I love IZZE sodas, because, well, they’re not really soda, but “pure fruit juice & sparkling water,” so sayeth the bottle of Sparkling Apple flavour I have on my computer desk. This evening at the store, I was tempted to get the blueberry flavour, having had it before, but I stopped and thought for a moment.
“Hmm… what would go best with gin?”
Out of all the flavours my local Whole Foods had on hand, which wasn’t the exhaustive list featured on IZZE’s site, the apple won out, although the grapefruit probably wouldn’t be that bad, either. I’m testing out my theory right now, and it is magical. A shot-ish of dandy Hendrick’s gin over ice, and about a little more than half of the apple IZZE creates a wonderfully clean beverage in which the natural apple flavour compliments, rather than overpowers, the gorgeous taste of the gin. Considering my Sweet Sting concoction, IZZE should completely hire me to come up with and promote their product’s usage as a mixer.
IZZE executives, I will work for more IZZE. And booze.
Another fantastic mixer that’s actually intended as a mixer is the Mojito mix from Stirrings. Now, full disclosure: I was sent a bottle of it for free from Stirrings due to my improbable status as a “maven” on ThisNext, a website that centers around product recommendation, although much of it is more product lust than actual “I used this and it works/sucks” recs.
Now, because this was a mojito mix, I was a bit skeptical. I had my very first mojito at Vertigo, a posh restaurant on the 50-odd storey rooftop of a hotel in Bangkok, and it has been the pinnacle of what I expect a mojito to be: drinkable, tasty, minty, limey and alcoholic. Mojitos I’ve had since have been either meager stabs at mojitoness, or woeful interpretations of what a mojito is. You need fresh lime! You need fresh mint! You need an adequate amount of simple syrup, don’t just dump sugar in the glass!
Now, Stirrings’ Mojito is *not* this combination of freshness and effort. It is a bottled mix, after all. But honestly, if you’re not in the mood to muddle your own damn mint and boil your own simple sugar, this is the next best thing, especially when it seems that you can’t get a decent mojito in the town you live in. It’s tasty and refreshing, with no chemical faux-mojito flavour because the ingredients are all-natural. Since at the time of testing I lacked a shaker, I simply poured the rum (10 Cane, courtesy of Hao, although I did chip in) over ice, then added the mixer, and topped it off with LaCroix sparkling water rather than traditional club soda. I stirred, and sipped, and it was wonderful.
For about ten bucks a pop, these bottles last for a number of drinks, and create a tasty alcoholic (or non, if you want to go virgin) beverage. My bottle is about half-empty in the fridge, and it’s an incredibly refreshing way to combat the Florida heat and humidity, although lately we’ve actually been having our own version of fall begin; highs in the upper 80s, and lows in the low 70s down to the mid-60s! Again, since the mix itself is non-alcoholic, you can easily mix it with club soda or some sparkling water for a nice beverage.
The thing I like both about Stirrings’ mixers and IZZE is that their ingredients are all-natural. There’s no high fructose corn syrup, no chemically-produced flavours to get in the way of you and your alcohol. Hence the title of this post, “Do your alcohol justice,” as natural ingredients don’t bastardise the drinking experience, but rather enhance it and make it even more enjoyable. Since I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup in food that I buy, why not in my drink mixers?