President Donald Trump has stoked a fresh new foreign controversy. Reports emerged yesterday that his Scottish golf club, Trump Turnberry, has banned IRN-BRU, the fizzy, lurid-orange soda with a national cult following in Scotland.
POTUS has “just declared war on Scotland”
Long advertised as “Scotland’s second national drink” (after whiskey), IRN-BRU has a die-hard supporter group in the Land of the Thistle most politicians would be extremely wary of crossing.
But a brief account of IRN-BRU being banned by the Trump Turnberry golf resort appeared in Scotland’s Daily Record yesterday morning, and Hibernian outrage has been steadily building ever since.
The President of the United States has just declared war on Scotland. https://t.co/KjbcBNIueg
— Simon MacMichael #FBPE (@simonmacmichael) 9 May 2018
According to the Daily Record, the ban came to light when a guest ordered the drink but was refused, despite Coca-Cola and other soft drinks being on offer.
The reason stated by Trump Turnberry general manager Ralph Porciani was because of IRN-BRU’s famous tendency to stain anything it touches. Having just undergone a reported $200 million refurbishment, keeping IRN-BRU off the premises is now a priority.
“We can’t have it staining when to replace the ballroom carpet would be £500,000 alone,” he explained. “We have villas here with IRN-BRU stains in the carpets which I can’t let.”
Just what is IRN-BRU anyway?
First produced by Scottish drinks firm AG Barr in 1901, IRN-BRU has been a staple of Scottish life for decades. The flavor is difficult to categorize – when your reporter tasted it for the first time it reminded him of artificial bubblegum flavorings used in American popsicles and ice-cream. Few may agree with that assessment, but the use of quinine, (familiar to drinkers of tonic water) certainly adds to the uniqueness of its aftertaste.
The characteristic orange coloring of IRN-BRU is created using several food colorings, including the controversial Sunset Yellow FCF (or E110 as it is known in Europe). Long alleged by some to possibly cause food intolerance and ADHD-like symptoms, proposed limits on its use forced AG Barr to schedule the ingredient for removal from the recipe in 2010. After lobbying by Scotland’s then First Minister Alex Salmond, the maximum level of safe usage was set to the level of AG Barr’s recipe, and the use of the color remains in place today.
Whatever its origins, the lurid orange color of the drink is unique in the world of soft drinks (although some might argue a good match for the famously orange-complexioned US President).
And however odd its taste might seem to most non-Scots, IRN-BRU has a special place in the conscious of the Scottish nation and consistently outsells all competitors in the local fizzy drinks market.
What happens next?
The people of Scotland may not be able to force President Trump’s golf resort to resume sales of their favorite drink, but it appears IRN-BRU is fast becoming a symbol of Trump-protest in advance of his upcoming visit to the UK in July.
— David Silkenat (@davidsilkenat) 9 May 2018
Like the adoption of the “Left Shark” by the so-called “Trump Resistance” stateside, IRN-BRU could become soon become the drink of choice not just for hung-over Scottish whiskey drinkers, but for anyone wishing to give President Trump a “Scottish kiss.”