There’s nothing more relentless than January. Especially under the self-inflicted sentence of sobriety so many of us are currently serving. Having bumped the month along on the proverbial wagon, Drink Hackney was very happy to discover Hackney Wick’s soft-drinks producer Dalston Cola, a rather lovely silver lining to dry January’s brooding clouds.
From its casual creation as a rum mixer at nightclub Passing Clouds, Dalston Cola has grown into a flourishing company, boasting two more distinctive softies: Raw Fiyah ginger beer and Real Lemonade.
Each drink is an infusion of spices and herbs, blended with fresh citrus and carbonated, filtered water. Nigerian cola nuts are sourced from Ridley Road market, spices from Mile End’s World of Zing and fresh ginger and citrus from New Spitalfields Market. Everything is made, bottled and labelled by hand.
Over the last three years, Duncan O’Brien, Dalston Cola’s Director, along with Production Manager Graham Walker, have developed the drinks and built up the brand, which, now bursting out of its tiny Hackney Wick home, is set to expand into nearby premises and scale up production and distribution.
We’re going to have to wait until February to try Dalston Cola, as recommended, with mescal or Vestal Vodka, but luckily it’s delicious on its own over ice. And we can already attest to the sexy bedfellow Raw Fiyah makes with neighbour Butler’s Gin.