Highland Boundary's guide to natural soft drinks and mixers
Mix up your usual cold glass of fizz for a natural alternative.
The bountiful flavours of nature are endless, so why stop at botanical spirits? There are a whole host of nature-based soft drinks, mixers and more that use botanicals and locally-sourced ingredients to conjure up exciting new flavours.
Tonics, Sodas & Water
A sparkling tonic or soda are top choices for most when it comes to selecting the perfect mixer for your spirit. Be it rum, gin, vodka, or any alcoholic tipple that takes your fancy. Natural-based tonics and sodas make for an exciting alternative to the norm. Taking influence from nature’s organic taste palettes, you open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to flavour pairings.
Here are some natural drink brands, pioneering the way in botanical soft drinks and mixers across Scotland.
Based in rural Aberdeenshire, Walter Gregor’s hand craft bottles of naturally-made tonics, sodas and lemonades to serve with the finest Scottish spirits and more. Bottles are made in small batches by the in-house team following an ever developing recipe to refine the perfect taste and sustainable approach to production. Each recipe is created to have a gentle fizz, allowing the flavours of your chosen spirit to seep through without being overpowered.
Fellow Perthshire friends Alba Cola took inspiration from Scotland’s local culture and natural ingredients to create their own take on a traditional fizzy favourite. Alba Cola combines fresh Scottish water with heather extract and all natural sugars. Can be served alone as a refreshing can of pop, or compliment your favourite nip.
Quite literally ‘branching out,’ family-run business Birken Tree use the traditional method of extracting Birch tree sap to create a clean, natural still water. The natural flavour of the sap gives each bottle a taste that has been compared to cucumber or even vanilla. Not only a unique flavour, the water also possesses many health benefits with anti-inflammatory qualities and plenty of nutrients.
The team as Cushiedoos pride themselves on brewing healthy, premium tonic water made from locally-sourced botanicals here in Scotland.
“Cushiedoos is a blend of Scottish heather and silver birch, with yellow gentian and wormwood for bitterness and British sugar beet for sweetness.”
Not only innovative in their drinks, Cushiedoos use their business platform to support rewilding with their ‘Action Against Carbon’ campaign in face of the carbon climate crisis. By supporting them, you help to support their mission of a greener planet.
Of course, not only can these natural tonic waters and sodas be enjoyed with an alcoholic drink. But, also on their own. Pour a glass of a sparkling natural soda over ice and garnish with some fruit for a refreshing afternoon drink.
Herbal teas are another great non-alcoholic alternative inspired by natural flavours. Serve piping hot on a cold rainy day (those are quite regular during Scottish summer!) or some can also be served chilled.
Slàinteach Teas are curated in the Scottish Highlands by medical herbalist Claire MacKay. The brand’s goal is to inspire fellow Scots to sample traditional tea flavours composed from the botanicals found in our native landscapes. Not only to celebrate Scottish heritage, and indulge in the health benefits of natural minerals, but also promote an ethical lifestyle.
Just to counteract our first point of herbal teas being a tasty non-alcoholic beverage choice. We have previously pulled on their fusions of flavour when designing Highland Boundary cocktails. The Forest Tea Martini pairs earl grey tea with our Birch & Elderflower amongst other ingredients for a fusion of flavours.
Naturally infused flavoured water
You can also turn your hand to make your own natural soft drink by infusing water with fruit, herbs and more. The process is simple. Combine your choice of natural ingredients with ice and fresh water, mix well, and allow to infuse and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Here are some fruity combos to inspire you!
- Watermelon and lemon
- Lime and basil
- Cucumber, lemon and mint
- Rosemary and ginger
- Apple and cinnamon - a Winter warmer perhaps!
- Raspberry and lemon
Naturally infused water cocktails?
Why not! If you’re not a fan of fizz, then you can pair your naturally infused flavoured water with a smooth spirit of your choice.
Enjoy the taste benefits of sampling your favourite spirit with a more subtle flavoured mixer. All whilst saving yourself a groggy head the next day by keeping hydrated with water as you drink!