Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community

Tracy West: retail commentator

I'm sorry but I'm back on the subject of soft drinks again this month.

I'll start with a moan. There's no Rose's Lime Cordial available anywhere (unless you want to pay silly money for it on eBay) all due to a factory fire.

Of course, accidents happen but you can't get an alternative because everyone else's lime juice has sweeteners in it and Mr West won't drink anything with sweeteners. You see he likes a drop of lime in his lager.

We tried Belvoir Lime & Lemongrass but that was not to his liking. Then we went for lemonade but just you try and find a lemonade without sweeteners it's nigh on impossible. Then there's the C02 shortage which has finally hit where I live so there's hardly any fizz out there at all.

Anyway, as my mind has been well and truly fixed on soft drinks lately, I've been out looking for some new ones or new to me at least. And, in a recent visit to several forecourts I hit the jackpot. My first find was the Mr Basil Pineapple Basil Seed drink. It comes in a bulb-shaped glass bottle but it wasn't the bottle that attracted me, it was the strange contents.

You see suspended in the liquid are the seeds, which look just like frogspawn. Really, it looks like something you'd find in a laboratory. The drink itself did taste of pineapple but I could not get past the seeds. Apparently they are very good for you but I don't think I drank enough to get any benefits. It wasn't for me but I'm sure some people love it.

Next up was the Canadian Jones Cane Sugar Soda in Grape flavour. The colour was a very pretty purple but the taste was quite horrible. Not so much grape as something medicinal. While it was not for me, I did like the idea that you could send a photo into the makers, and if they liked it they'd put it on the bottle. Plus, on the underside of each screw cap, is a message or saying taken from a real Fortune Cookie. It's just a real shame I didn't like the drink.

I hit the jackpot with drink number three one that I actually liked. It's called Calypso Ocean Blue lemonade with real lemon bits. It's bright blue, tart and tangy. Delicious. It's made in the US and even Mr West liked it!

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