Original Recipe Irn-Bru Is Returning to Supermarkets for Good

Annie Hayes
·2-min read
Photo credit: David Boni/Story UK
Photo credit: David Boni/Story UK

Good news for people who enjoy the taste of bubblegum and rust: original-recipe Iru-Bru – Scotland's other national drink – is about to become a permanent fixture on shelves across the UK.

The formula, which was logged in a handwritten book and stored in the depths of Irn-Bru's archives for more than 100 years – or so they say – has been resurrected at A.G. Barr's state-of-the-art factory in Cumbernauld.

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When the manufacturer altered the recipe in response to the 2018 sugar tax – slashing the sugar content from 8.5 teaspoons to four – fans were gutted. Many started stockpiling the orange-coloured fizzy drink, and there was even a Facebook event to 'storm' the factory in order to pinch the recipe along with any lingering original-recipe cans and bottles.

Now, sweet-toothed fans across the nation can experience the "old and unimproved" recipe – which dates back to 1901 – just as its creators intended, much to the dismay of dentists everywhere. Presented in a 750ml glass, Irn-Bru 1901 contains quillaia for a 'frothy head', lashings of sugar and zero caffeine, along with a 'top secret Irn-Bru essence'.

Historically it was produced under the name 'Iron Brew', with the slogan 'a refreshing and invigorating tonic beverage'. To this day, it's said that only three people know the full Irn-Bru recipe – chairman Robin Barr, secretary Julie Barr (his daughter) and another board director – so they never travel on the same plane together.

There's no need to rob the recipe. Irn-Bru 1901 is here to stay. "1901 proved super-popular with fans who really loved the recipe but were disappointed when stock ran dry," said Adrian Troy, marketing director at Irn-Bru. "Now it's back for good, so people can enjoy it year-round with the first bottles going on shelves today."

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