Concentrated blackcurrant cordial to mix with water and be drunk in vast quantities and great delight.

Ribena is also available pre-mixed in squashy cardboard cartons that are guaranteed to leak down any clean white shirt.

There are, of course, non-blackcurrant flavours of Ribena available, but these are evil and wrong, and an offence to humankind.

Ribena was the first soft drink to be awarded a British Dental Association approval, for its no sugar 'toothkind' version for children. The standard mixture, however, will rot your teeth to nasty brown stumps, because though it contains no artificial colouring or flavourings it contains several ounces of sugar.

It is as essential to British childhood as Marmite, Jaffa Cakes and Smarties.

note: a healthy slug of Ribena,and plenty of fizzy water, is a very fine addition to chilled vodka.

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