Irn-Bru brings back 120-year-old recipe

Credit: STV

Lex Partridge
Writer

Scotland’s favourite soft drink brings back a classic full-sugar recipe for Christmas.

The “old and unimproved” Irn-Bru recipe, first created in 1901, will be available in stores across Scotland at a premium price of £2 a bottle from 2 December.

As this recipe has already enjoyed its first centenary, it is thought that nobody in the world has tasted this version of Irn-Bru.

“This is Irn-Bru as you’ve never tasted it. It’s a chance to enjoy a unique and authentic piece of Scottish history – but don’t hang about, we don’t think it will be around for long,” said Robin Barr, the great-grandson of the soft drink company’s founder, Robert Barr.

Irn-Bru 1901 will have a much higher sugar content (10.6g/100ml) than the one that is currently stocked in Scotland (4.6g/100ml), reminiscent of the Irn-Bru before the 2018 sugar tax (10.3g/100ml).

Barr said that the drink is being made the old-fashioned way from a recipe discovered in a handwritten book by Robin Barr, stored deep in the company’s archives.

However, it has been reported that Irn-Bru 1901 will be recreated using modern equipment at Barr’s state-of-the-art factory in Cumbernauld and they will not be printing the original “IRON BREW” label. Furthermore, this version of the product will not contain any caffeine, unlike the original version.

The flavour should remain the same and the soft drink will be sold in the classic 75cl glass bottles, alongside the Victorian-era labelling; keeping this relaunch in line with the “unique and authentic piece of Scottish history.”

The Evening Times conducted a casual blind taste-test in which three versions of Irn-Bru (Irn-Bru 1901 edition, Irn-Bru pre-tax edition, and Irn-Bru post-tax edition), were correctly identified. According to the tasters, the most notably different product was the post-tax edition of Irn-Bru, claiming that the difference between the 1901 and pre-tax edition was small.