If you’ve been following my social media you’ll have seen a lot of posts mentioning the C word.
Yes, I know, it’s only July, but if you work in an office, the promotional emails talking Christmas parties have already started landing in your inbox. And it’s this time of year, when the sun is high in the sky and we’re all sweltering, that brands host ‘Christmas in July’ events down in that there London.
Yes, I know, I can hear you groan from here.
There are few things (I haven’t thought of one yet, but feel free to let me know of any) weirder than standing in thirty degree heat, with the air conditioning on full blast, having sweltered your way via Tube to a posh restaurant, in a camisole and sandals, whilst some bloke plays Christmas songs on a piano and you’re surrounded by Christmas jumpers and Christmas pud.
To call it surreal would be an understatement. But at least there was a glass of fizz in my hand.
And yet, all this month, across the capital, it’s happening. Bloggers, writers, press – they’re all being invited to events created to showcase products that won’t hit the shelves until October/November. Just as soon a Halloween decorations hit the decks, out will come everything tinselly and glitter laden.
My first event this year was with Aldi – and I couldn’t have been more excited. I love Aldi. You go in for a loaf of bread and a tin of beans, and come out with face cream, a tin of paint, a tomahawk steak and a bottle of wine. And yeah, you’ve probably forgotten the beans and bread and need to go in again.
Now, whilst I’ll save you (for a bit anyway) a full run down on my favourites from the event (gin this year is going to be bloody awesome), I did come away with a couple of things to play with. And this is one of them.
Meet Pop a Ball and their bursting bubbles – little balls of fruit juice perfect for popping into your glass of fizz or cocktail at home
Easy to pop, soft, sweet – if you’re looking for a way to shush up your glass of fizz, show off a little bit, of fancy a taste of something sweet, you’re going to love them. Strawberry, pineapple, passion fruit, and blueberry, there are lots of flavours for you to try and some paired to your favourite gins too.
Each box includes an extendable straw, plus the tub of bubbles – pop a spoonful into the bottom of each glass, and top up with a fizz of your choice. In my case some Prosecco from Aldi that I’d stashed away for a rainy day.
Over time, the bubbles rise to the top, so every mouthful includes a pop of flavour. As for the flavour itself, it’s sweet, sure, but not overly so. They use fruit juice with just a touch of extra sugar, and if you choose the shimmer versions, just a little pearlescent shimmer to pretty up that prosecco.
OK, so I probably wouldn’t want to waste my very best Champagne on them, but for that bulk bought fizz for a party that is so cheap it has you raising an eyebrow, it’s absolutely perfect, and might just soften any sharp edges.
And of course, if you have a sweet tooth – just add more bubbles.
Perfect for the party season, these are expected in Aldi around October, alongside some very good fizz options (I tried everything, they left me alone with the wine, I mean…).
Keep those eyes peeled.