Label something a 'superfood' or a 'superdrink' and I'm all over it in my quest to try and consume more healthier options in my everyday diet. Last week, Waitrose announced that they were going to be the first UK supermarket to stock Birch Water, so naturally I had to check it out.
Birch Water has been hailed as the 'new' Coconut Water in terms of healthy drinks, and many gym goers and fitness fans have been singing its praises for a while now, especially in the US. I think I've seen Birch Water being sold in Wholefoods, but sadly my nearest one is at least 30 miles away so I'm very pleased to see Waitrose stocking it as it's a more accessible store for me to get to.
What is Birch Water?
Birch Water is the pure tree sap that is tapped directly from Birch trees in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania (think of how Maple trees are tapped for syrup and it's the same process). Some Birch Waters have other things blended in, but this one from Sibberi is 100% pure birch tree sap with nothing else added. Tapping Birch Trees can only be done for about a month each year in the time between the end of Winter and the start of Spring and only 1% of each tree's sap is tapped so the trees remain unharmed, which may explain why it's quite an expensive drink.
Some of the health benefit claims are similar to those of Coconut Water as Birch Water has naturally occurring antioxidant compounds and a low sugar content so it's popular as a post-workout drink or simply to keep hydrated during the day. It's been traditionally drunk in Eastern Europe and Russia for centuries as a spring 'tonic' to cleanse the body of toxins after a long winter.
So what does it taste like?
I'm not gonna lie - Birch Water is something of an 'acquired taste'. It's got a slight bitterness and sourness to it, I've never tasted anything like it to be able to compare it I'm afraid! It's definitely not sweet in my opinion which perhaps explains why it's only 5 calories per 100ml (4 times fewer calories than Coconut Water for reference!). I do find it oddly refreshing though the more I drink it, so maybe it'll grow on me?
Sibberi Birch Water (250ml, £2.49)* is available in the UK from Waitrose, in stores and online.
Have you tried Birch Water? Do you like it?