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Bitter Lemon and other foreign sodas

Bitter Lemon and other foreign sodas
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  • Bitter Lemon and other foreign sodas

    Post #1 - July 15th, 2005, 1:15 am
    Post #1 - July 15th, 2005, 1:15 am Post #1 - July 15th, 2005, 1:15 am
    In the Hannah's Bretzel thread, Cathy2 wrote:I also ordered a bottle of LORINA French Lemonade, Citron, in my vain quest to find something approaching Schweppe's Bitter Lemon.

    I too found the Lorina product a disappointment. A local pop producer, Riggs & Forsyth, makes something they call Bitter Lemon, but it was also disappointing -- it tastes closer to 7-Up. (They do make a very good dry ginger ale, though).

    Have you tried Pellegrino Limonata? It's readily available at Italian markets, Trader Joe's and some other stores. It's not the same as Bitter Lemon, but it's quite tart, and the closest I've found that's easy to find and not hideously expensive.

    A closer match is the Irish soda Club Lemon. I bought some at Woodman's Market in Kenosha; and I'd expect that some of the Irish stores carry it. It was expensive, though, $1.69 for about a 20-oz. bottle.

    I have occasionally found Schweppe's Bitter Lemon in stores, but the version produced for sale in the U.S. isn't as tart as the European version. Checking Schweppe's web site, I see they don't list Bitter Lemon on the U.S. products page at all, so perhaps they've discontinued it over here altogether.

    There are quite a number of other foreign sodas I'd like to see sold here, too: Peach-flavored Qoo, a Japanese juice-based drink (very rarely available at Mitsuwa); Almdudler, the national soft drink of Austria, a sort of herbal ginger ale; Whiteway's Peardrax from Trinidad & Tobago; Kinley Lemon, from Israel; Ting, Jamaican grapefruit soda; Bottle Green Limeflower Presse from Canada (sometimes at Meijer). Himself likes Beverly, a bitterslike soda from Italy, though I think it's vile.

    The interesting thing, is that several of these are bottled overseas by Coke or Pepsi -- why they don't think Americans would buy them, I don't know. (Except for Beverly, about which they're quite right.)
        Image Image

    Edited to fix broken image link
    Last edited by LAZ on March 29th, 2008, 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - July 15th, 2005, 5:51 am
    Post #2 - July 15th, 2005, 5:51 am Post #2 - July 15th, 2005, 5:51 am
    LAZ wrote:Have you tried Pellegrino Limonata? It's readily available at Italian markets, Trader Joe's and some other stores.


    I have had it a few times at Italian Markets. It was pretty decent but nothing that I would go out of my way for. It had too much sugar for my tastes.
  • Post #3 - July 15th, 2005, 7:57 am
    Post #3 - July 15th, 2005, 7:57 am Post #3 - July 15th, 2005, 7:57 am
    Ting is readily available at Jamaican groceries and even the Dominicks in Evanston carries it. I love the stuff but go for the Safeway 2L Grapefruit soda when I am in need of a fix. It is nearly as good and a fraction of the cost.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #4 - July 15th, 2005, 10:35 am
    Post #4 - July 15th, 2005, 10:35 am Post #4 - July 15th, 2005, 10:35 am
    I like the Italian limonata called "LemonSoda" as well as its cousin "OranSoda". In Italy at least, both have a real sour tang. I once bought a case of LemonSoda when it showed up at Caputo's in Elmwood Park, but it seemed to have severely suffered quality-wise from the trauma of importation. It was less carbonated and sweeter than I remembered. Maybe they recalibrated it for export. If you see it on the shelves, though, it's worth a shot.
    Last edited by Seth Zurer on July 15th, 2005, 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #5 - July 15th, 2005, 11:11 am
    Post #5 - July 15th, 2005, 11:11 am Post #5 - July 15th, 2005, 11:11 am
    If one likes bitter soft drinks, the Italian chinotto should be of interest. See further:
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=2711#2711

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #6 - July 15th, 2005, 2:29 pm
    Post #6 - July 15th, 2005, 2:29 pm Post #6 - July 15th, 2005, 2:29 pm
    I wonder if the only-in-Europe Scheppes Bitter Lemon is similar to the only-in-Thailand Manao, which is bitter lime, IIRC. That stuff was SOOO good, and so refreshing on a hot day...which is everyday, in Thailand, I suppose. I went to the Coke/Schweppes website, even emailed them, and it's just not available here... :cry:
  • Post #7 - July 15th, 2005, 2:45 pm
    Post #7 - July 15th, 2005, 2:45 pm Post #7 - July 15th, 2005, 2:45 pm
    This brought back a lot of memories. I remember Schweppes Bitter Lemon from parts of my childhood spent in Nigeria*. So it may not be Europe-only**. I think these were bottled in Canada. I've not looked for it specifically here except a while ago when I first came across Schweppes products - then I forgot till Cathy2s post. I'm piqued enough now to explore the mentioned alternatives. Thanks!


