My memory is I first discovered Zevia through a neighborhood Sprout’s promotion that allowed you to get a free six pack with another you purchased.
Always on the lookout for a good mixer with daddy’s whiskey, I grabbed two sixers of ginger ale and never looked back.
That’s because the ginger ale was promoted as having no sugar, no calories and all-natural ingredients–though what really won me over was, given all that, the ginger ale actually tasted like ginger ale.
Imagine my surprise when I learned not only has Zevia rolled out a new line of cocktail mixers–that, like their other beverages, are 100 percent natural with no sugar and calorie free–but the La-La-Land-based beverage company was offering to let me sample each variety: Ginger Beer Mixer, Tonic Water and Dry Lemon Lime Mixer.
This would take some planning. Each mixer has a different taste profile, so to properly judge them one would not want to, say, have something sour before something sweet. I decided to down the drinks (that are the ones pictured above) in this order: sweet, sweet-sour and bitter.
Fortunately, ginger ale or ginger beer with Irish whiskey is my go-to drink (with a drop of juice from a jar of maraschino cherries if I am feeling saucy). That took care of the sweet.
With a name like Dry Lemon Lime, it had to be sweet-sour, I imagined. So, I filled a glass with ice, two shots of Tito’s Vodka and that mixer.
My former go-to drink was a gin and tonic, and I’ve also dabbled in gin martinis (like my BVDs, the drier the better). They stopped being my go-to drinks after I passed out at the bar of a Mexican dive bar in Costa Mesa, woke up at the exit being propped up by my friend and the tiny lady bartender and having my last memory of the night being my then-young daughter asking me to recite the alphabet from the other side of the door as I drove the porcelain rig.
“A-B-C-D-E … BLARRRF!”
Like Zevia’s ginger ale, the ginger beer tastes like ginger beer, only fresher. The company claims it’s the only sugarless, calorie-free, all natural ginger beer out there.
The lemon lime and vodka was refreshing and not nearly as pucker-inducing as I suspected it would be. Think a more complex 7-Up. I’m anxious to try it in different recipes.
My gin and tonic nightcap did not have quite the taste I remember, but that probably had less to do with the mixer than the fact that I used Bombay Blue Sapphire Gin that a guest who had made martinis months before left behind. (Bombay Dry used to be my jam.)
It occurred to me in the middle of the night, after I awoke with a pounding headache, that I should have conducted my testing over three nights instead of downing three different boozes (six shots total) in rapid succession to avoid all the ice melting. Live and learn.
To mark the new arrivals to your favorite cocktail mixer shelves, Zevia sent along the following drink recipes. I know what I’m doing this weekend, although I will be spacing out the experiences.
Cheers and, oh yes: DO do this at home.
Zevia Grapefruit Shandy
8 oz blonde lager
2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
4 oz Zevia Ginger Beer Mixer
5 sage leaves, with extra for garnish
grapefruit slice for garnish
Muddle sage leaves with grapefruit juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
Strain mixture into a glass and mix in lager and Zevia Ginger Beer Mixer.
Garnish with a sage leaf and grapefruit slice, if desired. Enjoy!
Zevia Cherry Moscow Mule
1/4 cup cherries
3-4 mint leaves
4 oz vodka
juice from 1/2 a lime
4 oz Zevia Ginger Beer Mixer
extra lime slices, cherries, and mint leaves (optional for garnish)
Muddle cherries in the bottom of your glass.
Add in the mint leaves and vodka and muddle together again.
Add ice to a copper mug and pour in mixture.
Top with Zevia Ginger Beer mixer and enjoy!
Spicy Lemon Lime Mojito
1 jalapeno pepper (sliced)
10 mint leaves (fresh)
2 lemon wedges
2 ounces vodka
1 can Zevia Dry Lemon Lime Mixer
1 lime wedge
Place the jalapeno, mint leaves, and lemon wedges to the bottom of the glass. Muddle until flavors are released.
Add ice to the muddled mix.
Pour the white rum over the ice, and top with 1 can of Zevia Dry Lemon Lime.
Garnish with additional mint, lime wedge, and jalapeno wheels if desired.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.