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Holy Lama Spice Drops – Review & Giveaway #47

Holy Lama Spice Drops - cinnamon and tulsi.

Food Reviews, Giveaways | 30th April 2014 | By

If you like spices as much as we do, you’re going to love this giveaway. We’re reviewing two spice extracts from Holy Lama Spice Drops, cinnamon and tulsi. But the giveaway is for a lovely bundle of five spices, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. Read on to find out how to enter.

Spices really are the spice of life, or at least they are in my world. I find it hard to imagine not having a ready supply of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, vanilla and chilli, all spices I use on a regular basis in my baking and cooking. Cumin, coriander and turmeric are firm favourites too, but I have many other spices stuffed away in my cupboard. It is these, other less used spices that can be a bit of a problem. Spices are expensive and once ground, they don’t have a very long shelf life. Ideally, for real freshness and flavour, I would grind all of my spices as I need them, but this just isn’t practical; I’m usually in a hurry and often can’t grind them as finely as I’d like. This results in having to throw some of my precious spices away as they just become to old to use.

Holy Lama Spice Drops

Holy Lama have come up with an ingenious solution to this dilemma – spice extracts, or as they like to call them Spice Drops. These are highly concentrated extracts which have a shelf life of three years. Priced at around £3 a bottle, these could cost considerably less than buying whole or ready ground spices over the same time period. The extracts come in little 5 ml bottles with droppers for precise and easy measures. Although the spice drops work well in baking, it is recommended that they are added at the end of cooking where possible to keep the flavours vibrant. As regular readers will know, I like my products to be as natural as possible. The extracts are held in caster oil, which is fine, but I was a little concerned to see it was hydrogenated oil and wonder why this is necessary. However, they are ethically made in Kerala, South India. The company website states it offers fair wages to its staff and fair prices to it’s farmers. Most of the staff are women and many of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Sustainability is important so the factory’s carbon footprint is deliberately low. Holy Lama is a member of the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers. All that counts for a lot.

The range is quite large and include spice blends as well as individual spices. There are a number of kits containing a collection of relevant spices. I had my eye on the Baker’s Spice Drop Kit, a collection of five spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. However I was only sent a bottle of cinnamon and one of tulsi to try out.

Cinnamon Spice Extract

As soon as I unwrapped the outer layer of protective plastic from the cinnamon bottle I nearly swooned with the wonderful scent that emanated from it. I adore cinnamon and if forced into a corner, would probably name it as my favourite spice. One drop is meant to be the equivalent of ½ a teaspoon of the ground spice. I tried a tiny drop neat and it was very strong – not something I’d recommend. The first thing I made with it, was this  Spicy Orange and Chocolate Easter Bundt. I used one drop only, hoping to get just a hint of cinnamon and it worked perfectly.

Spicy Chocolate Orange Easter Bundt Cake before any chocolate sauce was added.

Tulsi Spice Extract

The tulsi I was a little more unsure about. CT and I drink quite a bit of tulsi tea and are accustomed to the flavour. Holy basil, as it’s also known, has a very distinctive taste and although I was keen to try it with chocolate I wasn’t at all sure it would work. I decided to use it first in a cup of hot chocolate, a rich dark drinking chocolate I am currently reviewing. The directions say one drop for every 200ml of liquid or more to taste. I had 250ml of liquid and used only one drop and it was very powerful. I’m not sure I shall be taking to tulsi hot chocolate as a regular drink, but it did sort of work. Like coffee and tea, it has similar bitter notes which marry well together. It was, however, too strong and I was left with a powerful tulsi taste in my mouth for a long time afterwards. So for this extract, I would suggest, proceed with caution.

Tulsi Hot Chocolate

Other Spice Extracts

Subsequent to writing this post, I’ve acquired a range of Holy Lama spice drops. I use them regularly, but mostly when it comes to baking. Here are a few of the recipes where I’ve included them.

Stay in Touch

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Holy Lama have offered up a selection of five spice extracts to one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader. This Baker’s Kit consists of: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
Prizes are offered and provided by Holy Lama and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
Closing date is Wednesday 28 May 2014

Do take a look at the Chocolate Log Blog giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

Spice Drops

Thanks to Holy Lama for the spice extracts. There was no requirement to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.



  1. Ged Humphreys-de Meyer

    30th April 2014 at 10:46 am

    I am quite partial to vanilla in stuff I eat and drink for that matter! An exciting giveaway!

