I’m often asked about the circumstances that led to Slange Var and the answer is: vanity and an expanded waist line.
This is the candid story. I was once blessed with a perfect size 8 figure and could eat whatever I liked without gaining weight. Friends would sit in awe as I munched my way through second helpings while they ‘only had to look at a cream cake to pile on weight’. Admittedly, I was fit and did a lot of exercise, but Little Miss Smug took pride in her Super Human metabolism and thought it was there to stay.
Then something changed. I hit that certain age when hormones change and the metabolism slows down. I also married Charles, a Foodie extraordinaire, who would prepare the most wonderful meals in the evening, accompanied by delicious wine. Wine o’clock became a habit and the intake increased. Two glasses of wine became three and then four……Like a thief in the night, my figure was stolen and I piled on weight – about 10 pounds. It was grim: attempts to zip up my jeans became a wrestling match and my once toned arms were transformed into the dreaded bingo wings. I tried the usual tricks: lying on my bed hoping that the tummy flab would disappear and deluding myself that ‘perhaps the jeans had shrunk in the wash’. Sleeveless tops were binned.
Drastic action was needed. I cut out wine, replaced it with fizzy water and rejoined the gym. Yes – the weight came off, but the arrival of six o’clock felt empty as I missed the ceremony of uncorking a bottle and savouring the lingering zestiness of a dry white wine. Take a walk down memory lane when pubs and restaurants were once open. Can you remember the cheerless expression of the designated driver whose choice of drink was limited to soda and lime or a coke, while their friends waxed lyrical over the wonderful aroma of their Zinfandels and Sauvignon Blancs? That’s how I felt. There simply wasn’t a decent choice of non-alcoholic drink that could be savoured slowly and complimented food.
So I experimented with the task of creating a non-sugary, low calorie drink that could be sipped slowly. Starting with lime as one of my favourite flavours, I added a small amount of honey for smoothness, ginger for warmth, cider vinegar for bite and water from Lock Katrine for freshness. Six o’clock without wine was no longer a hardship. I could happily sip my glass of Sadie’s tipple over the course of an evening, knowing that I could wake up with a clear head.
Why’s it called ‘Slange Var’ you may ask? The term is the phonetic spelling of the Gaelic toast for ‘Cheers, to your health’. I think most people associate the toast with alcohol, but we put the same amount of effort into creating Slange Var as some of the leading distillers. So Sadie’s tipple was renamed Slange Var and my kitchen experiment became a business.
In my next post, I’ll explain the stages of getting our business up and running. In the meantime, if you’d like to try a sample, we’d love to hear from you.