I mentioned in an earlier post that I loved Creamola Foam in my youth, a drink made up from a spoonful of flavoured crystals and a dash of water. Well we also had bottled drinks and in fact we had a bottling plant on the outskirts of our little town and so we had the luxury of having their products delivered to us every week.
The drinks lorry would arrive in the street and kids would rush out as if it was the ice cream van. After placing our order with the delivery man, we'd stagger in with a crate of mixed drinks and I can tell you this was quite a task for a wee fella as the bottles were made of glass. The clinking that they made as we brought the crate into the house is one of those childhood noises that never leaves the memory, even mine !
Cream Soda was one of my favourites and still is. We'd also get a few bottles of still orange, a few of actual lemonade and naturally the local favourite, Irn-Bru (pronounced Iron Brew) which was really a Scottish speciality but both countries had a close relationship in such matters.
Anyway, the point of this soft drinks history lesson is that any soft drink, no matter what flavour was involved, was called 'a mineral' in Ulster. I think it's a bit like the way a 'soda' is used in the US.
Mineral : a soft drink of any flavour.
So when you'd go to a house on a warm summers day and be offered a mineral, you'd not expect to be handed a lump of quartz or gypsum. If the mineral lorry had just been round, you'd have a good choice of several flavoured drinks and in my case, I'd hope that there would be a bottle of Irn-Bru or Cream Soda still left.
If not, I just might just have to drink the Holy Water !!