Non-alcoholic drinks are under-rated drinks. In Australia, when someone suggests we all go out for drinks, it’s always in reference to beers or fine wines. I don’t drink and when I politely decline alcoholic beverages and order a soft drink, sometimes I get funny looks from those who do. And a lot of us like soft drinks. And juice.
Walk into an Asian grocery shop in Melbourne, you’re bound to find such an array of drinks. Maybe some you drank as a kid. Photo: Mabel Kwong
I’m sure many of us loved certain non-alcoholic drinks when we were kids. A while ago, I wrote about my favourite childhood snacks. Looking back at that post, it occurred to me none of the snacks I reminisced about were drinks. But then again, food and drink are two different kinds of gastronomic consumables.
Part of my childhood was spent in Malaysia and Singapore, two food paradise places where sugary drinks and desserts are aplenty. I remember as a kid, I was very happy when I got the chance to guzzle down many non-alcoholic, made-in-Asia drinks. Perhaps I should buy or make some of them to ring in the New Year:
“Do you want to come out for a soft drink with us?”
This is a question I get asked quite a bit by people I know who are planning on heading down to the bar or pub to knock back a few beers. They know I don’t drink anything alcoholic, and it’s very nice to be invited along.
Let’s have a drink. How about some iced chocolate, chocolate powder and vanilla ice cream mixed in one cup? Photo: Mabel Kwong
A couple of years ago, I was having dinner with relatives in Malaysia and red wine was passed around. As a non-drinker, I declined. One of my uncles frowned and said to my parents in Cantonese, “That’s so strange. Your kids are Australian. But they don’t drink.”
Really? I’m Australian, so I must be a drinker? Does my no-drinking attitude have something to do with my Asian background? Because I’m Asian Australian?