Review: Up Mountain Goes Carbonated with Swizzle
Covers Products: Original
Up Mountain is a Vermont-based company that produces switchel drinks. If you aren’t familiar with switchel, it’s a fermented beverage made with apple cider and maple syrup. In the case of Up Mountain, they’ve been producing their products in a ready to drink, non-carbonated form for a few years.
Now, for the summer of 2017, Up Mountain has taken their offerings to a whole new level by changing one key variable: carbonation. “Swizzle” is a carbonated version of their original non-carbonated switchel. It has all of the same key flavor attributes: tang from the apple cider vinegar, sweetness from the maple syrup, and a decent amount of spice from the added ginger.
But for our palates, adding carbonation makes a massive difference. It’s crisp and refreshing, with the bubbles helping to make the product feel lighter on your tongue without sacrificing any of the flavor.
Plus, it takes a product that was positioned alongside juice cocktails and teas and pushes it into the same space as products like kombucha and sparkling kefir. From our perspective, this gives the product a whole lot more potential, especially as sparkling probiotic beverages are taking off much more quickly than those that are non-carbonated.
We’re also fans of how they’ve evolved the branding. The label design, which has also been applied to their non-carbonated line (alongside a switch to a more traditional 16 oz. bottle), is bright and polished looking. This is a big step forward from what we’ve seen out of Up Mountain in the past, which felt like something more appropriate for a farmer’s market. This feels much closer to being ready for prime time, although we wonder if a bottle that’s closer to that used by most kombucha brands would be a better fit.
Regardless, trying this product leaves us with the following conclusion: Up Mountain should make additional flavors of Swizzle. We feel as though continuing to develop a full sparkling line will greatly expand the base for Up Mountain.
Overall, a really enjoyable product that will probably be a game changer for Up Mountain.