Taste of the Caribbean: Country Club Frambuesa Soda, Rico en Alegria Dominicana
In most of the world of fruit-flavored soft drinks, the raspberry is very much overshadowed by her orange, grape, and lemon/lime cousins. Not so in the Dominican Republic. Here, in this colorfully vibrant land of beisbol and bachata, the primary soda color is raspberry red. The number-one soft drink, Country Club Frambuesa.
Even if you’ve never been to the DR, it’s easy to tell how beloved this bottle is there… at least if the pronouncements on its label are to be believed. First there’s this:
La Bebida de Distinción
Translation: The Drink of Distinction. Seems to more than suggest that nothing else comes close, almost as if the “the” should be in all-caps.
Secondly, as if to further emphasize Country Club’s unparalleled excellence…
Refresco National Dominicano
Translation: National Dominican Refreshment, or soft drink. Yes, Country Club is the self-appointed national drink of the Dominican Republic.
Ask most anyone you might meet there, or anyone you might meet who’s from there, though, and you won’t get too many arguments. People LOVE Country Club, especially the frambuesa (raspberry) flavor. A recent ad campaign even equates the feeling of alegria (happiness) one derives from drinking a Frambuesa with the joy of being in the DomRep itself.
I’m a fan of most red sodas, as you might recall, so it should come as no surprise that I like Frambuesa… mostly.
There’s a bit of a cream soda consistency here with little bite and not too much fizz. Nice.
On the sweetness side, though, Frambuesa goes a bit too far for me. One full bottle had my heart racing a good 30 minutes after it was all gone, a product of the 47 grams of sugar in each 12-ounce bottle. That’s eight grams more than you’ll find in a comparably-sized Coca-Cola!
Still, it’s worth a taste when you’re in the DR, even if only to tap into the country’s special feeling of alegria…