When I was a kid, we used to drive to Florida to visit my grandma…from Rhode Island. These trips were torturous. The only thing to do to pass the time was reading, which got old at about hour 17, and to mercilessly slap my brother in the back seat.

The one beacon of hope on these rides was “South of the Border”. If you have driven through North and South Carolina, you know exactly what I am talking about. Starting about 220 miles from the border, garish florescent signs signal the impending arrival of what appears to be the best place on Earth.

In reality, South of the Border may be the saddest place in the whole entire world…or at least in the Carolinas. It is run down and dirty and depressing….but you can get fireworks! Not all is lost. One of my most vivid memories of those soul sucking trips to South of the Border was coercing my father to buy me “Ginger Beer”. He told me I would hate it…and I did. It was pungent and far too harsh for my gentle, young taste buds.

I often think of Ginger Beer and shudder. My surprisingly sharp memory has retained the exact taste of it for years. Besides having a mind like a steel trap, I also have a masochistic streak. I decided to take this beverage for another spin. Consider it your holiday gift from me.

Smell: Not shockingly, the scent of ginger is very strong. The smell is reminiscent of pickled ginger.

Texture/Appearance: As one might imagine a beverage to be, it is wet. What really disturbed me was the presence of chunks. Yes, there were chunks in my beverage. You know what I don’t want in my soda? Detris. All I could think of was backwash. I was not in a good frame of mind.

Taste: It really isn’t my scene. It is very aggressive; the ginger practically attacks you. I cannot imagine drinking one of these as I ate my lunch or some such. There is nothing refreshing about it. It is really, super pungent.

Final verdict: No thanks. If you love ginger, you may like this…but I will pass. The chunks were a huge turn-off and it only got worse from there.


Lemmonex writes almost daily about food, life, and all the ways she has been naughty and nice at her blog, Culinary Couture.

4 Responses

  1. Jo

    My family used to drive to North Carolina every year and for me and my brother the highlight of the trip was always the billboards leading up to South of the Border. Remember: “You never SAUSAGE a place!”?

  2. Emily

    I like Vernor’s, but that’s I guess more normal ginger ale. But the bubbles are fierce and not good when you have a sore throat!

  3. Ali

    I’m not a big fan of anything with chunks floating either! That stuff sounds gross & I typically enjoy ginger brews. My favorite is Reeds. Not something to drink all the time, but it cn help settle a stomach after a meal.

    & I also used to enjoy seeing all those signs for South of the Border! I wonder how much that place spends on advertising? Never been, even though I live about 150 miles away now.


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