One of the biggest challenges in choosing a drink has always been when it should be neither wine nor sparkling wine but a non-alcoholic alternative. It’s not easy to find a good non-alcoholic beer, but it’s even more difficult with wine. All the non-alcoholic variants, i.e. non-alcoholic wine or non-alcoholic sparkling wine, that I have tried so far have not been able to convince me. However, if you broaden your search radius a little and look not for an alcohol-free variant but for an alcohol-free alternative, there are some exciting products. We have three of them in our glass this time, although that’s not quite true, because we didn’t have the three bottles open at the same time, but rather one bottle every few days over the course of the week. We drank three bottles of Sparkling Juicy Tea from van Nahmen. Van Nahmen has been making fruit juices since 1930 and recently added the sparkling teas to the range.
We start with the combination of Rose, Darjeeling and Rhubarb. It smells floral and red-fruity and of rhubarb. You can also taste the rhubarb clearly. The rose is subtle. For me, it depends on my mood, whether I like rose or can’t stand it. Today it’s fine and delicious, but tomorrow it can be different and if you don’t like rose at all, then this is certainly not the right drink. Overall, it is rather sweetish, but not sticky or unpleasant. 60 grams of sugar per litre is quite a lot, but at the same time well below what many other non-alcoholic fizzy drinks have. The acidity, which is certainly contributed by the rhubarb, is important and we like it. Only the tea remains rather in the background here. Today we have red curry with chicken and rice and it’s a great combination. The fruit, the acidity and spiciness of the chilli and creaminess of the coconut milk harmonise well together.
The next bottle is the Earl Grey, Lemongrass and Peach. Smells tart and tea-like and much more so than the first bottle. Also drier in the mouth, more tart and with more structure. There is something tannic that we really like. The lemongrass can be clearly smelled and tasted. Only at the end does the peach come out and reminds us of chilled peach ice tea. If you try very hard, you can also smell the bergamot from the Earl Grey. The fact that it’s so subtle is more of a plus for me, as I often have a hard time with Earl Grey. Basically, with 30 grams of sugar per litre, this bottle is the driest, lowest-sugar non-alcoholic fizz alternative we’ve had in the glass so far, and with the tannininess and peach fruit, this is a favourite on many days. Only the pairing with food didn’t work out due to lack of optimal planning. At least we now know that it doesn’t work at all with the Greek-inspired platter of bifteki, tzatziki and co. But that doesn’t matter.
Finally, we have the combination of Verbena, Jasmine and Riesling. As we have never consciously drunk verbena as a tea, it is unfortunately impossible to say whether you notice the verbena or not. For us, it smells like lemon balm and green tea. On the nose, you hardly notice the Riesling grapes, but you do notice the little bit of mint that is in the bottle as an aroma. Of the three, this Sparkling reminds us most of iced tea. We taste a little apple and also the grape juice. Although it has a little more sugar than the first bottle, it seems drier. The Juicy Tea is fresh and extremely uncomplicated and drinks away in large gulps.
But that’s the case with all three varieties. The glasses are quickly empty and so is the bottle. We like all three varieties and have successfully tried them out on guests several times. For the 8 euros a bottle costs, we have a lot of fun with it and always have at least one variety at hand.