What to know

How Did Vimto Become A Ramadan Favorite?

Vimto is the most popular sugar drink during Ramadan in the Arab Gulf

While Ramadan is usually associated with homemade foods and drinks, there’s one drink that takes over the Arab Gulf each year; Vimto.

Maybe it’s the taste or grapes and berries, or maybe it’s simple the very high dose of sugar, either way, no iftar table is complete without Vimto.

It could be the fact that when a body running on no sugar all day gets such a high dose, it gets a sugar high and makes one feel good. Maybe.

One thing I had not realized (believing for so long that Vimto was an Arab Gulf product), is that Vimto is a popular drink from England that has existed for more than a hundred years.

But with more than 31 million bottles of the drink sold across the Gulf in just one year (2011), it’s easy to believe that it is native to the region.

In 1908’s Manchester, a wholesaler of herbs, spices and medicine, known by the name of (John) Noel Nichols, created the soft drink for the first time.

First sold under the name Vim Tonic, the drink was made up of juice from grapes, raspberries and blackcurrants, and is flavoured with herbs and spices in a cordial form. It did not become a carbonated drink until a few decades later.

In fact, it was originally registered as a medicine, but had to later be re-registered as a cordial drink in 1913.

Today, Vimto is available all over the world, but is especially popular in the Arab Gulf. Some speculate that the bottles sold to the Middle East even contain more sugar than those sold in England.

When you’re breaking your first fast of Ramadan this evening, remember this story and share with your family and loved ones. We’re sure they’d love to know.

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