Firefly Tonics ‘Step Up’ drink review


I was recently asked to try out a new drink from Firefly Tonics called ‘Step Up’. This brand new flavour has been created with the aim of raising £30,000 for Oxford Children’s Hospital.

If you’re not aware of the company, Firefly tonics was founded by Marcus Waley-Cohen whose younger brother Tom battled bone cancer for much of his life. As a result of this he grew strong ties with the Oxford Children’s Hospital. 10p from every bottle of ‘Step Up’ sold will go straight to the charity with the aim being to buy new equipment and services that are not currently funded by the NHS. The Waley-Cohen family (which includes the famous jockey Sam Waley-Cohen) have already raised over £1m to name a ward in Tom’s memory.

The striking design on this Tangerine and Lime flavoured soft drink is called ‘Kids’ and was created by the renowned artist Michael Craig-Martin for the Atrium at Oxford Children’s Hospital.


So we’ve already firmly established that this little bottle has a very valuable role upon the shelves. But does it taste any good? As mentioned the soft drink is Tangerine and Lime flavoured, with a blend of fruit juices and botanical extracts like Green Tea and Kola for a natural lift. I’ll admit that I was expecting a stronger taste, but I can only attribute this to past experience of more heavily flavoured, heavily sugared soft drinks.

I would describe the taste as delicate and fresh, perfect on a hot afternoon when you need a little boost. You wont find yourself suffering from a heavy sugar crash half an hour after drinking, but you will find yourself refreshed.


I love the external look of the bottle. But I have one small note and that’s that the bottle is made of glass. Of course this makes it easy to recycle, but it doesn’t make it terribly light. This might cause an obstacle to it’s inclusion in a picnic or bag. If you were carrying several you would probably feel it. So perhaps a lighter option for those of us on the move would be a nice introduction. But on a purely aesthetic level the bottle works brilliantly.

Would I recommend this product?

Definitely, anything that will help to bring a smile to very ill children can’t help but get a thumbs up. Forgetting it’s worthy goals though, the drink is pleasant and light. If you like a strong flavour then it might not be for you. On the other hand for those who drink/try to drink water but want something a little more interestin,g then this little bottle is perfect.


Step Up is available form Wholefoods Market, Harvey Nichols and other independent retailers nationwide.

RRP from £1.49 for 330ml bottle.

Step Up contains: Purified water, Fruit juices (White Grape, Apple, Orange, Lime, Tangerine, Lemon), Botanical extracts (Yerba Mate, Rosemary, Green Tea, Kola, Guarana) and natural flavourings. No added sugar, nothing artificial.

Follow the ‘Step Up’ campaign @

If you want to help even more text ‘CHOX’ to 70099* to donate £1 to the Oxford Children’s Hospital*.

*You will be charged £1 plus one message at your standard network rate. Oxford Children’s Hospital will receive between £0.76 and £0.96, depending on your network. Thank you.



Soda Stream World Without Bottles Jet Review

When I think of SodaStream I hark back to my childhood, when it seemed that one of their machines lurked in every kitchen. These days their presence seems to be less commonplace. But could all this be about to change?

I was lucky enough to be sent a Sodastream World Without Bottles Jet to review recently. This is a new limited edition machine with an emphasis on being eco friendly by utilising a reusable bottle. In the UK alone we use a massive 13.1 million plastic bottles a year, that’s roughly 500 per household and more than 43% of these households recycle less than half of the bottles they purchase. That’s an awful lot of plastic that goes into landfill, possibly taking hundreds of years to biodegrade. For every drinksmaker sold SodaStream are also making a donation to the One to One project who build water wells in Kenya. Every Jet or Genesis machine sold will help supply one person in Kenya with clean drinking water for at least a year.

I know what you’re thinking, eco friendly and healthy aren’t terms you’re used to associating with this brand. But Sodastream are moving with the times and it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that this could mean a reintroduction of a Sodastream to every kitchen counter. But is all this praise truly deserved?

I’ll start with the basics, the machine was packed in a brown cardboard box with rope handle. I really like this design, before you even open the box it promises an environmental and design conscious machine.

Next we began to assemble the Jet, but as it took about two seconds and a couple of clicks assemble might not be the right word. We first tested out the Sugar-free Lemonade flavour. Making is as simple as ‘assembling’, just fill the bottle with cold water, marvel as you carbonate it at the touch of a button and then carefully pour in the flavouring.

I really enjoyed this flavour, it made a delicate bubbly lemonade. I should mention that I am not a big fan of fizzy drinks, I often find them too harsh and high in sugar. So I was apprehensive when I took the first sip, but I was pleasantly surprised. The bubbles in this drink were just right and not too sharp. The flavour didn’t suffer for being sugarfree and it also worked very well as a mixer with other juices and in cocktails.

We also tested out the Pink Grapefruit flavour and I think we may have formed a lifelong love, all my family have really enjoyed this flavour and we’ve already made several bottles.

We can’t wait to test out more flavours and there’s plenty of choice, just a quick glance at SodaStream’s website proves we’ll never get bored.

Would I recommend this product?

I can happily recommend this machine, it’s both eco conscious and family friendly. How can you not resist a product that manages to both cut your waste and satisfy your taste buds. It also inspires a warm fuzzy filling when you realise your not only treating your own family, but your helping another in a less affluent part of the world. Plus the novelty of making your own soft drinks at home never gets boring.

Could it be improved in anyway?

My only bugbear with this product and it’s a small one, was that we found the bottle a little difficult to wash. One of our bottle brushes was too wide and the other too short. But a new brush and we’d fixed this problem, of course I don’t know how the well the reusable bottle would hold up under extended use. But judging by the quality of the rest of the machine I’m willing to bet there would be no problems in this area.


The World Without Bottles Jet Drinksmaker has an RRP of £59.99 and is available to purchase online from Or

You can also use the online retailer search to find a retailer in your vicinity.