The drinks are 100% natural and go great with cocktails – what’s not to like?

The story of The Soda Works is one that is familiar to us but makes us smile nonetheless. A friendship between two good friends has resulted in three beautiful looking drinks that you may have recently seen in your favourite independents. With less than 5g of sugar and only 69 calories, they’re a bit different to their competitors but less sugar doesn’t mean less taste. Whether it be out of the can or in a cocktail, the first month of a brand new business has been well worth the risk and we sat down with Hami to find out the story. Over a can of pineapple and coconut soda, of course:

It’s not every day you hear someone starting their own soda company – how did the journey start?

My first ever hospitality job was working as a dishwasher in Restaurant Fraiche in Oxton. From there I went on to work in a number of bars and restaurants on the Wirral and in Liverpool as a bar tender and eventually a manager, absolutely loving each job along the way. What I had a real passion for was trying and testing all the products behind the bar, in the kitchen fridges and understanding how they’d been created and how they’d managed to arrive in my hand. Basically, I love eating food, drinking drinks and tasting new things. It became a real curiosity of mine and after many years looking at the products I enjoyed so much I decided that I wanted to be involved with the creation of a beverage product.

I knew I wanted to create my own drink but didn’t want to rush into it. I was pretty much just taking in everything I’d learned over the years and was waiting for an idea to come together and an opportunity to present itself. Over time I developed The Soda Works in my head. The initial idea didn’t have a name, I just knew that I wanted something completely different to the stereotypical canned drink you see out there on the shelves. My main thoughts behind it were that the drink needed to be all natural, no preservatives and much less sugar than your usual canned drinks. Being a lover of Pop Art I also had this idea that the can design needed to be bright, bold and simple in order to catch the attention of people. Just like Pop Art smashed the conventions of fine art, I wanted to break the mould in the canned drinks market and make the texture and flavours different to anything else out there.

About 12 months ago I got chatting to a new starter in work who has worked in the industry for a while. Pretty quickly we realised that we both had similar visions and both really wanted to launch a drinks product. Like myself, he is a lover of canned juice drinks but invariably found himself reading the backs of cans lamenting at either the ridiculously high amounts of sugar or the use of artificial sweeteners in 95% of the products out there. Together we came up with a more solid vision: 100% natural, low sugar, no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners. We had set the bar high and we weren’t willing to compromise. As we were to find out over the following months, this was a real challenge as it’s not cheap or easy to create a soft drink without high sugar, preservatives or artificial sweeteners. However after 8 months of combining natural ingredients, flavours, juices and small amounts of sugar (and many friends and family helping with tasting sessions along the way), we cracked it!

All of our operations are run from our Liverpool base and we use 2 independent North West companies (one to source our natural ingredients and one to do our canning) to make our drinks. We are and always will be a Liverpool company. Our city’s amazing and thriving independent hospitality scene has been one of the great drivers behind our belief that The Soda Works could really work and we’re just so happy that the customers are loving our flavours as much as we do. We soft launched one month ago and the response has been incredible! So many of our favourite independent bars and restaurants in the city and on the Wirral have been incredibly supportive and are now stocking us.

What are the flavours?

Our current flavours are: Pineapple & Coconut, Lemon & Lime, and Watermelon, all of which are simply made using a combination of natural juices, natural flavours, and just a small amount of added sugar, and of course, no preservatives or artificial sweeteners. We think that the simple and natural nature of our drinks is why The Soda Works has taken off so quickly. People are tired of having to diligently review the backs of cans to see the check for a myriad of things and with us they just don’t need to. We know it’s a bit of a pipe dream but one day we’d love it if we could replace all of the multi-national, sugar-loaded, preservative and artificial sweetener using cans you see in fridges with The Soda Works. You’ll allow us to dream. We’ve got grand ambitions to grow and we’ll be releasing new and exciting flavours early next year.

Where can we taste them?

Pattersons, Constellations, The Clove Hitch, The Black Lodge, Love Thy Neighbour, Evil Eye Burrito, Baltic Market, City Wine Bar, Fodder Canteen, Sugar & Dice, The Belvedere, Buyers Club, Bold Street Coffee, The Bagelry, Love & Rockets, Love Locks, Malmomat, The Kazimer, Purple Carrot and more!