  2. Trinity Axelson

    30th April 2014 at 10:40 am

    I love cinnamon and vanilla, especially in baking! They are my go to ingredients no matter the recipe!

  3. mellysocks

    30th April 2014 at 10:56 am

    Vanilla would be my favourite and I’d use it to make custard.


    30th April 2014 at 11:07 am

    I love nutmeg especially as a little extra topping on homemade rice pudding

  5. elaine dale

    30th April 2014 at 11:20 am

    would put cinnamon on home-made egg custards

  6. Janet Rawstron

    30th April 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Nutmeg is my favourite spice in the kit. I use it freshly grated in both sweet and savoury dishes.

  7. Amrita @ Drifting Traveller

    30th April 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Try tulsi in a lemon and ginger tea. It also works wonders for a common cold and can be substituted for basil (same family).

    • Choclette

      30th April 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks Amrita. We drink tulsi tea anyway, mostly for its health benefits, but I was keen to do a bit of experimenting.

  8. Simon Grundy

    30th April 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Cinnamon, love it witha fresh fruit pie or tart

  9. Anonymous

    30th April 2014 at 4:14 pm

    ginger – I love gingerbread so would make some of this.


  10. Anonymous

    30th April 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Cinnamon for bread
    Claire D

  11. Richard Hill

    30th April 2014 at 5:40 pm

    chilli in a big pot of chilli we make and freeze a lot of it

  12. Heather Haigh

    30th April 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Ginger, I would try adding it to my raw chocolate recipes.

  13. Kate Glutenfreealchemist

    30th April 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Spice drops? What an ingenious idea!!! I too am a cinnamon girl at heart, but I would love to experiment more with cardamom (without the risk of getting the pods stuck in my teeth!!

  14. laura banks

    30th April 2014 at 5:50 pm

    vanilla we use it for all sorts but the hubby is trying to teach me to make proper custard

  15. Skyline Spirit

    30th April 2014 at 6:52 pm

    pretty nice blog, following 🙂

  16. Kathy Cakebread

    30th April 2014 at 6:31 pm

    i’d use vanilla to make custard

  17. Amanda Philp

    30th April 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Cardamom for curries, especially chicken curry

  18. Anneka Hulse

    30th April 2014 at 7:01 pm

    i love cinnamon and would add it to my porridge

  19. sarah rees

    30th April 2014 at 7:30 pm


  20. debbie godbolt

    30th April 2014 at 7:53 pm

    cinnamon to make cinnamon buns and chilli to use on everything savoury x

  21. Sarah Davies

    30th April 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Ginger’s my favourite. I’d make some ginger flapjacks

  22. Gill

    30th April 2014 at 8:57 pm


  23. Jo Glasspool

    30th April 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Vanilla in cakes x

  24. Graham

    1st May 2014 at 3:22 am

    Nutmeg ,grated on hot chocolate

  25. Miriam Said

    1st May 2014 at 5:39 am

    Cinnamon and vanilla. The vanilla for when I am baking cakes also cake and Apple pie baking with the cinnamon, but I also like coffee with a touch of cinnamonin it. Yum.

  26. Emma Walters

    1st May 2014 at 6:09 am

    nutmeg & vanilla in our favourite rice pudding

  27. liz ferguson

    1st May 2014 at 9:00 am


  28. samj

    1st May 2014 at 9:35 am


  29. kj19

    1st May 2014 at 1:06 pm

    cinnamon and nutmeg… for loads of baking

  30. denise

    1st May 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I would choose cinnamon for baking as its delicious and smells divine

  31. Galina Varese

    1st May 2014 at 3:24 pm

    It will be a tough choice between cinnamon and vanilla, as I use both extensively in my baking

  32. Amy Jacobson

    2nd May 2014 at 2:35 pm

    I love vanilla and use it within lots of my baking 🙂

  33. Anonymous

    2nd May 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Use vanilla a lot in cooking – especially desserts
    Spencer Broadley

  34. Zoe R

    2nd May 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Nutmeg and I would make a lovely homemade rice pudding just like my nana used to make

  35. Big Bird

    3rd May 2014 at 9:07 pm

    Nutmeg in my irish coffee

  36. frances hopkins

    4th May 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Cinnamon love it!!

