Lashings and lashings of ginger beer
None of the much loved Enid Blyton‘s Famous Five books that I read as a child were complete without a picnic – ham rolls, hard boiled eggs, slabs of fruit cake, tinned pears and, of course, lashings and lashings of ginger beer. The only kind of ginger drink that I came across in Ireland was ginger ale, ginger beer’s much sweeter and less spicy sibling. I wasn’t too impressed.
Years later, long after my Famous Five fixation had passed, I came across ginger beer (along with many other ginger products) in New Zealand and I became addicted. I don’t normally buy soft drinks but, especially with the long journeys in the South Island, ginger beer was the drink of choice to keep both driver and passenger going. A non-alcoholic drink that is refreshingly tart and not too sweet, there were many brands available but the variety that I most loved was an import from Australia called Bundaberg.
Sold in a distinctive squat brown glass bottle, it had a ring-pull metal top which I never quite got the hang of. Still, that was only a small and easily manageable (get the Boyfriend to open the bottle!) drawback so, when I unexpectedly came across a small display of Bundaberg ginger beer in my local supermarket – tricky top or no – I was delighted. It’s the equivalent of discovering a packet of Tayto cheese & onion Irish crisps in your local Christchurch dairy. Now all I need to complete the NZ nostalgia trip is the faded green, leaky, tank-like 22-year-old Honda Accord that we drove throughout NZ…