Top Pick Of The Week

September 23, 2008

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Fentimans Soda

Fentimans is ready to show you what soda pop tasted like in the good old days. In Curiosity Cola, Dandelion & Burdock, Ginger Beer, Mandarin & Seville Orange Jigger, Shandy and Victorian Lemonade. Photography by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Botanically brewed soft drinks from England.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Natural fermentation instills unique flavor and character. The beverages are .5% alcohol by volume, but classified as soft drinks and consumable by children—you don’t taste the alcohol. It’s the only botanically brewed and fermented beverage available in the U.S.
WHY WE LOVE IT: The unfiltered, old-fashioned flavors and physical beauty of the bottles are a treat. Most flavors make great cocktail mixers  as well.
WHERE TO BUY IT:  At many fine retailers nationwide, and

Fentimans Brewed Soda:
Pop Crew Circa 1905

Page 4: Soda Flavors ~ Orange Jigger & Shandy

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Fentimans Mandarin & Seville Orange Jigger

Here’s one for those who fancy orange juice—because this pop has not much in common with orange soda. The word jigger, which most of us know as that small bar measuring cup that pours an even shot of liquor, derives from an old term meaning “good measure” (as in, “Give me a jigger of whiskey, bartender”). Over time, an ounce was established as the uniform “good measure” for whiskey. Fentimans gives you a full 9.2 ounces in its bottle of Orange Jigger.

Each bottle contains more than 30% of pure mandarin orange juice, enhanced with natural Seville orange flavor. For more complexity, there are juniper and speedwell (a medicinal herb) extracts. In fact, Orange Jigger tastes like a glass of orange juice and club soda enhanced with some type of exotic bitters.

  • Orange Jigger can be served as an alcohol-free cocktail. Try it at brunch instead of a Mimosa.
  • Unlike orange soda, it’s not very sweet, so will pair well with chicken and fish courses that have citrus or other fruit accents.
  • For those who don’t like tea, beer or wine, It‘s an alternative beverage with Asian cuisine.


Fentimans Orange Jigger
All that delicious orange juice settles to the bottom, so tip the bottle upside down before opening.
Fentimans Shandy
In a protective dark bottle, Shandy is actually the color of amber ale.

Fentimans Shandy

Shandy is a U.K. pub drink: beer flavored with lemonade. (In some parts of the world, ginger ale is used.) The closest analogy in the U.S. is Zima, the Coors lemon-lime flavored “clear beer.”

In a pub, the proportions are generally half-and-half, but can be varied to taste. Commercially bottled or canned shandy generally has a far lower percentage of alcohol, so it can be distributed as a soft drink. While Fentiman’s Shandy is brewed with 70% beer, for example, the alcohol is removed so it nets out at just .5%.

Fentimans Shandy, not the cola, will seem the most curious to American palates. You know there’s some beer in there (it has the subtle taste of Guinness). In the glass, you’d take it for an amber ale (it forms a slight, “lite” head). It has some caramel flavor (from the malt), bitterness (from the hops) and a sweet, lemony overtone (sweeter than the Victorian Lemonade, in fact).

  • Get to know Shandy on its own merits.
  • Have a Shandy instead of that second or third beer when you’re the designated driver.
  • Read those underage, beer-sneaking kids the riot act, then tell them they can have all the Shandy they can afford.

Fentiman’s Shandy is the only brewed shandy on the market. It could start a trend.


Continue To Page 5: Victorian Lemonade

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