  37. maxineflossy

    4th May 2014 at 4:33 pm

    ooh, a drop of cardamom in some home made ice-cream

  38. Sarah Pilbeam

    5th May 2014 at 8:35 pm


  39. kate kathurima

    5th May 2014 at 9:34 pm

    ginger to make ginger biscuits

  40. Anonymous

    6th May 2014 at 7:03 am

    gingerbread men & women with the ginger @msedollyp

  41. clair downham

    7th May 2014 at 11:36 am

    cinamon i would use with fruit or curries

  42. Lara Davis

    8th May 2014 at 7:31 am

    Cinamon for apple crumble

  43. Amy Crowe

    8th May 2014 at 8:17 am

    hey 🙂 mm cinamon for fruit!

    I have a blog giveaway too 🙂 xx

  44. Melanie W

    9th May 2014 at 12:03 pm


  45. Melanie W

    9th May 2014 at 12:04 pm


  46. Michelle Banks

    10th May 2014 at 5:53 pm

    i love cinamon, and so does the hubby! a nice fruit cake x

  47. Hekna

    11th May 2014 at 10:56 am

    Would have to be vanilla – I use it in everything I bake including the cream and butter cream!

  48. Julie Savage

    11th May 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Vanilla to go into my butter icing for the cupcakes

  49. Lauren Old

    15th May 2014 at 8:25 am

    Vanilla to put in cakes and coffee!

  50. Rachel White

    15th May 2014 at 1:00 pm

    It would have to be the chilli. . I use it in everything but my signature dish is quesilladas… mmm yummy. .. 😀

  51. Philip Cooke

    19th May 2014 at 2:44 pm


  52. Rebecca Gransden

    23rd May 2014 at 1:57 pm

    I would love to make some proper ginger biscuits.

  53. styles5433

    24th May 2014 at 1:02 am

    Ginger I love it . and I would make Ginger curd. Delicious on toast or toasted bagels

  54. thrlrds2007

    24th May 2014 at 4:45 pm


  55. piggy11

    24th May 2014 at 5:37 pm


  56. donna jones

    24th May 2014 at 9:26 pm


  57. Richard Randall

    25th May 2014 at 9:32 am

    Ginger. I use it every day.

  58. Jo Hutchinson

    25th May 2014 at 11:22 am

    The Cinnamon to make baked apples.

  59. Robert Price

    25th May 2014 at 11:52 am

    Vanilla for the custard

  60. spike1

    25th May 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Cinnamon, a pep of that makes an apple pie.

  61. Anonymous

    25th May 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Love ginger 😊 x
    Kelly Hanson:

  62. Christina Jarrett

    25th May 2014 at 9:02 pm

    The vanilla, for making my cakes taste extra yummy! 🙂

  63. lisa owen

    26th May 2014 at 10:05 am

    cinnamon and id make my lovely home made rice pudding x

  64. Chris Fletcher

    26th May 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Cardamom is my favourite as it always is a little mysterious yet is so versatile!

  65. Mary Chez

    26th May 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Vanilla in cupcakes

  66. george a Pow

    26th May 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Ginger is my favourite.

  67. Emily Carter-Dunn

    26th May 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Cinnamon. It reminds me of Christmas

  68. Gillian Holmes

    26th May 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Cinnamon in hot milk with honey.

  69. Mike Gerie

    26th May 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Cinnamon for to add to a fruit loaf

  70. Mike Gerrie

    26th May 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Cinnamon for a fruit lof

  71. jrandrews72

    26th May 2014 at 6:48 pm


  72. Jackie Chapman

    26th May 2014 at 6:54 pm

    I’d use the nutmeg on top of a rice pudding

  73. Tracey Gwynne

    26th May 2014 at 7:14 pm

    vanilla is my favourite, as it adds a not too oversweet aromatic taste

  74. Susan Carter

    26th May 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Ginger, it gives a real kick to both sweet and savory dishes

  75. Felicity Smith

    26th May 2014 at 9:13 pm


  76. pam lawrence

    26th May 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I love vanilla and cinnamon, and use them both extensively in baking and desserts x

  77. Andrea Johnson

    26th May 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Cinnamon for buns

  78. Charmian Filewood

    27th May 2014 at 12:48 am

    Vanilla, in cupcakes and a lot of my home baking

  79. Anonymous

    27th May 2014 at 5:46 am

    Vanilla so many uses in cooking

  80. Kirsty Woods

    27th May 2014 at 6:56 am

    Ginger, my children love making gingerbread men

  81. joanne liddement

    27th May 2014 at 7:07 am

    I love nutmeg in a rice pudding.Home made of course!

