Ribena was something I’ve wanted since I was a kid, but it was rarely allowed. I think the double combination is more expensive than an average juice and also known for its epic sugar limit, I put it on my mother’s shopping list. Like everything you’re not allowed to do as a child, it has acquired an almost mystical symbolism, and I have enjoyed the rare occasions when I was offered an ice-cold glass of good things by a friend or grandmother, or when Ribena once hit the blue moon to buy a free area.
Now I’m free to buy Ribena’s cardboard packaging or concentrate as I like. It’s still expensive, but not as much as most other much duller things that adults let me buy, it’s a luxury I can afford. Although I don’t do it very often. It may be something that tastes different with age, or has virtually no refreshing value. It cannot be compared to such expensive fresh juices and cocktails.
However, it seems to me that this high sugar content (despite the claims of the bottles, the vast majority is all natural) and the pronounced taste of Ribena pumpkin berries could be an ideal candidate for SodaStream syrup. Another practical aspect is that my heart bottle has been reduced to two pounds, allowing me to keep the traditional products by buying according to my mother’s spending policy in the 1980s.
Once again, the key to creating this unofficial taste is to make a batch of sparkling water and pour some of it in, so that you can then pour in a fairly large amount of concentrate. Your average heart just doesn’t have the strength of an official SodaStream Syrup.
Ribens’ syrup often gives a light frothy drink, which I usually consider a bonus. In this case, the combination of this foaming power with sparkling water creates an impressive soda fountain and my 4th official SodaStream explosion. Hooray!
After removing the drink and cooling it to perfection, I am ready to try the creation: Very pungent and impressive sugar notes, and I’ve dosed enough to soak up the pungent smell of blackcurrants. It’s Ribena, okay, but Ribena with a wink.
I somehow found out if it’s a good result or not. On the one hand, it works. It looks like a real soft drink – extremely poisonous from the imported shelves of my local kiosks near Mountain Dew and Rubicon.
I drink two glasses of baby tea (chicken nuggets, potato waffles and spaghetti baskets), which seems to be the only honest test, and the drink is refreshing and overwhelming, as it should always be with Ribena. My teeth are covered with sugar and my whiskey has been hit by a citrus thorn. I pour another glass and I’m still thirsty, which confirms my memory of rubbing.
On the other hand, I’m not sure that the presence of a soft drink contributes to this. I think Ribena would be better off without the gas. It’s like putting sugar in ice cream.
It seems I have to make more batches and vary the dosage. This drink has potential, but I’m not sure. My homework for the weekend is to find a bottle of Ribena soda in the shops and see if a) I can stick to the dosage and b) – more importantly – if I prefer my version. I’m sorry I have to go, but the jury’s gone.
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