The first time I heard of Ting was 5 years ago traveling through the airport in Antigua with Caribbean colleagues. At the time, when one of them asked for it at the airport bar (little counter in the middle of the airport, at the time the only place to get some food) I had no idea what it was. But it came in a green glass bottle and for all I knew these new work people boozed it up before flights. So I didn’t think it was a ting for me (yes, lame pun intended…).
You don’t see Ting down here in the South (Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana). At least not to my knowledge. Can’t recall ever seeing it in Barbados either. So, some time passed before I was actually introduced to this icon of Jamaican non-alcoholic drinks – Ting, the carbonated beverage made from “Jamaican grapefruit!”.
And that’s exactly what it is – carbonated grapefruit juice. Tangy, not too sweet and fizzy you can see how it could catch on. It tastes good, and like it should be good for you. All that citrusy sizzle.
Of course, this bottle of Ting was bought in St Kitts, so it actually says “from Caribbean grapefruit”. In addition to Jamaica, it is now bottled in the OECS (Carib Brewery in St Kitts) as well, and you can find the drink in more Caribbean countries (still not down here). Notwithstanding the new “Caribbean” tag, I gather Jamaicans will still call it a Jamaican drink – my Jamaican colleagues in St Kitts were taken aback not to see the “Jamaican grapefruit” on the label. At least it’s made from Caribbean grapefruit!
Now I feel like I should go track down some other iconic soft drinks…like Solo Apple J “the champagne of soft drinks!”. Although I doubt very much that was made from Trini apples…
What do you think of as “national” non-alcoholic bottled drinks in your part of the Caribbean?
If you liked my post, feel free to subscribe to my rss feeds