Obviously as the Street Food and The Drinks Guy, as well as #SodaQuest connoisseur I try every drink I get my hands, it is not all that regular that I discover a gem though, Solo Original Lemon Flavour is such a gem!
How did I discover Solo Original Lemon?
Twas during a jaunt to my regular Smile shop in Cambodia that I saw a drink called Solo Original Lemon.
At $1.24 it was more expensive than your average pop in Cambodia, we pay 50 cents for coke, but I felt it deserved a try. I liked the drink and got it a few more times, but assumed it was just sum run of the mill lemonade type concoction, then I went to Papua New Guinea.
Check out my TikTok VDO.
Solo Original Lemon Flavour – The soft drink of Papua New Guinea
Despite Pepsi being advertised like EVERYWHERE in PNG, with signs saying how it was the most popular drink in the country, I rarely saw anyone drinking it. I did though notice this strange Solo lemon drink. And at least when it came to my PNG friends if they wanted a soft-drink this was not only their weapon of choice, but was also more readily available than anything else.
I spent the week very much indulging in Solo Original Lemon, mixing it with vodka where needed and indeed thinking to myself I needed to know more about this Lemon drink.
What is Solo Original Lemon Flavour Drink
Originally formed in 1973 by Cadbury-Schweppes the flavour was based upon the non-alcoholic Australian pub drink “pub squash” and much like the plucky upstarts gained national notoriety and popularity.
This coupled with a an add campaign featuring the “Solo” man, basically different celebrities on their own advertising it made it a national favourite. The fact that it was not owned by Coke, or Pepsi probably did it no harm either.
Alas in 2008 it was acquired by Asahi of Japan, yet despite this has still managed to keep its national cult status.
Why is Solo Original Lemon Drink so popular in Papua New Guinea?
Well it really is quite as simple as that PNG was an Australian colony, so they like Aussie Beer, Rugby League and in this case Solo, this despite Pepsi seeming to really wanna be number one in the country. I honestly lost count of how many Pepsis adds that I saw!
To read about taking a tour to Papua New Guinea click here.
What does Solo Original Lemon Drink taste like then?
At first it struck me like a classic American style lemonade, but the more I drank it the more of the “squash” feel I got for it. It simply cannot be compared with Spite, or 7-Up and has at least on appearance much less sugar.
Can you though mix Solo Original Lemon though? Ah of course the ultimate Street Food Guy test. Yes, you can most certainly mix it, although this is the kind of drink to mix with vodka, rather than whisky or rum.
And of course it can be mixed with legendary fire water of Papua New Guinea, which you can read bout here.
Overall a great new find, a really popular drink across national borders that has managed its success without being eaten up by the evil empire that is Coca-Cola. A rare find that I shall continue to drink at my leisure in Cambodia and wherever else I find this fine brew.
#SodaQuest gives a firm 8/10 for Solo Original Lemon Drink. Check out my TikTok DVO.