Vices we love: Traubi Szoda- ode to a miserably wonderful time

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Traubi Szoda- ode to a miserably wonderful time

Back in the 80s the meaning of life and all that was good and decent in my world could be summed up in two little words: Traubi Szoda. It was this white grape/seltzer water mixture- basically a poor mans socialist Ginger Ale- that captured my heart. I drank it everywhere and took every excuse to do so with an obsession worthy of an obsessive like myself.

Then we packed up for the States, the Berlin Wall fell, Coca Cola appeared and Traubi was no more. I buried the memory like I did most else in my past, consigning it to the dustbin of history. Until tonight that is....

....having returned to Budapest for the weekend to bask in the company of people I can actually speak to in an actual city, I wondered about the Pest side of town, stopping by a grocer whose fridge carried....yes, the esteemed Traubi. It was not quite as I remembered- the bottle is smaller and the logo is jazzed up- but it was the same "bubbly refreshing grape drink" according to the manufacturer, its formula resurrected without changes. As is my habit, I turned the bottle around to look at the ingredients but stopped almost instantly, not wanting to spoil the reunion. Instead, I twisted off the pink cap, took a snootful of the grapey scent and poured the amber liquid down my throat.

......It was dreadful. A bitter, gummy, bubbly (truth in advertising) substance. I can still feel the acidic aftertaste. Damn it to hell. I want another one.

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