Posts tagged drink
These glass tumblers are made by a company called Ozeri. You may have seen Ozeri feature on lots of UK blogs over the last few weeks as, while they are already established in th USA, they are currently expanding into the UK. They are actually a supplier to the hotel industry, but also design contemporary products for the home which they say have the same durability as their hotel products.
I love functional and clean design and think these glasses look great. The double wall makes them quite unusual to look at – especially with liquid in. The genius is that thanks to the double wall made of durable heat-resistant mouth-blown borosilicate glass, you can put hot or cold drinks in these glasses and still hold the tumbler with your hand – no burnt fingers, shattered glass or even condensation when drinking very cold drinks. Here – tea (which always looks strange through a glass) on the left, cold pink grapefruit barley cordial on the right; totally clear glasses.
The glass itself is surprisingly thin, much thinner than I was expecting from heat-resistant glasses, but the double layer does mean you are drinking from quite a thick edge, a bit like a mug. They still seem quite dainty though but I have knocked mine against other things already (yes, I am that clumsy) and thankfully no chips or cracks. I love the contour created in the glass on the outside layer – it makes the glass easy to hold and makes it look great when there’s something colourful inside.
I mentioned these were functional; you can put them in the dishwasher, microwave and freezer so you can use them for all sorts – I’m thinking individual ice cream desserts perhaps, although I haven’t tried that yet.
They are available in various sizes – these ones hold 12oz which is a can of coke; although bear in mind that they are not as big as they might seem as the inside is smaller than the outside.
I am impressed with these unusual looking glasses, they look great on my table and are nice to drink from.
Ozeri products are available at Amazon.
I’ve mentioned drinking water a lot on here lately, but the people at Vita Coco think they’ve got something better to keep you hydrated – coconut water.
Vita Coco’s all-natural, super-hydrating, fat-free, cholesterol-free, nutrient-packed, potassium-stacked, mega-electrolyte coconut water!
I love coconut and coconut flavoured things but until now I’d never tried coconut water. I think I was expecting it to be a bit like coconut milk, which is of course not, or at least a bit thicker than water, which it isn’t either. It is of course that cloudy liquid that spills all over the kitchen when you take to one with a hammer (probably why I’ve never tried it!). Vita coco claim that the drink is incredibly hydrating and very good for you; with no colourings or preservatives, and being full of naturally occurring electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium this is a very popular drink for athletes.
The great thing here is that there is just one ingredient. We’ve all seen how packaging can lie to us over recent weeks, but here we have 100% coconut water in a carton. There are also some flavours such as coconut water with pineapple, orange, acai and pomegranate, peach and mango and passion fruit, and these are also limited in their ingredients list. The drink comes directly from the inside of young green coconuts; they say it’s just like sticking a straw in a coconut – so naturally I found myself a straw and sat back to relax and imagine I was sat on a white sandy beach looking out over the clear blue sea!
Loads of celebrities have been seen drinking this “cool” drinks… Sienna Miller, Halle Berry, Madaonna, Demi Moore, Rihanna. I’m obviously not quite as cool because I’m afraid to say I prefer normal boring water. This didn’t make me screw my face up or anything, but it wasn’t something that I could see myself sit and relax and sip for pleasure.
The flavoured ones faired better for me. The peach and mango one was the best of the ones I had here to try. I’ve seen lots of people use Vita Coco in smoothies and shakes instead of water, but that isn’t something I’ve tried (I’d drunk them all before spotting that idea!) and that is a great idea – mixing this with whizzed up fruit and other bits and bobs does appeal, I think that would work really well.
The fact that it’s got the same kind of properties as popular sports drinks but without any of the chemicals, sugars, flavourings and other such things means I am likely to buy this again. But not for every day drinking.
During February I was challenged by SIGG to ditch the plastic – a challenge for which they sent me one of their metal bottles with an active top.
When I first agreed to the challenge, before I wrote my post introducing it to you, I thought it would be no problem at all – easy even. I hardly ever buy bottles of water, I am more than happy to drink water from the tap; at home I have a water filter on my tap in the kitchen and a water filter in my fridge, at work we have a mains fed water cooler, and I use a sports bottle when exercising. Times I do purchase or drink from single use bottles of water include when on long car journeys, when away from home, and when at work events.
I realised when writing my introductory post that ditching single use plastic bottles of water should be pretty easy, it’s other things that are a problem for me; Coca Cola, Fanta, Lilt, Lucozade, Innocent Smoothies, Copella Apple Juice, that sort of thing. These are drinks I will happily have daily – think Boots Meal Deal, or simply popping to the Spar because I fancy something cold and full of flavour to drink during the afternoon. When I think about it all those bottles cost me a fortune; at least a pound at a time.
