When you move from one country to another, naturally there will be things you miss. Ironically, hardly any of the items we’re listing here are actually natural! When you refer to American drinks not in the UK, you will see that most of them are high in sugar. So, get ready for a really sweet blog, Sunny friends.
You know that you can order nearly anything in the world and have it shipped to your house. However, it certainly comes with a high cost. The American drinks featured here are never available at restaurants or cocktail bars in London. I’m guessing if you can’t find them in England’s capital, that you won’t find them on menus around the rest of the country either.
American Drinks not in the UK- Iced Tea
You probably guessed this one would be first, if you know British people or have ever visited England. They certainly love their tea here. However, they are quite fussy about how it’s served. So, it’s only fair to assume one would never, ever, ever drink it cold.
If you want to kick off your restaurant experience with a look of horror from a server, ask for an iced tea. Needless to say, you won’t find mini-marts or corner shops with shelves of Snapple either.
There’s no doubt you could make it at home if you really were craving it in the hot summer months. But, with the size of their small refrigerators here, I don’t think you’d have room for much else once you put your tea jug inside.
If you’d like to see examples of all the drinks I mention- you can watch this YouTube video instead.
American Drinks not in the UK- Certain Sodas
You can find tons of sodas, or as they call them ‘fizzy drinks’ on grocery store shelves in the UK. But, you won’t find many of the popular flavours that you know from the US.
Let’s start with Mr Sunny’s favourite American soda, which is naturally root beer. Due to strict European legislation relating to permitted levels of certain soda ingredients, for a long time they couldn’t sell A&W soda in Europe. It was banned in 2014, but now you might find it at larger Asda or Tesco stores (like the size of Walmart in the US). It’s not easy to get.
Another drink you won’t find on shelves here is Cherry Coke. Luckily that one is my favourite and I can easily make it at home with regular Coca-Cola and some grenadine if I crave it.
Mr Sunny seems to think that ‘Ginger Beer’ in England is nearly the same as Ginger Ale in the United States. However, I don’t agree. I don’t feel it tastes the same at all.
Two other sodas you won’t find on a shelf in a London grocery store are Mountain Dew and Dr Pepper.
American Drinks not in the UK- Energy Drinks
You’ll find a variety of energy drinks like Red Bull to be common in the UK. But one American drink you won’t see is Gatorade. I hesitate to mention it or give it any recognition due to its origination.
If you’ve read my About page, you know that I met Mr Sunny when I did an internship at NBC News- London Bureau through the Florida State University Study Abroad programme. Gatorade was invented at my rival university- the University of Florida.
It was originally made in the mid-60’s for the ‘Gators’ at the University of Florida. The drinks was designed to replenish the carbohydrates that student athletes burned during their practices in the extreme Florida heat. Additionally, it helped give back a combination of water and electrolytes that they lost through sweat during rigorous outside sports activities.
Also not popular here are Yoohoo and Jolt. Yoohoo is a chocolate drink. I actually don’t think Jolt is made anymore in the United States. When it was created, Jolt promised to be all sugar and twice the caffeine. It’s billed as the original energy drink. However, I think I’d vote for Gatorade on that- even though I hate to admit any wins for anything to the University of Florida!
American Drinks not in the UK- Coffee Cream
In Facebook groups for Americans living in London you frequently see inquiries about coffee cream substitutes. There is no Coffee Mate or flavoured types of creams to put in your morning cup of joe in the UK. I guess if you wanted something like that you would have to start adding Baileys. And, that’s obviously not a good idea if you’re heading to work!
You’ll find it hard to directly to buy something like Half & Half also. Apparently you can make it with whole milk and single cream. However, I can’t take that kind of time in the morning, so I just add a dollop of single cream to my coffee each day and get on with it.
American Drinks not in the UK- Kool-Aid
You have probably gathered that many of the American drinks not available in the UK are likely because they aren’t too fond of all that sugar on this side of the pond. Therefore, don’t expect the Kool-aid Man to smash through any walls in London and yell, ‘Oh yeah!’
You also won’t find grape juice readily available either. Well, at least not the kind that isn’t crushed, pressed and fermented in barrels.
American Drinks not in the UK- Final Thoughts
If you’re British, I would love to know if you’ve ever had any of the drinks mentioned above when you visited the United States. What are your favourite drinks here that you didn’t find in the America when you visited?
For more about behind the scenes of London’s food, life, events and culture, read the Sunny in London recent posts below. There is also a ton of information on Things to Do in London and a Guide to Food and Pubs too.