're really bloody tasty. The fruit (which tastes like actual fruit, by the way, not like boiled sweet 'fruit' flavours) is nicely balanced with a warm, gingery spiciness, and the lack of sugary sweetness makes them far more refreshing than any other soft drink I've tried. The ingredients (which also include persimmon, goji berries, and apple) are inspired by an ancient Japanese infusion method, and are supposed to help with digestion, speeding up your metabolism, and giving you healthier teeth and bones, among other health benefits.

Drunk over ice on a Sunday morning, they're a divine wake-up call, and they also made a lovely pre-dinner drink to replace my usual large glass of wine or G&T.

Don't get me wrong, I'll still have my boozy aperitif if I fancy it, but I've started replacing it a few times a week with a bottle of Koji. It really is a feel-good drink - I can feel my body thanking me for it already.

Koji drinks are about to go on sale at a major supermarket, but for now you can find a stockist (there are many!) on their website.

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