As a 10-year-old kid pulling a tin of Blueberry Fanta from my lunchbox would draw bigger crowds than two dogs humping. This excitement hasn’t changed for me with my life in Southeast Asia. Like a kid in a soda shop every time something new hits the shelves I’m first in to try it. The latest of Thailand soft drinks lit up behind 7/11 fridge doors is Blueberry Fanta. My new favourite blue-coloured fizzy pop.
Unlike eating habits, I am not overly adventurous with non-alcoholic drinks in Asia. I was put off in Thailand where popular local drinks are often made from plants or herbs like chrysanthemum or rossela. Flowers smell nice but this doesn’t mean they taste good. Again I am not a big fan of green tea drinks without the adding of honey and lemon. I am one of the few non-tea-drinking British. Maybe my palate for drinks just isn’t very sophisticated but it seems in Asia people think of the health benefits of drinks before the tastiness. Boring. I want exciting blue Fanta
Unfortunately Blueberry Fanta is limited. It will be joining Grape, Strawberry, Orange, and Fruit Punch Fanta on the shelves only for a short period of time. Back home when asking for Fanta I expect fizzy orange – no different than expecting cola when I ask for Coke. In Thailand there is a whole new world of Fanta.
Another addition to the poptastic world of Thailand soft drinks is Est. Crap name. While pronounced Est I call it E.S.T. Sounds less weird. Established by former Pepsi bottlers Est is Thailand’s first-ever cola with high ambitions to compete with Pepsi and Coca-cola. I took it to the taste test and can say it is better than Creamola Foam cola but second to cola Soda Stream. Don’t really care I buy Big. I now look forward to the launch of their lemon-lime flavour. In Thailand it is normal to drink fizzy pop from a bag filled with ice (est now have all weird and wonderful flavours).
Fun fact. Red Bull is Thai. Known locally as Krating Daeng – Red Bull was created by Thai billionaire Chaleo Yoovidhya who passed away earlier this year (2012). An heir to the Red Bull fortune lives a couple of blocks from me in Bangkok. A couple months back he was speeding his Ferrari in the early hours. Managed to crash and kill a motorbike policeman when doing so. Red Bull is cheap in Thailand. A small bottle a 10th of what I pay for a tin in the UK.