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My boyfriend loves anything and everything minty so when I discovered that Schweppes do a mint cordial, I decided to hunt it down. After 3 months of searching, I finally came across it in a branch of Morrisons where it cost £1.86 for a 1 litre bottle.
The drink looks much like lemonade, being clear. I was glad that Schweppes resisted the impulse to colour the drink green to make it look more "minty". I associate cordials with being a bit thicker that water for example, or at least they are if I make them myself. The Schweppes cordial is thin though, which does make it easy to mix if you want to. It is easy to pour out more than you need, and given the drinks strength, that isn't something you want to do. So be light handed!
Being a cordial, it needs to be diluted before use. The recommended dilution is one part cordial to 4 parts water, although you can of course alter that to suit yourself. I followed the instructions for the first drink I made up, took a sip, and swallowed ...reluctantly. I like mint but nowhere near as much as my boyfriend. He thought the drink was great, but it reminded me of mouthwash or upset stomach medicine which also has a minty taste. Needless to say I didn't finish my glass. I decided to try the drink less diluted and that suited me much better. I was able to appreciate the freshness of the taste and the coolness that it leaves in your mouth. At that strength though, I found I didn't really want to eat at the same time because the peppermint overwhelms all other flavours. As it is, I can taste the mint for sometime afterwards, as if I had been chewing gum. That's nice if you love mint, but not so much if you have only a mild liking for the flavour.
I decided to use the drink with lemonade because I usually like the combination of mint and lemon. It worked well to make a refreshing drink. I can imagine it would be very cooling if served iced in hot weather. The lemonades bubbles make the drink seem a bit more special too, as the cordial itself is still. For me though, the best way of using this is as a flavouring to hot chocolate. It has a much more natural taste than ready flavoured hot chocolate powder, and it has the advantage that you can make each mug as strong or weakly minty as you wish. My brother calls this candy cane hot chocolate, because I give it to him with a candycane to use as a stirrer - they very slowly melt and add even more flavour to the drink as they do so. If I am going to use the cordial that way, I try to make the initial drink a bit weaker so the overall taste isn't too overwhelming! My boyfriend will also add some of this cordial to his coffee but it isn't my favourite combination of flavours.
The drink contains 7% of an adults RDA of sugars when diluted, per 250ml serving so it compares quite well to other soft drinks. If you add it to fizzy drinks or hot chocolate as I do, the percentage of sugars would obviously rocket. It also contains sweeteners such as aspartame which some people will also wish to avoid. For that reason, it is only a drink I would like to have now and then. It has come into it's own now it's winter, and I have discovered how great it tastes in hot chocolate. I think we will get through most of the bottle because of that - it is recommended that you use it up within 3-4 weeks of opening. Overall I would recommend it if you really like mint and it certainly does stand out among other cordial and squashes as offering something a bit different taste-wise. I didn't like it in water, so my recommendation is to have it with something more exciting!
Find it in the soft drinks aisle, but you may have to look in the larger supermarkets in my experience.
[This review is also on Ciao under my user name.]