Kitsch | An Introduction of Sorts
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An Introduction of Sorts

  • Kitsch All Natural Soda Handcrafted in Edinburgh

02 Jun An Introduction of Sorts

So, some introductions are probably in order.  My name’s Craig. I’m 22, own what can only be described as a plethora of moderate-to-heavy knitwear, and placed fourth in the 2004 Edinburgh Scout District long jump competition despite having little-to-no long jump experience. I also make soda, naturally.

The thing is, conventional soft drinks bore me. They always have really. So towards the end of the year before last I was spending rather a lot of time in the library, ahead of an awful week of three exams and two interviews for jobs that paid far too much and returned far too little in the way of happiness and fulfilment. Being knee deep in revision (perhaps closer to ankle deep if I’m honest, I was way behind) I was subsisting largely off good coffee and bad meal deals. On this particular day, let’s call it a Tuesday, my accompanying drink took the form of a dark brown liquid, clad in a label of deep crimson, the bottle hissing menacingly upon opening.

For some reason, on this otherwise crushingly innocuous Tuesday, it got to me. “It doesn’t taste of anything!” I might have screamed to myself. “There’s got to be a better way?” I almost certainly didn’t internally question myself. You see, if I was to try and paint this as my ‘road to Damascus’ moment then I’d be totally misleading you. I was just a young guy, sitting in the corner of a rather harshly lit library, who was utterly bored with it all. Everything. All of it.

So I did something that, at the time, was probably rather foolish, I left behind my hastily scribbled notes and rounded up all the ingredients I could find to make my own Cola, boiling them up when I returned home. And well, the resulting mixture was, in a word, disgusting (in two, really disgusting). I mean, it tasted worse than it looked, and it looked awful.  A muddy brown affair which took any chance it could to separate.  A deep visceral separation at that, the sort of separation in which there is a long and arduous custody battle and hours spent dividing up the CD collection even though they’ve got them all on iTunes anyway.  That bad.

Though I’m nothing if not determined, and after being examined in a state of preparedness that can only be described as woeful, my interest had been piqued.  Creating a passable cola recipe became my baby for the next few weeks, returning home every day with a rucksack full of citrus fruits ready to juice and arousing the suspicion of the Royal Mail with the sheer number of suspect packages full of powder arriving at my doorway.  As weeks turned to months, winter turned to spring, and some amazing seasonal fruits and vegetables started to crop up at the local farmers market.  And as they did my fridge started to fill with a wonderful array of soda recipes, occupying every spare vessel in my kitchen, with tea cups full of tamarind and mugs of macerating berries nestled among pots of pear based fizz and, after one particularly busy evening, an egg cup full of a particularly tart hibiscus concoction.

Eventually I started to make soda, that to my surprise, actually tasted pretty good, and this whole crazy thing started to feel possible.  A throwaway Bowie lyric gave me an idea for a name and as I saved away as many spare pennies as I could find to pay for bottling equipment, Kitsch very slowly became a reality.  That was just over a year ago now, so its been a long road in even getting this far, to our launch just last week.  This blog serves as an introduction of sorts, an idea of things to come, and over the coming weeks I’ll be able to tell the story of how Kitsch came to exist.  The story of how a young man with big dreams and even bigger glasses juiced a lot of fruit and eventually cobbled together a craft soda works right here in Edinburgh.

Till next time,


Founder of Kitsch and moderately capable scouting athlete.

Craig Johnston
  • Tamlyn Currin
    Posted at 15:05h, 09 August Reply

    Please write more – you’ve got a wonderful story to tell, a journey you’ve just set out on, and people want to hear about it. We want more info on your new flavours too – I tasted your fantastic sodas at the little market by the NCP car park in Edinburgh and have fallen in love. I just wish I’d bought a crate of them. I think I tasted a strawberry and balsamic, but there were other flavours I didn’t try – what were they? When do you start shipping to England 😉 ? Bravo for setting off on such a brave and exciting venture.

    • Craig
      Posted at 19:44h, 15 August Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Tamlyn! Hopefully be down in England sooner rather than later, can never promise these things though…

  • Chris Hunn
    Posted at 21:58h, 23 August Reply

    Well done!!!! Found your Cucumber and Fennel soda at the Royal Dick Bar and then, oh joy, at the Castle Terrace Farmers’ Market on Saturday! Have to confess that it goes superbly with botanical gin! I can’t go home now because it’s not available in London – or is it?? Please let me know when and where, as and when. Love the blogs!

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