It was 1666 when a humble apple inspired one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the modern age: universal gravitation or, as we know it, gravity!
And while that apple didn’t fall directly on the head of a young Sir Isaac Newton – who would go on to be one of the most lauded scientific minds in history – its tumble from the branches is no less iconic for having taken place across the garden.
Almost 400 years later, that story would inspire a breakthrough of another kind: the Newton’s appl fizzics in March's Gin of the Month box.
As Christopher Banks, who founded Newton’s appl fizzics, explains: “Sir Isaac Newton is an amazing character, when you think about it. Not only was he brilliant at physics and maths, but he was also interested in alchemy, creating new things from old materials. In a sense, that’s what we’re doing by blending apple juices together, and then blending them with sparkling water to create this wonderful new drink.”
Christopher, who had already had a successful career working for big drinks companies, had just struck out on his own when the big bang of inspiration struck.
He says, “There were no products around that were genuinely all natural with nothing nasty – no added sugar or sweeteners or preservatives – and yet which were also lower in sugar than a regular soft drink. So, I focused on developing one. We started thinking about apples, and that led to Sir Isaac.”
Christopher took a trip to York, where a professor of physics walked him through the real story behind Sir Isaac’s discovery, and showed him a direct descendant of that now famous apple tree.
“It really happened,” says Christopher. “That moment inspired Sir Isaac Newton to discover universal gravitation; and then inspired us to create Newton’s appl fizzics.”
A careful combination of apple juices and sparkling water, with no artificial ingredients or sweeteners added (hence dropping the ‘e’ on appl), Newton’s appl fizzics, now available at Sainsbury’s, is a grown up take on the soft drink. Plus, it happens to make an amazing cocktail.
“My colleagues spent many hours verifying that our drink tastes good with gin,” laughs Christopher. “Because it’s lighter and not as sweet, it complements gin so well. Particularly premium gins, because it allows their flavour to come through. You end up with something that just tastes great.”
Although Newton’s appl fizzics was originally designed to be drunk on its own, it also makes a simple but delicious cocktail with gin, raspberry or mango syrup and a good splash of Newton’s. Make your own using the recipe below!
Newton’s appl Gin Fizz
25ml raspberry or mango syrup*
Chilled Newton’s appl fizzics, to top up
Apple slice, to garnish
- Fill a glass with ice and add gin and syrup.
- Stir to combine, then top up with Newton’s appl fizzics.
- Garnish and serve.
*To make a fruit syrup, combine 100ml of water in a saucepan with 100g of sugar. Simmer until combined, then take off the heat and stir in chopped fruit, fresh or frozen. Push through a strainer to remove seeds and allow to cool. Or you can always buy a sachet of fruit puree, which works really well too.