I remember my first trip to France as a 13 year-old, exotically eating at outdoor tables in cafés on town squares, and becoming addicted to Orangina. At the time they didn't sell the drink in England, so the small bottle of slightly fizzy orange tangy sweetness with delightfully continental.
Last week, the creator of the distinctive bottle, Jean-Claude Beton, died at the age of 88.
Mr. Beton’s father, Léon, a Frenchman living in Algeria, bought the formula for what was then called Naranjina in 1935 from a Spanish pharmacist who came up with its blend of citrus juices, carbonated water, sugar and other ingredients. Jean-Claude Beton, who took over the company in 1947, insisted that the drink, a sensible but sophisticated precursor to artisanal soft drinks like Izze and Jones Soda, remain largely the same: a fresh uncola with European appeal.
In 1951, Mr. Beton introduced Orangina’s 8-ounce glass bottle, shaped and textured to simulate an orange. Even in an era of supersizing, the small bottle has remained Orangina’s signature.