Kinnie: Malta's Own Favourite Soft Drink

30 May 2014

Kinnie is a soft drink produced and sold in Malta. Whilst Cisk may hold the nation’s heart as Malta's favourite lager, the Maltese are just as passionate about their own locally produced, unique soft drink. Enjoyed by children and adults alike Kinnie can be found anywhere and everywhere you would expect to find other similar soft drinks.

Do not be fooled into thinking that Kinnie tastes like any other soft drink though. Some would argue it is an acquired taste. Kinnie is amber in colour, has a bitter-sweet flavour, and can be drunk straight or mixed with alcohol to create a long drink.

Kinnie's recipe is kept top secret. Browsing through the official website however provides an insight into its ingredients. Kinnie owes its bitter-sweet taste to the blend of Maltese Mediterranean chinotto bitter oranges, combined with an infusion from a dozen different aromatic herbs and spices such as anise, ginseng, vanilla, rhubarb and liquorice. One major advantage Kinnie has over a majority of other soft drinks is that only natural ingredients are used.

Kinnie was first produced in 1952 in response to other soft drink products which proliferated across Europe after World War II. A diet version for Kinnie appeared in 1984 and in 2007, a new low calorie version of Kinnie called Kinnie Zest was also released to the market. Kinnie Zest has a slightly darker colour and a stronger orange flavour, and is advertised as only having one calorie per bottle. 

This drink is ideal on its own, particularly with a slice of orange. It also mixes excellently with a number of alcoholic drinks and cocktails. Look out for the Kinnie Kiss Cocktail, definitely one of my favourites! It may not be for everybody, but just like pastizzi or a trip to the Blue Lagoon, Kinnie must be experienced at least once.

Author: Adam Claffey

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