I know there have been threads in times past about favorite little-known or foreign soft drinks and sodas, and the name Irn-Bru often comes up – an orange carbonated beverage that is insanely popular in Scotland, but not sold in the States. I love trying new sodas, especially unknown brands and exotic flavors, so I was ecstatic to see Irn-Bru in small plastic bottles in the British foods section of Publix, Florida’s big supermarket chain. All the Scots on every message board I go to sang the praises of this stuff, the perfect remedy to a night of heavy drinking and damn good on its own. I had always heard it was BANNED in the U.S. due to a coloring agent that could be carcinogenic, but what the hell, one little bottle isn’t going to kill me, right? I was so surprised to see it that I figured it could be my only chance.
Well, it was weird. It didn’t taste like orange soda (which I love) at all. The strongest flavor I tasted was bubble gum, and there was an orange candy flavor blended in, perhaps like orange Blow Pops or something comparable, and a hint of cotton candy. It was very sweet and had a bizarre aftertaste, and it contained caffeine as well (which might explain its popularity in Scotland as a hangover cure). Perhaps I should have waited to serve up a huge Scottish fry-up, but just by itself, Irn-Bru didn’t blow my proverbial kilt up. Still, I’m glad I finally got to try it.
Now the Havana Mojito Soda I tried recently was just gross. It tasted like freshly-mowed grass smells, with an even stranger aftertaste. I drank the whole 12-ounce bottle just to be sure it didn’t get any better, but it didn’t.