Cheers and ching ching

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

Food for thought: you get very few banana flavoured beverages. Sure, you can order a banana milkshake or down some banana mampoer as part of your neknomination, but you will find very few soft drinks, warm beverages or even fruit juices that are flavoured with one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most famous crops (the others being sugar cane and a leafy plant enjoyed by Rastafarians).

If you don’t believe me, take a stroll down the drinks aisle at your local supermarket. You’ll notice that major beverage producers haven’t included a banana soft drink to support sales of the mega-selling cola flavoured ones. I am no expert on the matter, but my guess is that banana is just one of those flavours that does not go down well when it’s turned into a fizzy drink.

Drink up

After last week’s research into truly unappetizing foods (and inspired by the banana conundrum) I decided to look at beverages you wouldn’t serve to guests unless you wanted them to leave and never return. We start in Mongolia with a drink called Airag. It seems simple to produce – simply milk a horse, store the milk in a skin or cow’s stomach and leave it to ferment, occasionally churning the liquid. The alcoholic drink has been made for centuries in Mongolia, which may explain why Genghis Khan erred on the side of aggression.

I don’t know if the trend has caught on countrywide, but there is no denying Joburger’s fondness for Jager Bombs – a mix of a highly caffeinated energy drink and Jagermeister. One shooter trend I don’t think we’ll see at Sandton nightspots is the Smoker’s Cough. It’s similar to the Jager Bomb but the energy drink is replaced with mayonnaise.

W(h)ine

South Africans are incredibly fortunate to have so many superb locally-produced wines. Yes, there is some swill, but we have access to really good wine and in many instances, don’t have to overspend to get a decent bottle. Not all nations are so lucky, something the sommeliers of Vietnam will attest to. We make our wine with the finest grapes, producers in the Asian nation use snakes. Never again will I complain about box wine.

If you love bacon and enjoy bourbon, why not make you own bacon-infused bourbon? The logic behind the drink doesn’t seem that far out. After all, we’re mass producing coffee-flavoured tequila and caramel-flavoured vodka. Stock-standard alcohol just doesn’t cut it any more. At first I thought this was a hoax, like mice wine from Korea, but it seems as though many folks in the US of A are finding additional uses for pork.

Chewing the cud

Wheatgrass is touted as a treatment for many ailments though there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that it is not the miracle cure many believe it to be. At some point wheatgrass enemas were all the rage. After having tried a few shots of the green drink I can see why people turned to alternative methods of ingestion. If you wonder what it tastes like do this – mow your lawn, take a handful of fresh cut grass and chew it. There is nothing miraculous about it.

In fact, I would sooner drink banana-flavoured box wine.

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