The Curious Canadian Soda
As a plucky pig-tailed 7-year old, I took my first trip to Canada and back then I didn’t appreciate a single thing about the country—the everyday sights and sounds of Montréal and odd curiosities of Chinatown didn’t appeal to me at all. Years later, I would realize how silly I was and fell in love with all that our “neighbor up North” has to offer. It wasn’t the idyllic beauty or the amazing nightlife that would forever affirm my love of the country but a bottle of soda. Yes, you read that correctly—a bottle of soda.
I’m not talking your standard-issue bottle of sugary, teeth-rotting swill. No, it was Fentimans Botanically Brewed Beverages (try saying that 5 times fast) that got me officially hooked on Canada and changed the way I thought a soft drink should taste. Usually the words fermented, brewed, and roots aren’t words you’d associate with soda but Fentimans employs a method of soda-making that surpasses the common techniques of most carbonated beverage makers. Fentimans comes in truly old school, unique flavors like Curiosity Cola, Ginger Beer, Victorian Lemonade, Shandy, Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger, and Dandelion and Burdock.
On the company’s website, it states “Today, every Fentimans Beverage is still made in the time-honoured tradition by brewing and fermenting herbs and milled roots over seven days. (This compares to hours’ production time for typical soft drinks.) Under the watchful eyes of Thomas Fentiman’s faithful prized Alsatian “Fearless”, who still adorns the labels, our trademark recipes contain the unfiltered goodness of their natural ingredients. So upending the bottle before enjoying is always in order, to enjoy a fuller, more invigorating taste that is ‘once tasted, never forgotten'”. Makes you want to throw back a cold one, eh?
Note: Fentimans has a North America-based distributor in addition to its UK-based operations. Locally, Fentimans is sold at Pink Dolphin gourmet grocery store in the hipster neighborhood of Northern Liberties (NoLibs) in Philadelphia, PA. To order on Amazon, click here.