  82. Carlie Bryan

    27th May 2014 at 8:03 am

    vanilla, love the taste and the smell

  83. elff73

    27th May 2014 at 9:33 am

    vanilla, so I can cook so much more x x x x

  84. Laura Vitty

    27th May 2014 at 11:49 am

    Cinnamon – I’d make cinnamon toast.

  85. Beky Austerberry

    27th May 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Ginger for gingerbread men

  86. agaue1

    27th May 2014 at 2:08 pm

    vanilla i use it load sin baking and also in coffee 😀

  87. Vanessa Crowley

    27th May 2014 at 2:13 pm

    vanillla to make some yummy cakes

  88. Vanessa Crowley

    27th May 2014 at 2:15 pm

    vanilla as i make some yummy cakes with it

  89. Natalie White

    27th May 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Ginger for some gingerbread men 🙂

  90. Bernadette Willis

    27th May 2014 at 4:37 pm

    cinnamon, I use it in little bulgarian cakes with hoey and almonds too -they’re gorgeous

  91. sheridarby

    27th May 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Cinnamon on apple pie or in apple cake

  92. olivia280177

    27th May 2014 at 5:53 pm

    nutmeg is my secret ingredient in lasagne shhhhh


    27th May 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Vanilla for ice-cream, cakes & custard

  94. annettehde

    27th May 2014 at 6:58 pm

    cardamom to flavour icecream

  95. annettehde

    27th May 2014 at 6:59 pm

    cardamom to flavour icecream

  96. pauline black

    27th May 2014 at 9:49 pm

    vanilla to use in baking, also cinnamon. Actually they would all be pretty useful!

  97. Karen Whittaker

    27th May 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Vanilla for sponge cakes, enhancing sugar and coffee syrups.

  98. kim heeps

    27th May 2014 at 10:05 pm

    cinnamon for my porridge!

  99. rebecca nisbet

    27th May 2014 at 10:27 pm

    love vanilla, use it in so many things, always good in a sponge

  100. Jackie Allum

    27th May 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I’d use them to put into yogurts and make dressings etc.

  101. Twiddle Dee

    27th May 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I love cinnamon for buns and pastries 🙂 x

    Natalie Gillham

  102. David Price

    28th May 2014 at 5:52 am

    I use ginger in my curries all the time

  103. grisser

    28th May 2014 at 8:57 am

    Cinnamon in fresh French toast – going to make some now!

  104. grisser

    28th May 2014 at 8:59 am

    Cinnamon in freshly made French toast- ooh, going to make Some now….

  105. Stacey Craig

    28th May 2014 at 9:23 am

    Cinnamon, me and my kids are cinnamon addicts even the smell mmm

  106. Joanna Carter

    28th May 2014 at 11:18 am

    I love Cinnamon smells like Christmas 🙂 so id make cinnamon buns 🙂

  107. Louise Whittaker

    28th May 2014 at 11:50 am

    Cardamon and I would make a vanilla and cardamom panacotta

  108. Rachel Davies

    28th May 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Cinnamon for me as I have just discovered French Toast and can’t get enough of it

  109. David W

    28th May 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Ginger, so i could make gingersnap cookies the way my grandmother used to. delicious

  110. Jacqueline Roberts

    28th May 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Cinnamon in pastries are yum but lurve Ginger

  111. Lynsie Lynn

    28th May 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Cinnamon – I make amazing Cinnamon buns and danish pastries! A weekend treat for the hubby and kiddies 🙂 We all love it! 🙂

  112. HayleyT

    28th May 2014 at 4:48 pm

    It would be Cinnamon! I love the taste and the aroma! I would use it in my baking, cakes, french pastries, on top of egg custard tart, and on freshly made French Toast!

  113. Pam Francis Gregory

    28th May 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Vanilla in a sponge cake – yum!

  114. Rachel Bustin

    28th May 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Cinnamon for lovely crumble toppings

  115. Sam Fernley

    28th May 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Cinnamon in an apple pie

  116. champaklal lad

    28th May 2014 at 9:10 pm


  117. Katie Walden

    28th May 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Cinnamon in some rolls I think 🙂

  118. tarbs gill

    28th May 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Cinnamon – great for gingerbread!

  119. Stacey G

    28th May 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Vanilla, would use it for my cupcakes 🙂

  120. Anonymous

    28th May 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Cinnamon is my favourite, I use it in cakes and in hot choc drinks. x

    Keeley Shaw

  121. Shauna Barratt

    28th May 2014 at 10:32 pm

    cinnamon is amazing!


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