Return to Irn-Bru (thing)
Irn-Bru, Scotland's other national drink, is a carbonated "flavoured soft drink" made by A.G.Barr. Scotland is one of the very few nations on earth where the most popular non-alcoholic beverage is something other than Coke. Bru, with its unique flavour, properties as a hangover cure (essential to us Scots), and sizable dose of caffeine is a staple part of the Scottish diet, in some ways more a part of Scottish culture than Whisky, kilts or tartan are in modern times.
Irn-Bru, also known as Irn Bru, is bright orange in colour (ginger orange, not orange juice orange) and tastes something like a cross between bubblegum, cream soda, and burnt plastic. It's a lot nicer than that sounds, and is a great mixer for vodka or cheap whisky (expensive whisky should be enjoyed untainted). A 2 litre bottle contains enough caffeine to make you bounce around like you're on drugs for hours, or to dispel all but the worst of hangovers. The high sugar content helps a bit too. It also comes in 750ml glass bottles, for around 70p (about $1), and which offer a 20p refund upon the safe return of the empty. With excellent value, and a combination of all the good points of both coffee and coke, it's no wonder it's so popular. Diet versions and an isotonic version called Irn-Bru XS are also available, for sporty types or the weight-conscious.
Irn-Bru was first produced in 1901, under the name Iron Brew. It does in fact contain iron, or, more accurately, ammonium ferric citrate, but only 0.02% by volume. In 1946, a change in laws required that the word "brew" be removed from the name, as the drink isn't technically brewed. The chairman of the company came up with the bright idea of changing both halves of the name to the phonetic spelling, giving us Irn-Bru as it is spelt now. The hyphen seems to be part of the name now as well, but its origins are unknown. The formula for the flavour syrup has been kept a closely-guarded secret since its creation, and is rumoured to only be known to two members of the Barr family, with a written copy in a Swiss bank-vault in case a tragic accident should occur. All the quirky mysticism, rumour and folklore surrounding Irn-Bru only serve to help keep it in its place as an icon of Scottish culture.
The ingredients of Irn-Bru are listed as;