Monday, July 7, 2014

Britain From A to Z: V


When my son Andrew was conceived, several errant sequences inserted themselves into his DNA. He is so different from his mom and me that this has to be true. One area of difference is his taste in drinks. He doesn’t like the old standbys that I like, like Coke and Mountain Dew. Noooo-ooooh. He’s gotta have those weird drinks like Mountain Dew Baja Blast and Big Red. Ewwww. And not only that, he’s always on the lookout for even weirder drinks to indulge in. And he found a few in Britain. One he discovered early in our trip was Vimto. It’s a fruity drink that I don’t like. So guess what, my son LIKED it. It was almost as if Vimto was a Facebook message.

Surprisingly, later in the trip Andrew discovered yet another drink he liked even better: Irn-Bru. Have you ever heard a song by the 60’s band Cream named “Strange Brew”? Well, it could have been written about this drink, because Irn-Bru is one Strange Brew. And guess what. Cream was a BRITISH band. So, I guess they wrongly liked it also. It’s one of those drinks that brings back old childhood memories of liquid medicine I was made to take. Yet my son loves it. But perhaps it’s not so strange considering how much Andrew loves Britain, especially Wales.

But you know what? Apparently LOTS of other people love these drinks. Vimto was introduced in 1908 in Salford, Greater Manchester, England. Irn-Bru was introduced in 1901 in Scotland, the home of Scotch Whiskey, their national drink. In fact, Irn-Bru is often described as “Scotland’s other national drink”. You can’t last this long without lots of people liking your product. So, perhaps my wife and I are the ones with the errant DNA. Nah!

Interestingly, shortly after returning home to Alabama, we were shopping at Publix. Lo and behold, there in the International section were Vimtos and Irn-Brus. We popped a few in our cart and waited for our son’s reaction. And it was worth it. He simply couldn’t believe it. He thought he had left those flavors behind.

On a related matter, I had always heard that Brits like their soft drinks at room temperature; therefore most restaurants didn’t put ice in them. Well, this was somewhat true. However, some places did put a small amount of ice in drinks; more if you asked. But one thing I did not see was ice in tea. In Britain, tea is served hot. Iced tea is nowhere to be found; at least not in the places we visited. After two weeks of being on the wagon, I immediately consumed some iced sweet tea on return to the colonies. Oh, yeah!

No comments:

Post a Comment