On Tuesday, I introduced you to some of my new Barróg Beasties – Beasties with a bit more of an Irish flavour than usual! So, just who is Pint Beastie‘s (on the left) mystery friend?
It’s Red Lemonade Beastie!
The island of Ireland is home to three distinct native colours of lemonade… and that’s before we started experimenting with blow-ins from overseas, such as pink lemonade and (SHOCK) lemonade that’s actually the colour of real lemon juice. White lemonade (the clear stuff, like 7-Up or Sprite) is available all over, but the other two colours – red and brown – are a more localised phenomenon, and they’re almost impossible to find beyond these shores. For this reason, red lemonade is one of the things Irish expats say they miss most about home, along with Tayto crisps and proper fried breakfast ingredients.
As for me, I’d never experienced red lemonade until I moved south of the border, many years ago. In Northern Ireland, where I grew up, brown lemonade is king… the brown colour (if memory serves) comes from caramel, so although the flavour is similar to white lemonade, there’s a more mellow sweetness to it. Brown lemonade always reminds me of my aunt’s kitchen – when I was a teenager, I’d sometimes visit her house after school, and there would always be a glass of brown lemonade and some dark chocolate waiting for me!
In Dublin, however, lemonade is red. Well, a sort of reddish-brown, which I’ve tried to capture in felt for Red Lemonade Beastie’s bottle…
TK is one of the most popular brands… their bold logo is still recognisable, even on a Beastie-sized bottle! And you’ll see human-sized bottles at most Irish family gatherings… Everywhere from children’s birthday parties to weddings! According to Wikipedia, red lemonade is also popular as a mixer for spirits, which was news to me. Further internet research on this theme brought up a cocktail recipe, which the bravest of you might like to try if you ever find yourself on these shores. A heady mix of Glendalough poitín (traditional Irish moonshine, now commercially produced and less potentially lethal), red lemonade, Angostura Bitters and fresh lime, the Glendalough Red Eye certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted!
That said, the addition of intoxicating liquor is completely optional. For most of us, it’s enough to pick up a 2 litre bottle, pour some out into a pint glass full of ice and enjoy!