    *I remember adding a good pinch of salt to a really cooold bottle and guzzling it on hot day.

    **At that point a lot of "European" goods were imported into Nigeria.
  • Post #8 - July 15th, 2005, 5:09 pm
    Post #8 - July 15th, 2005, 5:09 pm Post #8 - July 15th, 2005, 5:09 pm
    Schweppes Bitter Lemon is available at Sam's. I think it's $5 for six. I don't recall where exactly but I've seen it in another shop or two as well.

    If you track some down I encourage you to give one of these a shot:

    Bitter Lemon Cooler
    1½ oz dry vermouth
    1 oz gin
    ¼ oz grenadine
    ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
    bitter lemon soda

    Shake & strain into collins glass over crushed ice. Add bitter lemon soda and lemon twist.

    A damn fine and refreshing beverage.

    Kurt
  • Post #9 - July 15th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    Post #9 - July 15th, 2005, 6:48 pm Post #9 - July 15th, 2005, 6:48 pm
    I started getting the San Pellegrino Limonata at Bari for the ride back to the office. You know how hot and uncomfortable the car is after sitting in the sun even for a short time and the Limonata is so refreshing and makes the ride back bearable. I started getting the six pack at Trader Joe's and now I have added the Pompelmo Soda Italiana, grapefruit soda, to my weekly grocery list. For those of us who like bitter tasting things, this soda is truly del otro mundo (out of this world!). (I don't know Italian so I tossed in some Spanish 101).
  • Post #10 - July 15th, 2005, 8:16 pm
    Post #10 - July 15th, 2005, 8:16 pm Post #10 - July 15th, 2005, 8:16 pm
    This reminds me of a drink my friend in FL ordered last week. He's from Australia and says this is popular Down Under.

    In a tall glass combine

    1 shot lemon juice
    1 shot lime juice

    Top with Sprite

    Add Bitters till it looks like iced tea.

    Very refreshing on a hot day.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #11 - July 15th, 2005, 10:03 pm
    Post #11 - July 15th, 2005, 10:03 pm Post #11 - July 15th, 2005, 10:03 pm
    Apple wrote:I started getting the San Pellegrino Limonata at Bari for the ride back to the office. You know how hot and uncomfortable the car is after sitting in the sun even for a short time and the Limonata is so refreshing and makes the ride back bearable. I started getting the six pack at Trader Joe's and now I have added the Pompelmo Soda Italiana, grapefruit soda, to my weekly grocery list. For those of us who like bitter tasting things, this soda is truly del otro mundo (out of this world!). (I don't know Italian so I tossed in some Spanish 101).


    Pellegrino also makes a Pompelmo. It's quite nice, although you have to be a fan of grapefruit.

    The blood orange ones are also good.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 9:47 pm
    Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 9:47 pm Post #12 - July 16th, 2005, 9:47 pm
    Kurt, Thank you!

    A Damn Fine and Refreshing Beverage
    Image

    Sam's Wine & Spirits*
    1720 North Marcey Street
    Chicago, IL
    312-664-4394

    *Go in and to the left back corner of the store. Way back on the bottom shelf. $4.99+tax per 6 pack of 10oz (296 mL) bottles
  • Post #13 - July 18th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    Post #13 - July 18th, 2005, 2:15 pm Post #13 - July 18th, 2005, 2:15 pm
    sazerac wrote:Kurt, Thank you!

    Glad to be of service.

    Kurt

    PS. Ed, where can one find the Blood Orange Pellegrino? I'd sure like to try that. Thanks.
  • Post #14 - July 18th, 2005, 3:11 pm
    Post #14 - July 18th, 2005, 3:11 pm Post #14 - July 18th, 2005, 3:11 pm
    kvltrede wrote:PS. Ed, where can one find the Blood Orange Pellegrino? I'd sure like to try that. Thanks.


