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Josta, Is That You?

Xarope de Guarana

So…Josta. We’ve mentioned it before, how it was near and dear to our hearts and had gotten us through many a long night drive. Many have quested for the lost drink.

I’m wondering if I’ve stumbled onto the damn thing.

So…new Brazilian place opened up in the area. Brazilian place = guarana drinks. Sweet. So I pop in every now and then and pick up several liters. They even had a yerba mate drink in cans that was really damn good, but I wound up buying every one they had and they said they’re not getting anymore. Dammit.

But anyway, I needed a quick pick me up. Stopped in today, grabbed a bottle of guarana drink, was walking back down the isle and…my, what is that? “Xarope de Guarana.” I’m guessing that’s Guarana Syrup. Shonuff. Hey, concentrated guarana with craploads of sugar? Count me in. After peeling off the English label I see beneath, in Portuguese, that you’re supposed to use one part of this with nine parts of water. Or whatever. So of course I did what any of you would have done.

I poured a big glass of Coke and dumped one and a half teaspoons of guarana syrup into it.

It actually was pretty damn good. But I kept drinking it and I thought…wait a sec…cola taste in the background…kinda cough syrupy taste in the foreground…plenty of kick…no freaking way.

I started searching on “Xarope de Guarana.” Nothing that wasn’t in Portuguese, and I only know Spanish, so I’m not that good. I started checking to see if anybody had tried to make a Josta clone with this stuff as opposed to the recipes I’d seen before, where out of desperation people were grabbing Bawls and Snapple and whatever else. Necessity (and addiction) are the mothers of invention, after all. But from what I can tell–nada. I even checked the Internet hub of “WTF, where’s my damn Josta?” over at Save Josta and they didn’t have anything that I could find. (Update: Alas, their site is no more.)

Can it really be that freaking simple? I need help, friends and neighbors. I need some others whose taste buds remember the Josta wonderment to try this out. The company is Bela Ischia. They appear to do natural fruit juices. They sell monster containers. The little one I have is a liter’s worth. I’ve made several fake Josta drinks since I received it and you see how much is left. (Update: The company still exists…it was apparently acquired by another company back in 2017. But their website is kaput. So Googling “Xarope de Guarana” will still let you find them and other brands of the same stuff.)

Mouth watering? Let me know what you think. Have I gone mad?