When I got home from Skoo as a nipper in the Sixties I would immediately raid the fridge like a berserker!
What I was looking for was a bottle of fizzy pop. Not a small one but a large three pinter. Once the top was off I would glug a steady flow until it filled a hi-ball glass. This usually took several goes as it was mostly froth!
So what was I supping? Well, the beverages of choice back then were as follows [in no particular order]:
1. Pepsi Cola or Pepsi - the thinking kid's Coke. With its American style logo, drinking proper glass bottles of pepsi with a stripey straw just seemed cooler than the other stuff. If you could wear ripped jeans, a white T-shirt and sneakers then even better. I had my school shirt and shorts on till the mid-Sixties. I was allowed trousers after that.
2. Coca Cola or Coke - what with the New Seekers singing its the real thing on telly, Coke was more important than water. With more curves than Raquel Welch, Coke came in the best designed bottle in history. Straws weren't needed, it was so damn refreshing. Globally only the Beatles were better known. They invented Santa as well so what more can I say.
3. Tizer - nuclear fission in a bottle, Tizer had more zest and fizz than a Magnox Reactor. It was simply delicious. Bright orange and highly volatile, it could fill your belly with foam in seconds. Once shaken, it was ideal as an indoor firework. I often think of Tizer as rocket fuel in Toyland. It powered a whole generation and we burped for Britain. Lucozade was gnat's pee in comparison.
4. Dandelion and Burdock - with a name like two Solicitors this concoction shouldn't have worked but it did. The name was unshortenable. You couldn't say Dandelion or else kids would think you were a floral sissy and you couldn't say Burdock 'cos no-one knew what it was. You had to say the whole double name and give it the respect it deserved. A true fizzy pop with nose-tickling pazaz, it somehow seemed strange to drink, as if we were nicking something saved for Grandad. How they made weeds and sticky heads taste so good I will never know!
5. Lemonade - this simple brew was the backbone of the pop world. If there was nothing left in the fridge you could always count on Lemonade somewhere in the kitchen. Jealously branded in different ways across the globe - R.Whites [for secret lemonade drinkers], 7 Up, Fanta Lemon, Cloudy, Pink and Sprite to name but a citric few - lemonade was always basically the ade of lemons. Utterly thirst quenching like a fire extinguisher, brave Mum's even had a go at making there own. Palatable as these DIY jug-fulls were, without the fizz they were just tart water.
6. Vimto - what can I say, Vimto was, without doubt, the king of cordials. Cordials were a strange bunch, often single fruit flavours like orange [which was called squash for some reason] and apple, which had to be diluted with tap water. I suppose the idea was that the bottle would last longer but I just drank more! Vimto was a purpley black as it was basically a blackcurrant drink with some other dark fruits chucked in. Its only competition was Ribena but Ribena was for wimps. The only improvement to Vimto was the addition of vanilla ice cream, which I had every Saturday morning with a ham finger bun at our favourite Preston cafe, Bruciani's. The carbonisation of vimto came years later but I will always consider it to be what tap water was invented for!
7. Sarsaparilla - this profoundly red beverage was a mystery to me: unbelievably delicious but of completely unknown origin. I used to think they melted down the sweets of the same name but that would've taken too long. The name was impossible to spell too and it joined the ranks of those Sixties weird words like Calamine and Germolene peppering our youth. Sarsaparilla was cool too, seen in American movies and the pinkest stuff around. I haven't had it or indeed the sweets since way back then when I drank a big glass of pop as if I'd just swum the Amazon.
8. American Cream Soda - if there was a way of bottling everything good about being a kid, this would be it. American Cream Soda was eternal sunshine dusted with Christmas. It had it all: a cool US name, one sweet aroma and a taste, well, describing the taste could fill tomes: a mixture of cream, candyfloss, toffee, caramel, birds dream topping and a whole box of Quality Street thrown in. If Willy Wonka ran a bath he'd fill it with this. It was impossible to stop glugging! I understand they had soda fountains in America. British kids would have died of joy in them. Bottles of the stuff were enough for us!
Well, I could go on but sooner or later the pop goes flat and I've covered the big guzzlers here. There are some honorable mentions though: Lucozade [the liquid doctor], Tango [orange landmine], Lime cordial [blended lawn], Canada Dry [Dad soda], Iron Bru [there's been a girder!], Cherryade [kisses in a bottle] and Robinson's Barley Water [for Tennis players]. A mention must also be given to those small cheapo plastic bottles of knockoff pop down the petrol station like Rola-Cola.
It would be years off before us Sixties northern ankle-biters would be introduced to new fangled belch fluids like Mountain Dew, Dr.Pepper, Orangina and Sunny D, so with my imaginary glass of bright orange Tizer in my hand, I wish you good guzzling and deep burps!
What did you drink readers?
What did you drink readers?