    I've bought 6-packs of the 1.5 liter bottles at Caputo Cheese Market, but I don't recall seeing them last time I was there. Call first. When I used to buy them, they were $9 for 6 of those big bottles. Now I think they're up to $12, but it's still a pretty good deal.

    I've also bought the 1.5l botltes singly at Bari. Again, call ahead and make sure they have it.

    The label calls it "la rossa", and both times I believe it wasn't packaged for the US market. All italian, no nutritional info, etc.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #15 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:34 pm
    Post #15 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:34 pm Post #15 - July 22nd, 2005, 2:34 pm
    Spied the Schweppes Bitter Lemon at the Hyde Park Coop. $4.49+tax / 6pack. Is this regularly available in most grocery stores (but I hadn't looked)?

    55th Street Co-op Market
    1526 E. 55th Street
    Chicago, IL 60615
    773.667.1444
    7:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
  • Post #16 - July 23rd, 2005, 3:27 pm
    Post #16 - July 23rd, 2005, 3:27 pm Post #16 - July 23rd, 2005, 3:27 pm
    LAZ wrote:Ting, Jamaican grapefruit soda ...

    The interesting thing, is that several of these are bottled overseas by Coke or Pepsi -- why they don't think Americans would buy them, I don't know. (Except for Beverly, about which they're quite right.)
    1) Ting is sold at the Rogers Park Fruit Market at 7401 N Clark Street (Clark & Jarvis).

    2) Hey, I like Beverly! :P
  • Post #17 - July 28th, 2005, 9:22 pm
    Post #17 - July 28th, 2005, 9:22 pm Post #17 - July 28th, 2005, 9:22 pm
    Ting can also be found at the Oakton Marketplace in Skokie.
    "You should eat!"
  • Post #18 - July 29th, 2005, 9:05 am
    Post #18 - July 29th, 2005, 9:05 am Post #18 - July 29th, 2005, 9:05 am
    I've found the Pellegrino blood orange at Garden Fresh Market in Northbrook. This is a really excellent product, probably my favorite non cola soda, but it is not "bitter" like most of the sodas mentioned in this thread.
  • Post #19 - July 29th, 2005, 11:37 am
    Post #19 - July 29th, 2005, 11:37 am Post #19 - July 29th, 2005, 11:37 am
    Sam's in both Chicago and Downer's Grove have Schweppes Bitter Lemon, but seem to be often out of inventory-I had to special order a case in DG this week, but they were in stock in the city. Binny's, at least in Naperville, on the other hand seems to be well stocked with it I found out today.
  • Post #20 - July 29th, 2005, 1:20 pm
    Post #20 - July 29th, 2005, 1:20 pm Post #20 - July 29th, 2005, 1:20 pm
    MLS wrote:Sam's in both Chicago and Downer's Grove have Schweppes Bitter Lemon, but seem to be often out of inventory-

    MLS,

    I bought a couple of 6 packs at Sam's Marcey St on Wed. (7/27/05). The shelf was fairly full, but no telling if there was additional stock.

    On another note, just had the most amazing crab cake at a bar and grill in Baltimore, Buddy's on Elliott Street. Very basic, large chunks of crab lightly bound by Hellmans and dusted with crab boil. Rounded out our meal with grilled romaine and a couple of Baltimore's favorite, National Bohemian Beer.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #21 - August 3rd, 2005, 11:58 pm
    Post #21 - August 3rd, 2005, 11:58 pm Post #21 - August 3rd, 2005, 11:58 pm
    I too splurged on the Schweppe's Bitter Lemon at Sam's. I continue to find the U.S.-bottled product disappointing. It has less lemon flavor and less quinine/bitter character than the European version.

    San Pellegrino's Limonata lacks the quinine edge, but has a better tart-lemon flavor.
  • Post #22 - August 4th, 2005, 9:03 pm
    Post #22 - August 4th, 2005, 9:03 pm Post #22 - August 4th, 2005, 9:03 pm
    LAZ wrote:I too splurged on the Schweppe's Bitter Lemon at Sam's. I continue to find the U.S.-bottled product disappointing. It has less lemon flavor and less quinine/bitter character than the European version.

    LAZ,

    I'm sipping another Schweppe's Bitter Lemon as I type, I seem to be doling them out one an evening, and am thoroughly enjoying the soda. If the European version is that much better I now know one of my first tasks next time I'm there.

