I recently met a fellow food blogger called Colin Mordi, who runs The Food Sauce, at the Las Iguanas launch and he put me onto the people at Nix and Kix. They have created a range of soft drinks for adults that include a small trace of Cayenne. This little hint of chilli heat adds a nice kick to the drinks and the health benefits of cayenne. According to research cayenne chilli helps to kickstart the metabolism and promotes fat burning.
The story started 12 years ago following a chance encounter on a flight. Founders Julia and Kerstin discussed the lack of adult friendly soft drinks that were low in sugar but still delivered a hit of flavour. The idea to include cayenne was to give the drinks that added boost whilst still keeping the sugar content to a minimum. They are unique in creating soft drinks containing this ingredient and launched in September 2015.
They have a range of three flavours at present which can be enjoyed on their own or as the basis for an alcoholic drink. Given that they were developed as a soft drink for adults I have decided to taste them sans alcohol which is not a usual decision for me.
First up I tried the Peach and Vanilla as I thought this would be the flavour I would least enjoy. The drink is refreshing and surprisingly mellow in taste. I was a little concerned that the vanilla would not come across well in a soft drink but it was balanced well with the peach. The cayenne kick was a gentle one that left a slight tingle on the lips which was nice. On their website they suggest mixing with some sparkling wine to make a bellini which I think would be a great combo (maybe with a measure of something a little stronger as well).
Next up was the Mango and Ginger which sounded like my kind of drink. I had a sniff when I opened the bottle and there was pleasing aroma of mango with a slight background of ginger. The taste was again more subtle than I was expecting with a smooth mango taste and a little ginger heat at the back of the throat. I found it a little difficult to discern between the heat of the ginger and the cayenne but found that the chilli heat came on a little later and tended to remain nearer the front of the mouth around the lips.
Last but certainly not least was the cucumber and mint. I saved this one till last as it sounded the most interesting and experimental of the flavours. This was the most difficult to not add a dash of alcohol to as the fresh cucumber with zingy mint and lingering heat would have gone superbly with a dash of white rum or gin. I really enjoyed this flavour as it was incredibly different from any other soft drink I’d had before and it was certainly the most refreshing of the three. As a soft drink it totally hits the spot and as mentioned it would definitely make a perfect basis for a cocktail.
I was really impressed with the Nix & Kix range and the slight hint of chilli heat really went well with the drinks. What I liked most of all was how clean and refreshing they all tasted without a hint of sugary sweetness that can leave an unpleasant gacky taste in the mouth. As soft drinks they work really well, although I would be quite interested to see what they would be like with a bit of fizz, and with the added boost of booze you could definitely make some really tasty cocktails and by #cayennehappy (as per their chosen hashtag)
Head over to their website for more information about Nix and Kix, links to their site and social media are below.