Roots Soda Co. was founded in Edinburgh 2012 after an embarrassingly simple revelation: why can’t fizzy drinks be true to their raw ingredients? Why can’t they be a little less scary and a bit more like granny’s cooking? Unnerved by secret recipes, scientific ingredients and industrial production processes, Roots Soda Co. set out to make healthier, natural sodas which were as good for you as possible.
They started small in their home kitchen developing a simple production process and their first recipes. Later, they moved into a local restaurant, cooking up 80 servings of soda each week and selling them at local farmers’ markets throughout the summer of 2012. Today Roots Soda Co. have their very own soda brewery with a capacity of 8,000 servings per week.
These sodas all contain around 40% juices from freshly squeezed, whole fruits and vegetables. The only other ingredients in the drinks are herbs, spices, water and minimal raw cane sugar. They don’t use concentrated juices, sweeteners, preservatives or colourings and none of the sodas contain any extracts or artificial ingredients.
Part of making healthier sodas is lowering their sugar levels. The earliest sodas, Hoodoo and Kaleidoscope, were made from real, whole ingredients with lots of fruit juices, but they’re still too high in sugar for Roots Soda Co. The sugars naturally present in the fruits in their recipes, combined with the raw cane sugar, means that their total sugar contents are the same as most fizzy drinks.
Roots Soda Co. wanted to change this, but in a wholesome, natural way. Rather than replacing sugar with sweeteners, they began incorporating fruits and vegetable juices which naturally contain less sugar into their recipes. They launched their first ever low sugar soda in February; I Need My Girl, which contains just 8.25 g of sugar per bottle (that's a mere 2 teaspoons compared to the 7 – 8 found in most fizzy drinks). I Need My Girl is still 39% fruit and vegetable juices, meaning they’ve lowered the sugar in this drink by 69% in a like-for-like comparison with traditional fizzy drinks, but without compromising on quality.
At Roots Soda Co., they see naturally low sugar drinks as the way forward. Now they know it’s possible to create sodas with lots of fruit and vegetable juices but very little sugar, they don’t want to make our drinks any other way. From now on Roots Soda Co. will be working on new low sugar sodas, made in the best way they can, with as little sugar as possible.
Hoodoo was inspired by the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Roots Soda Co. wanted to create an entirely new flavour with Hoodoo – a drink with a split personality. Hoodoo is a refreshing fruit punch which first cools and quenches your thirst before warming you up with an unexpectedly good burn.
The flavours of this soda are influenced by Middle Eastern and South American drinks, and Hoodoo is their modern take on a ginger beer.
Hoodoo is made by simmering diced cayenne and bell peppers, before adding pomegranate juice and simmering further. This syrup is then transferred and mixed with lightly processed citrus fruit juices, steeped hibiscus petals and raw cane sugar.
Inspired by long lost childhood summers we never wanted to end, this futuristic take on the humble orange crush really is rainbow juice. Kaleidoscope tastes the way great sweet shops used to smell, and is made using essential summer favourites; orange, strawberry, basil and balsamic.
Kaleidoscope is made by muddling basil and leaving it to steep overnight. The next morning strawberries are juiced and added to the basil, along with balsamic vinegar and raw cane sugar. This syrup is then pasteurised and mixed with lightly processed orange juice, which is seasoned with sea salt.
I Need My Girl
I Need My Girl is a Beetroot, Rose and Pink Grapefruit soda inspired by Turkish Delight and last year’s Middle Eastern street food scene. Romantic Turkish and Persian flavours are married together with orange juice and it contains just 8.25 g of sugar per bottle – only 2 teaspoons compared to the 7-8 found in most fizzy drinks.
They’ve been working towards this soda, with its sugar pared back to the absolute essential, since 2012. Roots Soda Co.’s first ever low sugar soda, I Need My Girl is truly only for grown-ups. It has just won one star in the Great Taste Awards 2016.
I Need My Girl is made by simmering star anise, coriander seeds and bay leaves for thirty minutes before adding organic rose water, raw cane sugar and sea salt. The syrup is then transferred and mixed with lightly processed apple, beetroot, orange and pink grapefruit juices, all of which have been freshly squeezed from whole fruits.
Simply click on the pictures to go straight to the product page, or you can find all of the products here in our webshop.