This months Beer Blogging Friday is hosted by Mario over at Brewed for thought. the topic covers what we beer bloggers drink when we aren't drinking beer. A bit of a toughie....but...If you have visited the charming Mediterranean island of Malta, you will certainly have tasted the Maltese national soft drink. There is nothing else non-alcoholic that can refresh you on a 40 degree summer day quite like Kinnie. My mother-in-law is Maltese and when we visit my wife's relatives there are many treats we indulge in that are only available in Malta. Until recently top of this list was Kinnie but now, to my delight, it is available in 500mL bottles from Amazon UK and it's consistently in their top ten beverage sales.
Unless you've tried it it may be hard to understand why the Maltese are so obsessed with a drink made from bitter oranges and herbs. But it has beaten back competition from Coca Cola and San Pellegrino and reigns supreme on the streets of Valetta and Sliema. It is on these dusty hot streets that Kinnie can be found in its perfect state, from a vending machine in an ice cold 330mL bottle, cracked open and swigged to quench near impenetrable thirst.
For the mean time I will happily make do with these plastic bottles to give me my Kinnie fix. In a way its a good replacement for beer on a scorcher. It has a refreshing bitterness like an orangey US IPA and with a shot of vodka or two it can have a similar effect. It was served with vodka in almost 50/50 ratio at a Maltese wedding I went to last year. There are some other cocktail ideas on the Kinnie site which I might be trying soon as well as some recipe ideas I have to make use of its marmalade and spice qualities.