No longer happy to serve generic, sugar-loaded branded drinks, a growing number of chefs, bartenders and enthusiasts are dusting off their proverbial SodaStreams to make their own pop. The bartenders at London’s Nightjar (www.barnightjar.com) do a wonderful array of unusual home-made soft drinks, including galangal beer and tamarind soda.
For something more familiar, pick up a bottle of Dalston Cola (www.treehousekitchen.co.uk). Launched last year, it cocked a deliciously cheeky East End snook at a certain Olympic sponsor, with its natural ingredients including West African cola nuts, ginger, raw muscovado and fresh citrus. Its creator, chef Steve Wilson, originally made it in a small café kitchen from a 100-year-old recipe and now produces 1,000 bottles a week at the Dalston Cola Company bottling plant in Hackney Wick, east London.
‘We didn’t sell a cola for various ethical reasons,’ he says, ‘but we needed one as a mixer, so I thought…
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