On one level, Irn Bru is awesome, and the greatest thing ever. On the other hand, Irn Bru is the bane of my existence, being absolutely full of delicious, delicious sugar, empty calories, and orange colouring. It's the single worst aspect of my diet in general, and the hardest thing for me to give up.
One of the things I have found whenever I've given it up is that I don't just miss the taste, which I can live without, but I also miss the texture - the fast that it's a fizzy drink. That shouldn't be a real surprise - flat Irn Bru tastes the same but is, frankly, an abomination. (Not as evil as Diet Irn Bru, of course, but still...)
At the weekend, though, I had an idea. And, armed with this marvellous epiphany, off I went to Tesco. On my return, LC exclaimed, "why did you buy...?" But it's so simple, so ingenious. Frankly, sometimes I amaze even myself.
(I'm about to reveal my idea. You're response will probably be, "well, of course! We've been doing that for years!" But it was new to me, so there.)
If you take Robinson's Fruit & Barley (orange flavour) and dilute it with soda water (£1.45 for 6 litres from Tesco), you get something that tastes pretty much like Fanta (actually, uncannily like Fanta). More important than the taste, though, it has the same fizz but with almost none of the sugars and with negligible calories.
It's a tiny change, but it makes a huge difference. And it wasn't something I had really considered for years, largely because soda water by itself is pretty awful stuff.
#1: "The Commodore", by Patrick O'Brian