    Thanks for the tip.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - August 10th, 2005, 4:42 pm
    Post #23 - August 10th, 2005, 4:42 pm Post #23 - August 10th, 2005, 4:42 pm
    Saw Schweppes Bitter Lemon at the Foremost on Ashland last night. Don't think I've seen it there before. No idea if it's at any of the many other locations or if it will remain a regular item....

    It's on the top shelf in their crowded, tiny soft drink section along the dividing wall between the entrance and the store proper. $4.79.

    Kurt

    Foremost
    3014 N Ashland Ave
    Chicago, IL
    (773) 472-7471
  • Post #24 - August 18th, 2005, 3:53 pm
    Post #24 - August 18th, 2005, 3:53 pm Post #24 - August 18th, 2005, 3:53 pm
    Gary,

    Less need to dole them out as I have quite a few in my fridge that I would be happy to part with. I differ from LAZ in that I adore the Riggs & Forsythe Bitter Lemon and in fact purchased the Schweppes to avoid paying the obscene price for them at Fox & Obel. Didn't work. The R&F are available at Kitchen Chicago, my shared kitchen space, so I get one as a treat while I work there.
    MAG
    www.monogrammeevents.com

    "I've never met a pork product I didn't like."
  • Post #25 - August 19th, 2005, 7:55 am
    Post #25 - August 19th, 2005, 7:55 am Post #25 - August 19th, 2005, 7:55 am
    Re: Riggs & Forsythe Bitter Lemon

    I bought this due to MAG's enthusiastic raves. I found very weak in the bitter department, which is what I am seeking. I did find their bottle attractive and have yet to part with it.

    When I was at the Fancy Food Show in May, I talked to a representative of European Imports. They had samples of a bitter lemon drink, which I asked how it compared to Schweppes, he said, "You won't find the level of bitter you want in this drink. Americans don't favor bitter flavors generally so you will not likely find what you want in this country."

    The last of my suitcase imported Schweppes Bitter Lemon is now history. I do have a bottle of a bitter orange I have yet to open. This summer I've made Rich4's Lemon Soda using straight lemons or lemons mixed either with Key Limes or Tahiti Limes. I'm going to add grated lemon peel into the next variant of this soda.

    I even checked all the soda's offered at Woodman's hoping against hope there may be liter or 2 liter bottles of Schweppes bitter lemon or at least a better price on the tiny bottles sold in liquor stores. No luck.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - August 19th, 2005, 8:28 am
    Post #26 - August 19th, 2005, 8:28 am Post #26 - August 19th, 2005, 8:28 am
    MAG wrote:Gary,

    Less need to dole them out as I have quite a few in my fridge that I would be happy to part with.

    MAG,

    I'll be right over! :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #27 - August 19th, 2005, 1:18 pm
    Post #27 - August 19th, 2005, 1:18 pm Post #27 - August 19th, 2005, 1:18 pm
    Nice article at http://tinyurl.com/bs6k9 -- it didn't ask me to register until I clicked on the sidebar link to look at the photos.
  • Post #28 - August 19th, 2005, 1:23 pm
    Post #28 - August 19th, 2005, 1:23 pm Post #28 - August 19th, 2005, 1:23 pm
    I have not seen teh Bitter Lemon in years ... What does it taste like and can it be replicated at home lessening the need to pay the price for the "real" thing?
  • Post #29 - August 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm
    Post #29 - August 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm Post #29 - August 19th, 2005, 2:10 pm
    Cathy's right that the Riggs & Forsythe is not high on the bitter quotient. What I like about it is that is has a light and natural taste to it, which would make sense given that it is produced with all natural ingredients. I think that, with the exception of Coke to which I am and will always be partial, I'm pretty senstive to high fructose corn syrup.
    MAG
    www.monogrammeevents.com

    "I've never met a pork product I didn't like."
  • Post #30 - August 20th, 2005, 6:08 am
    Post #30 - August 20th, 2005, 6:08 am Post #30 - August 20th, 2005, 6:08 am
    Cathy2 wrote:This summer I've made Rich4's Lemon Soda using straight lemons or lemons mixed either with Key Limes or Tahiti Limes. I'm going to add grated lemon peel into the next variant of this soda.


    The bitter component in Bitter Lemon is quinine. You could try making the soda with tonic water instead of seltzer. (Unfortunately, although Canfield's tonic is available in 2-liter bottles, it's not as good as either Schweppe's or Canada Dry, which have the same small, expensive bottle problem as Bitter Lemon. Perhaps some local pharmacy will sell quinine tablets?)

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