By Jo Cooksey
A Wet Afternoon In Soho
At the recent Northern Restaurant and Bar Show I came across a London drinks firm, Soho Juice Co., who make non-carbonated mixers to have with spirits. The carbonated mixer market is huge and the choice has ballooned over the past few years but non-fizzy is relatively untapped. Besides fruit juice how many can you think of?
The company was born out of such a conversation one night in the area of London that gives the company its name. As Steve Moran, Sales & Marketing Director told me, “As the topic veered to the question of what, outside of tonics, is an acceptable mixer for a quality gin no consensus was forthcoming. A solution presented itself. What if we made one? And if wasn’t going to be tonic, why not go the whole way and make it non-carbonated too?”
The team got to work and started developing their first mixer, a Cucumber, Mint & Lime to serve with clear spirits such as gin, vodka and tequila. They sold this, very successfully off a market stall on Brick Lane and the locals loved it. Fortuitously, this lead to an opportunity with a local distributor who supplies the bars and restaurants of Liverpool. Soho Juice Co was expanding into the North and they were also expanding their range with a Blood Orange, Raspberry and Ginger mixer which is great served with rum and whisky, although it also goes great with gin.
Steve also let us in on a secret, “June will see the introduction of our third flavour, an intriguingly smooth Apple, Honey & Lemon mixer, specifically for the dark spirit connoisseurs out there.”
It is worth noting that because the drinks are still they can be shaken with abandon and this alone has made them very popular on the North West’s burgeoning cocktail scene. They are now making inroads over the Pennines into Yorkshire and up to the North East. It seems that the sky is the limit after the company recently secured a national distribution deal with LWC, Matthew Clarke and HB Clarke.
Steve said, “With the support being shown to us from the bars, venues & restaurants of the North West and beyond, we are beginning to realise our initial vision of introducing a range of spirit mixers is just like the North itself, original and unique.”
With the Government introducing the new sugar tax it is worth noting that Soho Juice drinks are low in the sweet stuff, making them exempt. They are also gluten free, vegan friendly and have just 36 and 40 calories respectively.
Steve very kindly sent us a few bottles to sample and I have to say we were very pleasantly surprised. I think I was expecting something syrupy, cloyingly sweet and artificial tasting but both were nicely balanced between authentic flavour and a hint of sweetness. They were lovely and light and extremely refreshing. I have to say as well that I am a martyr to heartburn when I drink fizzy mixers but neither variety irritated my overly sensitive tummy, which is a big plus in my opinion. We are very much looking forward to sampling their newest flavour.
We were gifted the bottles of Soho Juice but as always, the review and opinions are our own and unbiased.