Ribena vs Vimto – why is this even a question?

It’s an age old battle.

The old, trusty, blackcurrant packed Ribena… vs the actually even older Vimto. Yep, turns out Vimto has been lining the shelves of supermarkets (or probably small high street grocery shops) since 1908. Which means it is one up on Ribena already, which only appeared on the scene in 1938. WIN for Vimto.

What’s in the name?

Then of course, there’s the name. Ribena is named after the Latin word for blackcurrants. A language spoken only by dead people, law people, and people who were forced to learn to speak it because dead people and law people said so.

Vimto on the other hand, is named after the word ‘vim’, which means ‘energy or power’. Actually originally it was called Vim Tonic but the ‘nic’ bit soon disappeared and VIMTO was born. It works for me, anyway. No dead people. No law. Just super awesomeness. Vimto wins AGAIN.

What’s in the drink?

Ribena = blackcurrants.

Well actually, more specifically: water, sugar, blackcurrants, vitamin c, citric acid, preservatives and colourings. Basically it’s all based around looking and tasting like blackcurrants. Unless of course you get the orange or strawberry versions, but why would you? They’re just wrong.

Vimto = water, sugar, grape, blackcurrant and raspberry juice, citric acid, ‘Vimto flavouring’ (extracts of fruit, herbs, barley malt and spices), colouring, acidity regulator and preservatives.

So Vimto has a secret recipe, just like my other favourite, the Colonel and his KFC burgers of taste and yum. Gotta be another win for Vimto.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Hot or cold?

Ribena I admit does have the edge on being served hot. Brings back memories of saturday work as a 15 year old, sitting on a winters morning with my hands around a steaming mug of ribena, with a side order of 10p chomp bar.

Vimto on the other hand, best served cold. Wonderfully, chilled to within an inch of life, cold. I like to store my bottle of vimto in the fridge, and then serve it with chilled water. No ice cubes though, don’t go diluting the vimto greatness (beyond that advised on the bottle, anyway).

So I guess its a draw. Ribena wins the Winter. Vimto brings Summer joy.

Bring on the bubbles

Vimto also exists in fizzy two litre bottles of greatness.

Enough said.

Where’s the consistency?

Because you know, Ribena is all thick and sticky. Also to get into it you have to yank off a little gold ringpull thingy, AFTER you’ve spent ages turning the cap and sometimes peeling away gold foil. It’s all just a trick to fool you into thinking it’s something special. It’s not. It’s annoying, and time consuming, and it lines your throat with blackcurrant fur.

Vimto on the other hand: simple, easy to pour, doesn’t have to try too hard. And you can get it in ginormous 3l bottles (which last about a week in this house, if you’re lucky).

Easy to access, easy to pour, easy to drink. Vimto is the clearly purply pink coloured winner.

So there you have it. Ribena is good, but Vimto is better. It’s older, wiser, understated and perfectly proportioned. And there is less squashing of blackberries involved.

Stick it in your glass, and drink it.

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