Irn-Bru (infamous Scottish soft drink) found in Florida!

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.

I’ve always wanted to try it but in reading your description, I’m actually quite a bit less interested. Bubble gum soda does not sound appealing at all.

I hate the stuff. The diet version is one of the nastiest drinks ever concocted. I guess many Scots like it because it’s very sweet, and we’re notorious for a sweet-tooth (I don’t have that gene).

I wonder if the strange aftertaste is due to the prescence of the ammonium ferric citrate?

Clearly this proves there was an ancient land bridge between Scotland and Florida.

Speaking of unsual soft drinks, has anyone tried Chinotto?

I’ve seen it occasionally in the States. I found a little shop in the DC suburbs that sold it, along with Flakes and Crunchies and Marmite and all kinds of other good stuff. (I’ve always dreamed of opening up just such a shop–I even have a name picked out: “Eurotrash! European Junk Food Emporium”–but I don’t think I have what it takes to run a small business on my own and enjoy it).

I loved Irn-Bru as a kid–it was one of my favorite things about visiting family in Scotland. As an adult, I have to admit it doesn’t have the same appeal, but I still buy it and drink it whenever I get a chance–old times and all that. Plus, I do have some nationalistic pride that Scotland has a local beverage that outsells Coke. (Is that still the case?)

The closest thing I can think of over here (the US) is Inca-Cola or maybe Red Bull, but neither is as good. I can’t stand Red Bull.

Judging by shelf-space it’s damned close. The wiki article claims that it’s the third highest seller in the UK (after Coke and Pepsi) which I find surprising.

Third?!?! That’s not acceptable! I’d better email my uncles and have them ship me some Irn-Bru to boost the sales.

If they have room left in the package, maybe they could send some whisky while they’re at it.

Matter of fact, maybe they should just leave out the Irn-Bru.

The restaurant I work at is owned by Israelis and they used to have a drink from Israel called Malt Star. Apparently it is very popular in that country among pregnant women who cannot drink regular beer. I tried it once and was absolutely disgusted, but some customers ask for it. (We no longer carry it, so I have to give them the bad news. They’re always very disappointed. I think, “how the hell can anyone like that swill?!”) I guess taste really is very subjective.

I’ve found the Maltese drink Kinnie in Dublin. It’s not bad, I think it’s orangey flavoured if I recall correct. Irn Bru is available here too in certain stores. There’s a tangerine flavoured drink called Tanora that seems to be exclusively popular in County Cork.

I saw some Irn-Bru in a shop a couple of weeks ago and bought a bottle to see what it was like. I thought it tasted like weak creaming soda. It was quite underwhelming.

I grew up in Miami, where malt beverages seem to be very popular among the Cuban population. Malta Hatuey is the most common one, with an Indian on the bottle. I like a lot of weird foods and beverages and I’ll try anything once, but that stuff is GROSS. I’m sure your Malt Star is pretty similar.

You took my answer, except the Miami part.

I will add that Malta Goya and Publix-brand Malta are similarly disgusting.

Yes, I tried the Publix brand once, thinking it might be different, but nope… gross. I pronounce Hatuey like “ptui” or “ptooey,” the cartoon sound effect of spitting out something unpleasant.

Do you have Lucozade in the states?
Also atomic orange, used as a hangover cure and incredibly sweet. I like it, but only when I’m in a particularly fragile state.

Irn Bru is nice when you’re curled up on a sofa with a bucket, feeling delicate and wishing that the grass could grow more quietly.

I found Spruce Beer in Canada, but not in the US. Too sugary for me, but I like the clean conifer taste. In a local Korean grocery, however, I found Pine Bud Drink, which is a little less sweet. IN the local Russian grocery, I’ve found Kvass, of course, in several varieties, but also a tarragon-flavored fizzy drink. Again, too much sugar in it, but it’s an amazing brilliant green and, when thinned to cut the sweetness, is good.

Is Citronella considered a soda? I drank some once out of curiousity. It tasted horrible. Is this really a popular drink in France?