Inca Kola versus Irn Bru


Irn Bru: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Flavourings, Preservative (E 211), Caffeine, Colours (E110, E124), Ammonium Ferric Citrate (0.002%).
Inca Kola: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate, caffeine, artificial and natural flavors.

Look pretty similar don't they? And they look similar. Irn-bru is a garish orange and Inca Kola a golden yellow. Their tastes are not a world apart either, both falling into the same category: grim sugary gunk. Inca kola wins hands down but soley on price.

Inca Kola is the best-selling soft drink in Peru. So, Coca-cola were naturally cheesed off at not having the top spot and bought 50% of the company. It was invented by José R. Lindley, from an English family, and was based on an ancestral Lemon Verbena drink.

Only one other country does not have Coke at the "Top of the Pops". Scotland, of course. Irn-bru was origionaly called Strachan's Brew until, in 1946, they were told it couldn't be called "brew" becasue it wasn't brewed. So they misspelt the name. The "Irn" bit come from the fact that the stuff was given away to Glasgow's iron and steelworkers by the gallon. Prior to this deal the steelworkers drank so much beer, because of the heat in the steelworks, that they were killing themselves off with alcohol poisoning. Recently, E110 and E124 have been banned in the UK, so Irn Bru are looking to find a way of getting the same insane colour another way.

The exact recipe of Irn Bru is, yawn, a closely guarded secret. In a bank vault in Switzerland. Only two people know it. Robin Barr, who mixes the syrup in a sealed room in Cumbernauld once a month, and another unknown other person. They are not allowed to fly on the same plane together.

inca kola billboard
Inca Kola
El Sabor del Perú. (The flavour of Perú.)Inca Kola sólo hay una y no se parece a ninguna. (There is only one Inca Kola and it is like no other.)
Irn Bru
Scotland's other National Drink.
Bru'd in Scotland from girders.

inca kola
Nutritional Information
Irn Bru
Calories: 100
Sodium: 10mg
Sugars: 25g
Inca KolaCalories: 96
Sodium: 31mg
Sugars: 26g

I wrote this post during my bike trip in South America in 2010.
I now offer guided walks and walking holidays in the UK in Northumberland, the Pennines, the Lake District, Scotland and further afield.

I'm always keen for outdoor adventures to help people learn the skills to explore! My particular focus is mountain skills such as navigating with a map and compass and wild camping for expeditions.

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