Is there a (non-alcoholic) drink that Australia calls its own?
May 16, 2015 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I have been planning fun and cutesy little dinner parties just for two once a week for my boyfriend and I where I find new recipes for a meal, a drink, and a dessert. Seeking an Aussie beverage!

I attended a partial year of high school in Australia over a decade ago and I have been wanting to do a bit of an Australian themed meal for an upcoming dinner party where I will make some Aussie meat pies and whip up some pavlova and share pictures and stories from my time there. Im stuck on what Australian drink to serve though. I remember cordial and milo but Im wondering if there is any other beverage option that is distinctly Australian I could find a recipe for and try to recreate?
posted by cristalina to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Passiona - a passionfruit flavoured soft drink - would do the trick, if you can find it or figure out how to replicate it.
Alternatively, I'm led to believe that orange and mango juice is pretty uncommon outside Australia.
posted by not the fingers, not the fingers at 6:23 PM on May 16, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Passiona might be hard to replicate. Lemon, lime and bitters is technically not non-alcoholic, because of the Angostura bitters, but the mixed version is barely so. Solo? Bundaberg ginger beer?
posted by holgate at 6:32 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Oh, you want a Claytons, It's the drink you have when you are not having a drink. Available (sort of?) here.
More on 'claytons'
posted by Thella at 6:41 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

The other answer is tea (adults) or water/poppers (children).
posted by Thella at 6:42 PM on May 16, 2015

Best answer: Lemon-lime and bitters is the drink of the non-drinking Australian. It would also go very nicely with meat pies.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:19 PM on May 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

There's also the "flat white" coffee if you can find any definitive description of what it actually is!
posted by bunyip at 8:35 PM on May 16, 2015

Response by poster: Oh thanks very much everyone! You've all given me some great ideas here. I don't know if I'll be able to easily track down the Pasiona or Clayton's but I loved reading about both of them (those Clayton jokes on wiki were very funny, ha). I need to find some passion fruit sauce for the pavlova anyway so definitely a little passion fruit drink would be fun to serve up, but I also enjoyed researching the lemon and lime bitters drink and I think that will be the one I try! Ta! :)
posted by cristalina at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2015

(I hope it's okay if non-OPs ask clarifying questions.) holgate and snorkmaiden, is the lemon part of the lemon-lime (called lemonade in the link) carbonated? Or like the US non-carbonated lemonade?
posted by Beti at 8:39 PM on May 16, 2015

Australian lemonade is what Yanks call lemon-lime soda.
posted by zamboni at 9:05 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Australian lemonade is English-style, so it's clear and carbonated, like 7-Up/Sprite but not quite. (In the US, Lorina 'French Limonade' is the closest match that's easily available, but 7-Up will do at a pinch.)
posted by holgate at 9:07 PM on May 16, 2015 [2 favorites]

Bartender at a bowls club here. A Lemon, Lime & Bitters would be made with Lemon Squash (Solo) rather than Lemonade (7-Up/Sprite)*. A splash of lime cordial, and add a few drops of bitters last, and gently stir in. (Pouring soft-drink onto the bitters can make it 'over froth' and look a bit dirty. Adding last and stirring means you can get a nice colour fade effect.) Garnish with lemon or lime slice. (Maybe mint leaf if you're feeling exotic) The bitters is ~40%, but you're only putting ~5ml in**.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer is also a favorite non-alcoholic drink of the older crowd. (Good for tummy troubles.)

*Rule of thumb here is Clear + fizzy = lemonade. Yellow + fizzy = lemon squash.