I also drink a lot of cordials. I enjoy water on its own but it’s even better with some flavour, and is a great way to supress my incredibly sweet tooth (did you see that BBC Bang Goes the Theory on Sugar the other day – eek!!). And then of course when I did share my challenge with you, a friend quite rightly commented, simply, “don’t forget milk”. And yes, milk comes in plastic bottles too doesn’t it? And I drink a lot of milk – in tea, on its own, on cereal.
So, as you know, I chose to limit the challenge to individual sized bottles – 500ml/600ml/.75l or so – the sort of thing that I could replace like for like with my SIGG reusable bottle. I thought that was me being fair to myself. I thought that was enough.
Did I Manage It?
Yes I did! I can honestly say that during February I purchased a grand total of zero individual bottles of water, Coke, juice, and anything else that counts. I stuck rigidly to using my SIGG bottle or from a glass/mug/paper cup. I got used to carrying the large SIGG bottle with its Active Top around with me everywhere, and made good use of it everywhere I went. I refilled it from the tap or water filter, and even in Lush in Lincoln where you can refill a reusable bottle for free (see my tapwater.org post).
Actually it’s been totally fine. There was more than one occasion when at about 3pm I opened my bag, removed my purse, took out a couple of quid and was about to leave for the corner shop to get come Coke when I spotted the SIGG bottle on my desk and remembered I wasn’t supposed to be doing that. I probably saved a good £20 over the month on that sort of thing, although I’m not sure what I did with it because I don’t seem to have any cash left over.
It wasn’t easy all of the time. If you go into a café (or the canteen at work) and want a cold drink rather than a cup of tea or coffee, everything comes in a plastic bottle. Or a plastic cup. Think about it – Starbucks, Costa, Café Nero etc have iced drinks in plastic cups or bottles of juice, squash, water, Coke etc. In bars and restaurants it’s fine as Coke comes in a glass… but in coffee shops and even in the work canteen it’s a hot drink in a paper cup or nothing. Some places provide tap water with no problem, but it’s never obvious. I also noticed that nowhere seems to sell cans any more. In fact I noticed in Tesco that Coke now tell 330ml Coke in plastic bottles rather than cans. I found that very surprising. I wonder why? I guess it’s because it is resealable with the bottle cap, making it more convenient.
As a result of this challenge I’ve drunk loads more water than usual, which is saying something as drinking enough has never been a problem of mine! I noticed a couple of things that may or may not be completely related such as my skin improving and my energy levels increasing… I say may or may not as I also upped my exercise levels in February and also ate far more fresh fruit and vegetables too, so those will have had an effect too.
Since the end of February I’ve not done badly either. That SIGG bottle is very well used and my water intake is still much higher than it has been in the past. I admit I have succumbed to plastic bottles on a couple, maybe three or four occasions. All for convenience. One was when I was away for work for a couple of nights and ended up purchasing a milkshake in a plastic bottle (a Bounty one, new to me and really rather nice!) because I really wanted something that wasn’t water and I wasn’t up for sitting in a very noisy busy bar on my own. The second was earlier today – I had a Boots Meal Deal after a couple of months off; I stood in the shop looking at the options and the prices and realised it was cheaper for me to buy my chosen wrap and bag of crisps with a drink rather than without. So I had an Innocent Smoothie, and I enjoyed it after not having them for so long. But a couple of bottles in nearly two months isn’t bad is it? As long as I don’t get back into the habit again.
Now the Challenge is Done
SIGG have converted me; I have every intention of continuing to avoid buying individual plastic bottles wherever possible. That bottle they sent is pretty much permanently with me when I’m somewhere where no glass will be available. It feels good to have got into a positive habit – good for me, good for my purse, good for the environment.
Ditching the plastic when it is individual bottles is fine. I might have been a bit tempted by nice looking drinks but it was fairly easy to stick to using my SIGG bottle and not give in. But if I was to ditch the plastic properly and get rid of 2l bottles of Coke and lemonade, bottles of cordial, bottles of milk, large bottles of nice apple juice, and anything and everything else, I would seriously struggle. And forget drinks, what about fabric conditioner, toilet bleach, tomato ketchup, slide oil for my trombone, washing up liquid, and all those other necessary things that come in plastic bottles or not at all? Things I need come in plastic bottles. Things that are not quite so easy to avoid as bottled water.
And of course I am not completely naïve; I realise that deciding to ditch the plastic myself makes hardly any difference to the Earth. It would take a great movement to reduce the demand for plastic bottles, they are a part of everyday life for many. There are also other things like plastic bottles that cause as much damage to our world, and I am probably equally as guilty of using those.
