Sunday, May 1, 2011

Drinks Around the World: Irn-Bru - The Scottish Wonder Drink

The drink Around the World for May is Scotland's favourite soft drink (soda), Irn-Bru. One of the very few carbonated drinks to outsell Coca-Cola in a marketplace anywhere in the world, this radioactive orange-coloured drink is sugary sweet and slightly bubbly with a taste that sits somewhere between citrus (a mix of lemons and tangerines?) and vanilla. While living in Britain for several years and despite a general dislike of overly sweet drinks, I got quite hooked on its strange intoxicating flavour, catchy nationalistic taglines and quirky ads(check a few out here, here, here and here - there are many others).

Like a few drinks, it comes with the wonderful story of the secret recipe of 32 different ingredients (supposedly including caffeine and quinine, so it will keep you alert, clear your mind and protect you from malaria) being only known by two people who are never together, the brewing secret being held behind a secure Swiss bank vault.

I have found it in Australia, so check out your local speciality drink stores and try the unusual flavour so loved in Scotland.
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Travel Wonders highlights a characteristic drink experienced on his travels. Prior articles have featured drinks including Austrian Almdudler, Green Mint Tea from Morocco and Bibicaffe (Italy).

9 comments:

Ana said...

We found it in Dallas! I love that it protects you from malaria LOL!

sgabraki23 said...

You know for a minute I thought 'Wow really? it's outsold coca cola?' I mean I never even heard of it before. But then I realized, the second I arrived in Edinburgh at the airport, I instantly went for this radioactive orange drink hahaha.

Mark H said...

@ana: I don't think I'd rely on its anti-malarial properties!!

@sgabraki23: I doubt many drinks could claim to outsell Coke. I recall in Peru that a drink called Inka Cola (though it wasn't black) similarly claimed success over Coke but I can't imagine too many others. Would be interesting to see if there are others. Anyone?

Sherry Ott said...

I was only in Scotland for a short time and don't recall seeing it...but will look for it next time! I love the anti malaria tagline too!

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Iain said...

As a Scotsman I can tell you this is one of the best hangover cures out there.

Mark H said...

@iain: In Australia, people swear by Vegemite (full of Vitamin B) for the hangover cure...

Donna Hull said...

I've never been to Scotland but now I know what I'm drinking when I get there.

Mark h said...

@donna: I'll be interested to see what you think of Irn-Bru. I know that you'd love Scotland and its superb wilderness areas.

 
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