This drink was introduced to me by my daughter on her 18th birthday. Which just goes to show you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks and that an 18-year-old is likely to be more in tune with new alcohol trends than I am.
I'm a vodka drinker simply because wine usually reacts with my digestive system in a manner which I find most annoying and socially restrictive. So I drink a clean spirit and have resigned myself to the realisation that alcohol might contain additives I would avoid in my food, if only I knew they were in there.
I've never looked at alcohol before in this column because there are no ingredients labels required on the bottle. This is odd because it is a consumable just as soft drinks are and consumers should be able to find out what is in the food and drink they are ingesting.
Ready To Drinks or RTDs have had a bad rap over the years as serving highly sweet, brightly coloured alcoholic drinks to under-age drinkers, who down them with the enthusiasm equal to that of a soft drink.
This RTD, my daughter tells me, is popular with her friends because it is less sweet, is not artificially coloured or flavoured and its 4.8 per cent alcohol content is less than wine at between 9 and 14 per cent.
Long White. $24 for 10 x 320ml bottles.
Ingredients: (in order of greatest quantity first)
Apple juice from concentrate (46 per cent)
On its website it says these apples are from the Hawkes Bay so nice to keep it local. Also reassuring that nearly half this drink is juice.
Lemon juice (1 per cent)
This is from Kerikeri and gives a tiny but sharp sour hit.
Lime juice (1 per cent)
Not sure where these are from, but again a hit of sour.
Vodka (12 per cent)
So this means that in a 320ml bottle there is 38.2ml of vodka, or 1.2 standard drinks, which is a generous shot of vodka.
This is triple-distilled which means a lot of the impurities will have been removed. Some people believe that the more distilled a vodka is the better your hangover is, but I couldn't find any scientific evidence to back this up.
Good to see natural flavours in here instead of artificial.
My first comment about this drink is to commend the producer for bothering to put an ingredients panel on its product even though it didn't have to. This action recognises that there is a whole generation out there - namely my daughter and her friends who read labels - who care about what they are putting in their bodies and will buy products if they have the right information. So, well done. There is no nutritional panel on here which I would recommend because a calorie count would be useful. I Googled it and found that My Fitness Pal had it at 159 calories which is not too bad.
My second comment would be that this is a very pleasant drink, low on the alcohol and a New Zealand product to boot. It is also nice to see an RTD which doesn't have added sugar, artificial flavours and colours.
You wouldn't want to drink more than two of these per day to keep within the government guidelines of two standard drinks a day for women and no more than 10 standard drinks a week. For men, that's three standard drinks a day and no more than 15 standard drinks a week.
• No added sugar, artificial colours or flavours.
• Made from New Zealand ingredients.
• Has an easily read ingredients list, unlike most alcohol products.