Drink: Ayran Synopsis: Not to be mistaken for a typo of the similarly-spelled word ‘Aryan’, Ayran is an Azeri ‘yoghurtdrink’ whose packaging features a closed-eyed lady supping the beverage in a state of 100% pleasure. It’s apparently served in McDonald’s branches in Turkey, because it’s good with meat; in Iran, it’s available in carbonated form; Anatolia makes it from ewe’s milk. My non-continental verdict, is, however, that it’s utterly unbearable - its flat, sour sensation could only be dealt with if on a dare. It’s like drinking a bad lassi. So Englebert Humperdinck, prepare yourself for your Eurovision trip to Baku by heading down to the Russian convenience store on Cambridge Heath Road in east London - and then you’ll be able to say “no thank you, I’ve tried it already and Im not a fan, but thank you very much for offering and it’s by no means a slant against your culture”.
Drink: Buratina (“Tutti Frutti” flavour) Synopsis: It looks like urine, but is actually a carbonated soft drink all the way from Russia! This flavour tastes less like all of the fruits and more like the stale base of a Screwball from the ice-cream van. It is also japes to look upon other languages’ parallel usage of speech marks, if you are that way inclined.
Drink: Baby mice wine Synopsis: “Baby mice wine is a traditional Korean health drink, which is brewed by drowning alive baby mice, maximum three days old, in rice moonshine and letting them to ferment in the bottle for about a year. According to local Korean belief, mouse wine is a cure to just about any illness imaginable, including asthma and liver problems among others”
Drink: Stephen Segal’s Lightning Bolt Synopsis: Lightning Bolt is apparently “the first energy drink to be made of 100% juice”, and it comes in two delicious flavours - Asian Experience and Cherry Charge. And therein lie two strands of a true story.
Drink: Carbonated yellow liquid with extracts of eel head and bones. I can’t type those characters on my western MacBook Air, sorry. Synopsis: This drink is from Japan, obviously. The target market, according to its manufacturers, is “men who are exhausted by the summer’s heat”.