I won a hamper of Cosy Tea recently. Something which really excited me as I’m not the kind of lucky person who gets to win things easily. It usually involves a lot of plotting and cheating..But anyway as I was unwrapping all my boxes of lovely teas, I came across the catalogue for Beyond the Bean, a wholesaler that stocks everything you need to make amazing hot and cold drinks. One product in particular grabbed my attention, something that I’ve seen popping up in coffee shops all over the country in the last few years, Sweetbird.
A quick Twitter exchange and a few days later, I arrived home to boxes full of pure sugary goodness. It’s probably the most generous delivery of review ‘samples’ I have ever received. Not only did I get four choices of syrups (Toffee Apple, Toasted Marshmallow, Chilli and Caramel Fudge) I got the biggest tub of Zuma Hot Chocolate that I have ever seen and four flavours of their smoothie mixes (Mango, Strawberry, Berry and Pina Colada) I was in sugar heaven.
I started off making myself hot chocolates a few times a day. I’ve gotta say, getting sample products of hot chocolate during the longest winter I have ever known, has been incredible. The hot chocolate itself is great, really rich, chocolatey and fairtrade, so no guilts for me! The addition of the syrups however, was magical. My favourite has to be the Toasted Marshmallow. How often do you find a marshmallow flavour vegan?! It’s amazing and the Caramel Fudge was definitely a close runner up. The Chilli flavour was interesting and a pleasant surprise, it gives your drink that extra warmth in the background, delicious. I haven’t tried the Toffee Apple in a hot drink yet, but it worked perfectly in these…
Yes, that’s right, Toffee Apple Pancakes. I put a little of the syrup into the batter and then slathered it all over my stack as well. So sweet, so good and definitely something I’ll be making again. And that’s the thing, these syrups don’t just have to be used in hot chocolate, you can put them on pancakes or over some vegan ice cream, use your imagination.
I also made Frappes with the chocolate powder. Chuck some ice and soya milk in a blender, add a scoop of powder and blitz it. Simple and delicious. I went on a long bike ride yesterday and it was a perfect drink to come home to afterwards.
I’d never heard of Sweetbird smoothies before I got my samples through and I was excited to try them. They’re concentrated smoothie mixes, so there is no need for them to be refrigerated until you’ve opened them up, you just blend them up with some ice and water (we have used soya milk too, for a bit of extra creaminess) and there you have it, it’s ready in minutes. No pesky chopping of fruit, just pour and blend. I found the Strawberry a little sweet, but that was something that could be easily adjusted the next time round. I loved the Berry and the Pina Colada was something different and interesting to try.
The great thing about Sweetbird products is that it contains no artificial colours, no high fructose corn syrup and the majority of products are free of artificial preservatives too. So you’re getting that sweet, sweet taste, without all those nasty chemicals added in. The best thing? Everything is vegan except for the sauces. So if you see Sweetbird syrups hanging around your local coffee shop, you know you can treat yourself. Even the Eggnog flavour is vegan. Awesome!
So, keep your eye out for Sweetbird products. Ask your local Coffee shop or Cafe to try the smoothies. Spread the word and amazing vegan drinks will soon be ours!