Those things aside, I feel good thanks to the SIGG Ditch the Plastic challenge, and I am very pleased that I was invited to take part. Thanks SIGG, you’ve made me realise once again that tap water is great (filtered and chilled is better!), and that I don’t need to spend money on single use plastic bottles that just end up in the bin.
Welch’s have launched three new Grape juice drinks this year, and they have sent me a couple of them to try out – White Grape and Raspberry and Rose Grape Light.
These long life juices start as 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes which have a bright colour and natural antioxidants, and have no added sugar, colour or flavouring. They are designed to drink straight from the carton (once chilled) or as the base for a cocktail or punch.
We really enjoyed the White Grape and Raspberry juice. It had a good flavour and a lovely sweetness. It was great to drink with a meal – I think it was lasagne (home made using proper beef!) we ate with it and we both commented it was a good meal-time accompaniment. I’m a big fan of raspberry in drinks, and it works very well with the grape.
The Rose Grape Light was a little disappointing. It might contain half the sugar and carbohydrates of some other Welch’s drinks, but it didn’t really taste of much to us either – it was too subtle for our liking.
I think I’ll give an honourable mention to the carton design here – mine arrived a bit squished courtesy of the postman but I think you can see that the plastic spout on the top is at a slight angle. It’s really simple to use, there were no dribbles and it poured at an easy angle. I know it has plastic on it so it’s not quite as environmentally friendly, but it’s so much easier than cartons where you have to rip off the corner to use them.
I would definitely buy the White Grape and Raspberry one again, but I’ll leave the Rose at the shops.
I have been challenged by SIGG to ditch the plastic this February – more specifically, to stop buying single use plastic bottles for one month.
The fact is that in the UK we just don’t need to buy bottled water. We have clean running water in our homes, in our offices, in our schools, in our high streets. Bottled water is expensive and creates a lot of waste – tap water plus a reusable bottle is a much cheaper and environmentally friendly way to drink.
To help they have sent me one of their reusable bottles to use. It’s a 750ml “Active Top Performance Bottle” that has a special drinking system – ok, it’s a straw with a valve on the top. The stainless steel construction keeps drinks cool and fresh, and this particular bottle is suitable for still or carbonated drinks. I’ll review the bottle properly at the end of the month, but so far so good.
I’ve been using my SIGG bottle when I’m exercising, in the car, in the office and when I’m out and about. I fill it up with water from the tap or our Britta water filter when at home, or from the water cooler at work (which is plumbed into the water supply, it doesn’t use bottled water). I have no intention of buying any bottles of water this month, and so far so good.
To be fair I already try to use glasses or reusable bottles for my water consumption where possible; we don’t buy bottled water for drinking at home and I don’t need to buy it when at work. But we do often buy it when travelling in the car or when we’re out for the day – I must be more organised and make sure I fill up a reusable bottle or two before we go.
I do spend each week on other single use bottled drinks though – Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, Lilt, and so on. I will more than happily buy these when I’m out and about or at work and don’t even think about them being the same plastic as bottled water comes in. I should stop buying all 500ml bottles and use either my SIGG bottle or my glass for my soft drinks.
And this of course opens other questions. The challenge is about single use bottles. As opposed to reusable ones. Does ditching the plastic also include cordials? Does it include large 2l bottles of fizzy drinks? I’m not sure how far to take this yet. I wouldn’t want to give up flavoured drinks completely, that would make February very boring. I think it’s ok to buy large bottles, even if they are plastic – I think SIGG are encouraging me to use my bottle instead of buying water, which is readily available out of a tap. That’s how I’m going to understand it anyway. Agreed?
Do you buy bottled water regularly? What about 500ml bottles of Coke? Would you consider ditching the plastic to save money and the environment?
I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist – anyone around my age can most probably remember some or all of that advert for Um Bongo, a juice drink aimed at kids waaaaaaaaaay back.
And now it’s back!
Actually there are two versions now – the original one, which is a combination of Apple, Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, Passion Fruit and Mandarin juices (along with water, sugar and other ingredients), and an orange one.
Um Bongo is of course a tropical fruit juice drink with added vitamin C. It is just as I remember it – a proper throwback to my childhood. It is thin – watery rather than pulpy – and very sweet.
The same applies to the orange one I tried. Not orange juice, but an orange juice drink. It’s like having squash ready made from a carton.
I was so excited when I received these samples of Um Bongo, I couldn’t wait to give them a try, they simply couldn’t chill fast enough. And I wasn’t disappointed with the drinks at all – I enjoyed them, they made me smile, they brought back memories. But I do wonder whether these will be as popular now. I hope so.