Soft drinks

Our selection of the new and the notable from the best British drinks producers.
Visit Drinks of the Month for this month's Variety Show

Wright's Original Dark Ginger

It might seem like ginger is the latest craze to hit our flavour-hungry palates. Well Wrights Original could claim to be the daddy of them all, with its Dark Ginger created from a traditional recipe dating back to the 19th century.

It's got a fab lick of spicy ginger and is unashamedly sweet. My tip therefore is to add a generous squeeze of lime and enjoy over ice. Or follow the creators' suggestion and add a splash of soda or sparkling water.

Find at Farm Shops around Surrey and in selected National Trust properties


Here's something that little bit different. Deliberately designed to be healthy, Lull is super-charged with natural botanicals, from lavender to green tea, lemon balm to fennel, plus – of course – the hint of hops, and some anti-oxidant fruits.

The first creation of new drinks entrepreneur Claire Lettice, although it's only the hops that come originally from the UK, all the botanicals are produced in Herefordshire.

available Fortnum & Mason, online at Lull: 2x25cl, inc P&P: £7.50 – & France

Killerton Estate Apple Juice

Now this is what apple juice should taste like. A moreish blend of tart and sweet, Killerton Estate Apple Juice tastes like a mix of Cox, Bramleys and more mellow varieties.

But then this juice is made from what one might call an orchard blend on the Killerton Estate near Exeter, the National Trust's flagship property on the sustainable stakes.

£4.50/75cl; Killerton Estate Shop, Kitchen Restaurant & Tea Room

Belvoir Elderflower Cordial

Throw off the thoughts of Winter with this very essence of Spring, Belvoir's Elderflower Cordial. Serve chilled with plenty of ice and either a sprig of mint or the neatest sliver of fresh ginger to give this delicate floral-infused drink a little lift.

c. £4; available delicatessens, food halls, farm shops & major supermarkets; or online

Juiceology Apple, Lime & Mint

It was like sticking my nose in an English herb garden when I sniffed Juiceology's Apple, Lime & Mint drink – evocative and inspriing.

With its tang of apple, just the right amount of lime, and a friendly flourish of English mint, this is my style of soft drink.

It's one of a quartet of drinks launched by top mixologist Joe McCanta with the help of entrepreneur Richard Watson – he'd been bemoaning the lack of decent soft drinks.


£1.69; Fortnum & Mason, Whole Foods, Harvey Nichols,


Pixley Blackcurrant & Ginger Cordial

Seriously blackcurranty with the the merest zip of ginger, this is rather like adult Ribena, with the ginger calming the sweetness. Made with 60% blackcurrant juice from Edward Thompson's fruit-haven of a farm, the ginger quotient of Pixley's Blackcurrant & Ginger has been upped since its first appearance in 2009.

This is lovely when cold and cold-defying when warm. I'm now looking forward to the Pixley cocktail suggestions – Gin & Pixley anyone?

RRP: £3.19/50cl, Waitrose & fine food retailers

Aspall English Apple Juice

The first premium apple juice from renowned cider makers, Aspall, is a winner. Using purely English Bramleys and Coxes, there's a tart tang from the Bramleys to balance the oh-so-rosy Cox's.

RRP: £1.89/1 litre, Waitrose, Tesco, E of England Co-op