A green melon that grows on a vine, native to South East China, is also an amazing juice sweetener for mixers. Who would have known? When Top Note began development of our Cola, we knew we had to approach this category with a fresh lens. Cola as a flavor has had its run, at least the traditional large brand ones. But when I began looking for competitors to taste, I ran into a lot of the same. Same level of sweet, same level of cola flavor.... There was variety in flavor execution, but all in the sweetness and calories for Colas were off the hook - way too high.
Why? Maybe because it is traditional? Or maybe because the sweeteners that have been tried have not been all that great. Stevia is challenging as it is bitter. And the other sweeteners had their drawbacks to health. We found Colas were either too sweet or made with bitter, hard to cover sweeteners, and also made too sweet. For a Top Note, we wanted different, and better and modern. That is when we discovered Monkfruit.
Monkfruit is a newer sweetener to the market. Since 1993, some monkfruit has been found in the market here in the US. More brands are coming to the game now since P&G released its patent for refining it. It is being hailed as not only safe, but also preferred in the world of those with diabetes. That is because it is a natural sweetner from the mogrosides in the fruit. The benefit of monkfruit is you are eating a dried fruit. Along with the sweetness, the fruit's natural potassium and antioxidants are present, albeit in small quantities. Additionally, the "diet" flavor seems to be missing.
We trialed monkfruit as a partial sweetener (mixed with cane sugar) to see if we can lower calories, but found it enhanced flavors too. We learned through trial and error, some sweeteners have to be hidden, but monkfruit seemed to enhance citrus notes and flavors in our drinks. We used a monkfruit that was lower in the mongrosides/gram, thus it has more fruit carrier as part of the formula. It seemed to be magic! This experience was corroborated by bartenders who discovered a small quantity of monkfruit can enhance flavors. We decided to stay 50% sweet with monkfruit though. A full on monkfruit experience was not what we were after. The mouthfeel is still a bit flat for cocktails, and the sweetness levels can be intense. We simply wanted to lower the calories in our newest releases. So our two newest releases have 50% sweetness from cane sugar, and the rest from monkfruit.
We are pleased with the results, and hope you will enjoy our Cascara Cola and Lemon/Lime Sour! Bartenders can request samples here.
NOTE - Monk fruit is a member of the Curcurbitaceae family (also known as the gourd family), which includes pumpkin, squash, cucumbers, and melons. If you have an allergy to these products, do not consume our products with monkfruit.