Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
I rarely drink alcohol which invariably means I am always looking for interesting alternatives for the festive season, especially ones that don’t contain lots of sugar or caffeine. To find a non- alcoholic drink that’s low in calories yet also says it’s good for you sounds too good to be true, So I was pleased & excited to find out that I would be sent 5 mixed bottles of Agua De Madre Kefir Water to put to the taste test. Brewed in small batches in Hackney London E8, it’s a local product to me & a lot of my friends which also makes it a perfect unusual gift option, so I was keen to try it out.
Agua De Madre is a naturally sparkling Kefir water which contains Tibicos probiotic culture, which is known to improve gut health and help the body’s digestive processes. I had heard of Kefir before, but the products were milk based, either cow, goat or sheep, but Agua de Madre is unusual in that its water based yet still fermented in a similar way. As a by product of the fermentation process the water contains a tiny trace of alcohol, so it’s not suitable for children or pregnant women, but you do get a pick me up without the hangover. The fermentation also creates bubbles, meaning its naturally sparkling. I was surprised to find that even though it doesn’t pop when you take the lid off it does have a lovely fizz to it, just the right amount.
The kefir water comes in six flavours; Original, Pomegranate & Hibiscus, Passion Fruit & Raspberry, Lemon & Ginger, Elderflower & Apple and Camille Vidal’s Blood Orange Bitters and I was sent a 33cl bottles of each variety, apart from the Original flavour.
I really liked the branding of the Aqua De Madre water, I liked the interesting labels and the muted colours. It also has loads of information about the product on the rear of the label including a list of the plant based ingredients. The glass bottles were a welcome alternative to plastic, easily recyclable and just the right size for sharing a glass each. Each bottle contains billions of live cultures so it needs to be kept in fridge and served chilled, the colder the better for a nice clean taste. It also means it has a relatively short shelf life, the bottling date and the use by date is shown clearly on the bottle and it’s around 2 months between them, so best to buy them as you need them, they don’t store well. Don’t be alarmed if it has sediment in the bottle, its natural, resist the urge to shake!
For a low calorie drink, the passion fruit and raspberry variety for instance only has 9 calories per 100ml, the water doesn’t taste sweet or manufactured, but it’s not bitter either, it’s like a flavoured water with a kick which was unusual in a good way. I must admit however, I didn’t like the smell; it had an odd fragrance a bit like fermenting hops which was quite strong when you first popped the lid. I couldn’t really smell it when it was in a glass though, so it didn’t put me off.
I was pleased to see when checking out the ingredient list that the majority of the ingredients were organic such as the fruit syrups and the cane sugar, and anything non- organic such as the salt was well marked.
I thought the Agua De Madre Kefir flavoured waters were a fantastic and unusual option as a Christmas gift for friends looking for a healthy, non- alcoholic beverage. Obtaining high acclaim at the Great Taste Awards in both 2021 & 2022 it’s the perfect drink to both grace your dining table and fill your fridge this Christmas.
Rating: Recommended 4.5 out of 5
RRP: £21.00 for a mixed pack of six 33cl bottles
This product can be purchased from Agua De Madre here.