Would you like some pop in your soda?

While reading is a far cry from actual travel, books can transport us around the world and into new experiences.

Recently I’ve had to look up brand-name beverages referenced in novels by Irish writer Niall Williams and Scottish writer Denise Mina: MiWadi and Irn-Bru, respectively.

The other night while dining out with our Mexican neighbor, he ordered a Jarritos. Though it has been sold in the U.S. for decades, I was unfamiliar with this drink and asked him about it.

These are all sodas that originated in a particular country and still hold sway in their homelands. Brand-names often enter a local lexicon, adding specificity and color to an otherwise generic noun. They define a popular regional preference and brand loyalty. But a newcomer may require some initiation.

Even the term for carbonated beverage varies by location. It may be called soda, pop, fizzy drink, cola, or – if you’re in Boston – tonic. Sometimes a brand name is used for the beverage, with some people simply calling all dark soda “Coke.”

Tasting something new when traveling abroad is part of immersing yourself in the culture. Maybe you will come to enjoy – and even crave – a new flavor.

Whether you prefer something sugary, on the healthier side, a jolt of caffeine or something herbal, mimicking a cocktail or as a mixer in one, there are lots of drinks to try around the world.

In our International Relocation Center’s country reports, you’ll find local grocery shopping and dining information which can guide you in case you want to try any of these beverages yourself while abroad.

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, Product Manager, Content Group