Are ice cold beverages an American thing?

Are ice cold beverages an American thing? In my two weeks of traveling around the world, I began asking just that question.

You see, first, I started to notice that refrigerators in lounges didn’t seem to be that cold.

Asiana First Class Lounge - Soda Fridge

Asiana First Class Lounge – Beverage Fridge

Don’t get me wrong, I noticed this in the past in Bali’s airport lounge and other lounges throughout Asia, but I had always just assumed it was just poor refrigeration, not actually intended.

Well, an observation from my father, on his first trip to Asia gave me pause. Could the desire for an ice cold beverage be primarily an American thing?

In fact, in Europe, folks have posed the same question.

So I ask, is the desire for an ice cold beverage, purely an American concept?

21 thoughts on “Are ice cold beverages an American thing?

  1. YES! I can’t stand my drink being super cold and I always need to request the server/waiter to go super easy on the ice. In the case of water, I ask to hold the ice altogether, as the water is already refrigerated.

    The interesting thing about this is that more times than not, this simplest request is usually met with a certain level of disdain by the staff. As they perceive it as my being a cheap stake for not wanting to buy a cup of ice with a splash of my drink of choice.

    I have lived in the U.S. for most of my life and I still cannot get used to the amount of ice in American drinks!

    • @G – Wow… Maybe its the significant heat right now, but I really do enjoy an ice cold beverage… But, seriously, don’t ever feel like you’re a cheapskate for wanting less ice. Its all about your preferences. Everyone is different.

  2. In the Philippines we like ot cold. Maybe cause it is usually so hot I don’t know. But every roadside stand that sells 50cent liters of pepsi are cold and they usually sell ice too. Even in my home there we make bags of ice for when we have meals.

    • @JJ – Awesome! I haven’t made it to the Philippines, but your country is very quickly rising on my list. I’m hopeful for a visit in 2017!

  3. Ice cold for me. When we were in South Africa last October, we were very surprised about ice in drinks. If you ask for ice, you may get 2 cubes!

    • @Jim – Good to know! I haven’t made it to South Africa yet, but it is high on the list… I will have to make sure I ask for double ice cubes!

  4. Yes, it is! There are a lot of things European countries get right (siestas, for instance), but not using ice is not one of them. 🙂

    A friend of mine who lives in China tells me that the Chinese think cold drinks are dangerous for their health. So on a sweltering May afternoon in Beijing we bought lukewarm smoothies from a street vendor. Tasty, but not really refreshing…

    • Yup. That’s why we drink hot tea with every freaking meal. It actually goes pretty deep, but more than a random comment.

      I will say I hate the warm drinks too, BUT there is a reason we consume so much more energy than the Europeans…

  5. Born and raised in Europe, and after 15+ years in the US I still cannot get used to loads of ice in your beverage 🙂

    • @Laetitia – I hear you on the ice (although I do enjoy myself a nice cold glass of ice with a touch of sprite – hah).

  6. After living 3 years in the UK, I prefer water with no ice and beer at a cool but not freezing temp (unless it’s tasteless fizzy yellow stuff, then it may as well be ice cold)
    But if it’s a refridgeted beverage like a can of soda, I still want it to start off very cold.
    Oh and the straightforward answer to your question is “yes”. 🙂

    • @Jamie – lol – I dunno, there is something about the bite of an ice cold beverage, that is oh so refreshing!

  7. As you’ve seen, yup, it’s pretty much just us.

    The rest of the world drinks beverages at either room temperature or barely chilled.

    And, if you gather together a group of people from another country, they’ll prefer that their beverages NOT be icy cold, no matter how long they’ve lived here.

    Apparently it’s easier to get used to warmer beverages than colder; Daughter has lived in Italy for 12 years, now, and while she puts water in the frig, she doesn’t put ice in it.

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  9. I put soda in the freezer, so there is no such thing as too cold! If you look at American advertising for beverages, ice cold is a strong selling point (though it usually isn’t delivered on).
    Warm soda gives me indigestion unless the soda is flat (old remedy for upset stomach).
    Water is the only palatable drink at room temperature and my guess is that iced tea was invented here in the states.
    Warm milk is fine for babies, but ice cold milk is a treat.
    Don’t think I could ever get used to warm drinks.
    There are other things that Americans refrigerate that aren’t always done overseas (condiments, eggs, cheeses).

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