We sat on the patio, bathed in warm sunshine, and sipped deliciously cold sparkling bottlegreen Elderflower. It tickled the tongue, and made the the last lingering remnant of the bone achingly cold winter disappear.
That, was just five minutes ago. A friend popped around, and we spent a very civilised half hour chatting in that golden yellow stuff the rest of the world knows as sunshine. Bottlegreen sent me some samples of their new Elderflower range to try, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
There is something very English about elderflower. We don't have this as a flavour in New Zealand, as far as I can remember. It isn't an acquired taste. If you've never tried elderflower, a tree or shrub that grows wild around the English countryside, then don't let it put you off. My friend is from Jamaica, and she liked the flavour.
These come in fluted, sturdy dark green glass bottles, which look very attractive on their own. They certainly lent a little class to my fridge. The fluted stem also make pouring out the sparkling drink very easy, ensuring it all goes in the glass and doesn't fizz.
Both drinks are very refreshing. Bottlegreen does not use artificial additives, so there are no sweeteners in use here. My husband gets migraines from aspartame, and we've found to our cost that even drinks that don't say 'diet' or 'sugar free' can still have aspartame. It is most unpleasant.
This does mean there is sugar in both drinks. On the bottle for the sparkling elderflower drink it says there is 7g of sugar per 100ml. This adds up to just on 52.5g in the bottle. Or just over 13 teaspoons.
Before you faint I need to point out a couple of things. This figure include the naturally occurring sugar you get in fruit anyway, although it doesn't say what percentage. The website says that there is only a small amount of added sugar.
I'm happy with some sugar. I am not happy with sweeteners. And I would definitely suggest that neither you nor your children drink an entire 750ml bottle!
Suggestions on the website for the cordial include diluting it with cold, still or sparkling water, or for a warming alternative to tea or coffee simply dilute with hot water. I didn't try the hot water option, but I do have to say it sounds tempting. I'm trying to cut back on caffeine so perhaps some elderflower tea is the answer?
Ultimately though this is a cordial for adults. None of the children I tested it on particularly like the flavour, while all of the grown ups did. I found more children liked the sparkling drink though, however it still wasn't as popular as lemonade or coke I'm afraid. Maybe it is just that they're not used to drinking elderflower?
Pros: a reasonable price, refreshing flavour, a grown up drink
Cons: not as popular with children as adults
Overall verdict: 9 / 10