Once upon a time in the old Kuwait town the people of Kuwait drank a soft drink that they called “Namleet Bo Teela”. I’m not sure if they had Cola back then, but I know that the older generations speak fondly of the “Bo Teela”. Bo Teela means “The one with the marble” but I never understood exactly why until I stumbled on a newly opened drinks shop in the traditional souk section of the Avenues with the name “Bo Teela”.
You should see the amount of people, mostly in their fifties and above, who stopped by and took a look at the menu. The store is tiny and decorated in a traditional way and because its small we had to wait a while outside so the people inside would get served then leave because there is no room.
The menu has a lot of juices, shakes, smoothies, and cocktails but I was most interested in the ones that came inside the “Bo Teela” bottle. I wanted to know what the fuss was all about!
The Bo Teela bottles were displayed on their own in a bucket filled with ice and came pre-filled with three flavors only.
The flavors of the bottled Bo Teela drinks are Namleet which is lemon flavored, a blackberry one in deep purple color, and a strawberry one that was pink colored. If you wanted anything else off their menu it had to be in a boring old plastic cup.
I chose the lemon flavored blue Namleet one. It was cold and after we paid I took a few pictures of it. I also understoon why its called “Bo Teela” or the one with the marble all these years ago.
Apparently the bottle comes without a lid but its sealed off by a piece of round marble, just like the marbles kids play with! It took a while for us marvelling at the bottle cap and then when we pushed the marble into the bottle it opened with a fizz sound. Wanasa!
I walked around the old souk of the Avenues drinking the blue soft drink, which was quite strong and tangy and really lemony, unlike 7-up where you can barely taste the lemon. It was good and I felt like I was pushed back in time, literally.
The amount of soft drink inside the bottle wasn’t much, perhaps less than 250ml, but the bottle was too cute to throw away after I drank it so I kept it and kept gazing at the marble inside. People in shops were also intrigued and kept shaking the bottle and wondering how did the marble get inside?
I went online and discovered that method of pushing a marble inside a bottle to seal it is invented by Hiram Codd, and English Engineer in 1872 (wikipedia). The bottle is officially called a “Codd Bottle” or “Codd-Neck Bottle” or “Marble Stopper Bottle”. The bottle is beautifully retro so I’ve decided to keep it and use it as some sort of decorative piece.
Bo Throos who spent the weekend with me was going out of his mind thinking about the marble inside the bottle and how could he get it out! He just wanted to play he says when I caught him trying to break the bottle to get the marble out. Naughty Bo Throos!
Bo Teela Drinks Shop is located in the Souk section of the Avenues Mall. I’m going back for sure to try the other two flavors and collect more bottles. Great idea and smack perfect location for such a modernised twist on a retro store concept.