Ask anyone who loves the Caribbean to name their favorite island drink and you’ll likely get a bunch of different answers. Mojitos in Puerto Rico, painkillers in the BVI, pina coladas everywhere. Some people like Red Stripe beer and enjoy having their pictures taken with a bottle on the beach, though I have no idea why this is the thing to do. I also don’t understand why sunbathers stretched out in lounge chairs love to take snapshots of their feet, but I digress. Drinks aren’t cheap. But rum, produced in the islands, is cheaper than milk.
A pina colada every now and then is okay, but what I really like — besides afternoon tea, which is one of my favorite times of day even in the hottest weather — is an ice-cold ting straight from the bottle. Made from Jamaican grapefruit juice, ting is both tart and sweet, with a little bit of pulp in the carbonated brew. (Years ago there was a soda produced in Wisconsin that went by this name, but it has since changed to “Flavor 8” with several varieties; it was not the real ting.)
The story goes in Jamaica that when the formula was first developed, someone asked, “What we gonna do wid dis ting?” Thus, ting was born!
Look for the little green bottles, produced at the soft drink facility owned by Pepsi in Kingston, Jamaica and you’ll find the original grapefruit drink with fizz.
The first warm day last week, I went out and bought a bottle of the real ting to celebrate the sun finally making it’s way to the northern latitudes.