I had the recent honour of trying out GIMBER – a new product on the market made partly to challenge that old-dinosaur culture of heavy alcohol-drinking by offering this alcohol-free, organic drink concentrate instead. It promises a unique taste experience and a spicy kick, but can it possibly deliver a taste-punch over its weighty alcoholic counterparts? Read on for my up-close and personal review to find out…
Gimber’s Company Background & Story
Gimber’s founder, Dimitri, is an artist and animation producer from Belgium. At one point, attending the almost mandatory merry-go-round of social events often accompanied by bad wine and sugar overdoses from the usual soft drinks, ended up causing him severe health problems. That’s when Dimitri started looking for a mouthwatering drink that wouldn’t cause dizziness. Since he couldn’t find one, he decided to create one.
He experimented with many different combinations of ingredients until, in November 2017, it all finally came together in one, seriously satisfying beverage. Dimitri recalls, “I felt like Willy Wonka, only without all the crazy kids.” Every weekend, Dimitri made himself a bottle of his new drink, and he was soon making bottles for his friends too. He then realised that he wasn’t the only one to be fed up with the “you need alcohol to be cool” culture. One day in January 2018, after a professional setback, he decided to give his home-made drink a chance. With his 11-year old son, together they produced 25 bottles. They gave the drink a name: GIMBER.
His wife fell in love with the drink and started serving it to her customers at her deco store with Gimber soon becoming a local success. People would even drive 30 plus miles to buy a bottle. In a world dominated by online-shopping, this was proof that interest in Gimber was growing, and it’s interesting to note that Belgian long-haul pilots have taken to drinking Gimber to remain sharp (and sober). Since then, positive-minded people started joining the project and built today’s Gimber team.
The bottles arrive in a very stylish, albeit gently-packed and protected box. There are four different sizes available: a 20ml shot dose; 200ml, 500ml and 700ml. Already impressed by the package I opened the box to find myself even more impressed by the super chic bottles inside. There were also well-designed and informative cards in the box describing everything you needed to know about Gimber before even tasting it. Exciting!
This drink is mainly based around Peruvian organic ginger (from the Junin region). Ginger contains gingerol, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It’s good for digestion, lowers cholesterol levels and much more. Gimber also contains lemon, water, herbs and cane sugar, all of which are organic. No added preservatives or other taste enhancers are used. Sounds like an appetising blend so far.
Nutrition (per 100ml)
- Energy 599kJ
- Calories 141 kcal
- Fats <0.20g
- Carbohydrates 34.5g (sugars 33g)
- Protein 0.42g
- Salt <0.025g
The ingredients list looks good, though it initially reads like it might be a bit sweet for my taste – but as long as it’s not white refined sugar, I’m sure I’ll be in for a treat. Time to finally taste…
The taste is a combination of strong ginger, fresh lemon and sweetness from the sugar. Wow! The flavour is so incredibly rich, your taste buds trick you into thinking it’s alcohol – until you realise it’s not – amazing!
The concentrate itself is rather sweet I must say, however – you’re not supposed to ‘shot’ it down so, I tried to mix my Gimber with natural fizzy (carbonated) water and the result was great. Sweet but not too sweet, yet very rich in flavour – I like it! You can definitely make yourself an alcohol-free drink out of this while also providing your body with vitamin C, among other nutrients.
Even though I usually try not to drink sweetened beverages I believe this could be my exception. Firstly because of the fact that it’s organic cane sugar and not white refined sugar but also because of the very healthy organic products in it. Also, I’m all for not drinking alcohol which, I believe, is a poison that can harm your body and that’s generally bad for your health. Gimber is the new gin and tonic – but with health benefits included, so that’s a win-win if you ask me.
Aside from being a fantastic substitute for alcohol you can use Gimber in cooking, something that makes me enjoy it even more. I’m always on the look out for products that are good for multiple uses – Gimber belongs in that category. You can use the concentrate either to make a healthier glaze, to add flavour to a stew or to spice up a dressing or a sauce. I’m sure you could use it in desserts as well. Great job Gimber!