**Unless you're this guy in a Beatles cover band we used to have. He'd ask for more bitters, more bitters please, bit more thanks, until he had about a shot and a half in there. That way he could honestly tell his wife he'd drank nothing but lemon lime and bitters at the gig.

posted by quinndexter at 9:31 PM on May 16, 2015 [8 favorites]

Sparkling Ginger beer is a very Australian thing (Bundaberg-Queensland)
Iced Coffee milk. Alternatively Spearmint milk was a big thing in West Australia where I grew up (although not so big on the East Coast)
Bickfords Lime Cordial with Lemonade or Soda, Fresh Lime/Lemon Slice and Angostura Bitters (i.e. Lemon Lime Bitters / Soda Lime Bitters)
Passiona Or Solo Club Lemon Squash (Both carbonated soft drinks)
Cascade Sparkling Apple Drink which is very yummy. (Cascade is a tasmanian brand).
posted by Under the Sea at 12:32 AM on May 17, 2015

Heh, I was holidaying in the US and I didn't realise that lemon, lime and bitters was an Australian drink and I confused the hell out of the waiter when I asked for it! I ended up with a can of Sprite and a bottle of bitters on the table to mix my own :D I don't think the US really has lemonade the way we do in Australia.

Anyway, the drink I'm familiar with is usually made with ice in the glass, a hefty dash of lime cordial (the dark kind, Bickford's is the right brand, not the bright green stuff kids drink), then topped up with lemonade (clear, fizzy, very lightly flavoured, not lemon squash!) and a lemon wedge, with bitters shaken over the top and a stirring stick added. The bitters makes the drink red at the top and it fades to pink, until it's mixed (which is done by the drinker, not the bar staff).

Non-alcoholic ginger beer (Bundaberg) is definitely very Australian as well, as is Passiona - Kirk's Pasito is the South Australian variant on the passionfruit flavoured fizzy drink. Oh, and Bickford's also have a lemon, lime and bitters cordial which is very tasty.

Farmer's Union Iced Coffee (another South Australian export) is taking over the other states. I think I read somewhere that SA is the only place (in Australia?) where purchased milk drink consumption exceeds that of Coke, and that's down to our love of FUIC.
posted by eloeth-starr at 1:13 AM on May 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'll second Farmers' Union Iced Coffee. Might be hard to find overseas, but you could just make a quite sweet, quite strong milky coffee and leave it in the fridge for a few hours.
posted by twirlypen at 1:50 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

N-thing lemon, lime and bitters, though it isn't completely alcohol free. Apparently if they are made properly and you drink three within a period of, I think, 30 - 60 minutes, you'll have about one standard drink's worth of alcohol in your system. Just keep that in mind if people are skulling LLBs before they have to drive home

Bartender at a bowls club here. A Lemon, Lime & Bitters would be made with Lemon Squash (Solo) rather than Lemonade (7-Up/Sprite)*

Huh? I've never had a LLB made with lemon squash, never even seen or heard of one made with lemon squash, and I've been drinking them since I was a child. What madness is this?
posted by kinddieserzeit at 2:27 AM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Lime spiders!
posted by rubbish bin night at 6:40 AM on May 17, 2015

Apparently if they are made properly and you drink three within a period of, I think, 30 - 60 minutes, you'll have about one standard drink's worth of alcohol in your system.

Angostura Bitters is 44.7% ABV.
A standard drink is 12.67 ml of alcohol, so 28.35ml of Angostura Bitters is one standard drink.
Over three drinks, that's 9.45ml per LL&B.
One dash of bitters: 1.3ml, so 7.26 dashes per LL&B to hit one standard drink per three. That's a bit too much bitters for me, but I can believe some pubs hit that or more.
posted by zamboni at 7:36 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Iced Coffee. Make it way milkier than they do in the US & sweeten it and you'll be close to the Aussie version.

You can get Bunderburg Ginger Beer at Costco last time I was there.

You can get Milo & Vegimite on Amazon, they ship in from overseas but get here surprisingly quickly but they aren't super cheap. While I haven't seem Bickfords Lime Cordial in the US, amazon has an interesting sounding version of lime cordial called El Guapo I have had in my wish list for a while as I pluck up the courage to order it.
posted by wwax at 8:56 AM on May 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

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