While one of my good friends is disappointed that we are referring to the Kiwi carton as a box, I believe it is a perfect fit, it does not indicate the size of the container, nor does it discriminate as to whether what you are purchasing is in a can or a bottle. I think there are far bigger fish to fry in regards to the state of alcohol consumption in this small, communist country in the South Pacific.
For starters, the beer most commonly found in the aformentioned cardboard carrying containers most commonly has a alcohol volume of no more than 4.0%, this disease flows throughout the tap beer in almost every hotel or bar in the country. Speights, Tui, Export Gold and Monteiths Original (by far the most common ales) are all in the style of this watered down substance people try and pass off as beer. This travesty however is not terminal, there are a variety of full strength beers available, (Monteiths Radler and Celtic, Flame and Export Premium) all of which are normally available and in my experience a far better selection. None of this should be a problem, but any visitors and most locals don’t realise that they are actually being robbed of an important part of beer. If this pandemic is indicative of the rest of the world, it does not surprise me that Douglas Adams warned travellers of the strength of Australian beer.
Secondly, a standard shot in this region of the world measures only 15ml. This doesn’t seem to be a problem at the outset as you can just order a double, infact most pubs sell doubles without you even requesting. The problem arises when you would like an actual double shot (Scotch and Dry – I’ll broach this soon). I’m still, to this date unsure what to say to the barkeep, “Can I please have a double-double?” or “I’d like a quadruple scotch”. It’s not all bad on this front though, generally the bartenders do a good job with the portions, lots of ice, your spirit and then normally they do not fill glass to the brim with mixer, some people may consider this to be being ripped off, however I think it is good service – you don’t really want mixer anyway.
Finally, something I hold near and dear to my heart is Dry Ginger Ale, possibly we are spoiled in Australia due to the abundance of Kirks Ginger Ale which clearly surpasses any competitors, but in this locale we are stuck with the brown imitation that is Schweppes Ginger Ale. As any drinker of Scotch would know, Scotch should only be mixed with more Scotch, but if it must be mixed with something, it better be some tasty dry.