New soft drink allows drinkers to tailor their flavours

kolibri elderflower garnish

A new soft drink concept has been launched that allows people to adjust the taste through the use of drops.

Kolibri comes in three flavours of Strawberry & Basil, Cardamom & Chilli and Elderflower & Lime but with the added twist of flavour drops contained within the bottle cap for customising the sweetness and taste.

Made in Britain, it has been designed exclusively for the prestige bar and restaurant sector to appeal to health-conscious adults. Each bottle contains liquid and drops with no more than 40 calories if all used.

Co-founder and creator Kamila Sitwell said that Kolibri is set to shake up the soft drinks category, challenging the complacency of major suppliers who have responded to the sugar challenge with “short-sighted and inadequate” solutions such as artificial sweeteners, diluted recipes and smaller packaging.

“It’s a sea of sameness out there. Sugar, like any natural ingredient, is only a problem when it’s over-engineered in recipes. Kolibri Drinks are designed to give guests complete control over their drinks’ taste and the sugar content.

“Modern customers want a healthy, great-tasting and indulgent drink – all at the same time. They also want an experience, ritual and theatre in this area too.

“With the decline in alcohol consumption accelerating, influencer brands must offer and present alcohol-free drinks which will delight their guests which are on a par with their alcoholic creations.”

Kolibri – which means hummingbird in many Nordic and eastern European languages – is expected to be priced on bar menus at around £6 to £7 which would provide a premium soft drink with a good operating margin.

Leading food and drink consultant and writer Douglas Blyde has been appointed by the brand to advise on food pairings for the Kolibri range. “I like the liberation of being able to accurately adjust the level of sweetness in my Kolibri according to mood or even the richness of an accompanying dish,” he said.

“This ‘dosage’ is comparable, believe it or not, to champagne where a base wine is finished with a ‘liqueur d’expédition’ which determines whether the formerly bone-dry sparkling wine becomes Brut, Extra Sec, Extra Dry, Demi-Sec or Doux.”

Kamila, who has developed the strategic direction for major soft drinks companies in the past, came up with the idea while dining out with friends. “We all ordered homemade lemonade. It should have been an easy order for the barman, except it wasn’t!

“We all expected the drink to match our own taste preference. The barman had to re-create the order one drink at a time, mixed to each individual taste.

“All the insights, industry knowledge and trends I studied for years suddenly made so much sense – the future of soft drinks must be bespoke.”

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