One of the great joys of traveling to a country for the first time has always been finding strange fruits and drinks. For some reason, these interest me more than the actual food. I always rush off to the nearest supermarket in order to see what the locals like in the produce and drinks aisles.
So Hong Kong was bound to be a wonderland. We stumbled upon one such marvelous store located in a steep little alley. The store itself was a bit dim and full of narrow aisles stocked with all manner of dark bottles labeled only in Cantonese. Just as we were preparing to leave, too intimidated to ask about what these bottles were, we came across a section of drinks. Ah! English!
I pounced on one that said a lot of things in Cantonese but one significant thing in English: "Smoked Plum Juice." What a siren song that was. The moment I got back out on the street, I had a good long gulp. What a revelation! I'd never tasted anything like it. It was not sweet, not salty, but fully smoky. There's no other way to describe that unusual warm and full feel as you drink. I immediately took a picture and sent it off to Friend (Hong Kong has free, fast WiFi almost everywhere) who was suitably intrigued.
These days, certain parties are being uncooperative and I cannot for the moment travel to foreign shores. So to ease our itching feet, J and I went back to the Chinese market we like to haunt at times like this. And what did I find, but a drink very similar to my beloved Hong Kong elixir!
It's even more smoky than the original. In fact it has a heady, almost alcoholic kick. Now I regret buying only one dainty bottle. (It's called, charmingly, Mr. Luck).
The fact that this post has been entirely about a random foreign soft drink indicates that I should hurry up and get out some more. Out of the country, that is. Wanderlust is a terrible mistress.