As with all exciting things in the world of food and drink, Kitsch didn’t start in a laboratory, it started in a kitchen, my student kitchen to be exact. Fed up of bland, boring and artificial soft drinks from massive soulless corporations, I decided to ignore pending examinations and focus on making soft drinks better. Better for you, better ingredients and most importantly, better tasting. Failing Econometrics, and gaining a thirst to change the world of soft drinks, I tested early recipes at the supper club that ran from my dining table, with guests of various heights on chairs of various heights pressed elbow to elbow cupping concoctions crafted from fresh produce at that weeks farmers market. A lot of experimentation, a few semi-minor carbonation explosions and a lost flat deposit later, we had our very first recipe, Rhubarb & Thai Basil.
Unlike craft brewing, there was no manual to go to, no blueprints, no roadmap. Figuring out how to get from kitchen into a Kitsch bottle became my priority. What I lacked in production knowledge I also lacked in money. Sleeping on the floors of friends and working long hours to finance our initial bottling equipment, returning in the evening to packages of herbs and spices from an increasingly suspicious postman and spending my remaining waking hours in front of a hob, mixing, mashing, macerating. After over 100 iterations, we had our second recipe, Cucumber & Fennel.
Acquiring our initial bottling equipment after months of research, initial batches were bottled 100 at a time, with the caps pressed on by hand and best before dates scribed gently on the back in permanent marker. Delivered by a white van with the tendency to break down in only the busiest rush hour traffic we slowly began to reclaim soft drink shelves from soulless corporations in our local bars, cafes and coffee shops.
That process has been refined pretty significantly since those early days, and learnt I’ve a whole of a lot more about making proper, soulful soda in that time. From bottling to order through the night in our early days, we’ve expanded in a pretty big way. But one thing always remains constant, Kitsch comes from a kitchen.
As our kitchen expanded, so has our team, and I has become we. Now we’re on a mission to reclaim soft drink shelves from massive soulless corporations and help our drinkers live a life free from the bland, the boring and the artificial. We do that by using the best natural ingredients we can get our hands to make soda with a little craft, some care and attention and a whole lot of soul.
To learn a little more about how we make our soda, you’ll want to click on our soda at the top.