Peter McMahon with a bottle of N-E-Thing. Cartons of McMahon’s Soft Drink are being sold to raise money for Ipswich Hospice Care again in 2020.
Peter McMahon with a bottle of N-E-Thing. Cartons of McMahon’s Soft Drink are being sold to raise money for Ipswich Hospice Care again in 2020.

How you can get your hands on classic Ipswich soft drinks

A POPULAR Ipswich beverage of days gone by has returned once again to provide a refreshing sip of nostalgia and a timely financial boost to an integral local institution.

McMahon’s Soft Drinks were produced for the first time in three decades last year, all in an effort to raise much-needed funds for Ipswich Hospice Care.

In partnership with Pittsworth-based Cooks Soft Drinks, bottles of McMahon’s Sarsaparilla and fruit cola N-E-Thing were back on the market, if only for a limited time.

Brendan and Benjamin Cavanagh from Cooks Soft Drinks, former McMahon's syrup maker Zane Sinnamon and Peter McMahon. Cartons of the soft drink are being sold to raise money for Ipswich Hospice again in 2020.
Brendan and Benjamin Cavanagh from Cooks Soft Drinks, former McMahon's syrup maker Zane Sinnamon and Peter McMahon. Cartons of the soft drink are being sold to raise money for Ipswich Hospice again in 2020.

About 400 cartons were sold last year and $36,000 raised for the crucial palliative care provided by Ipswich Hospice.

After the success of last year, it was a no-brainer to bring them back in 2020.

Peter McMahon, whose father Frank founded McMahon’s Soft Drinks in Ipswich in 1934, said the response last year was overwhelming and demand was strong once again.

The managing director of Peter McMahon’s Swim Factory and the former Ipswich Hospice board member has an association of more than 20 years with the charity.

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Pre-orders for more than 200 cartons are in so far, with 300 cartons ready to go.

“(Cooks) can produce and manufacture about 100 cartons in about a six-hour shift,” Mr McMahon said.

“It’s a lovely sentimental and historical Ipswich thing. It’s better than any chook raffle.

“Instead of buying grandad or dad a pair of underpants or a pair of socks, why not buy them a carton of McMahon’s Sarsaparilla?

“Last year when this all transpired we were very fortunate. A couple of our old syrup makers who used to work with us, Zane and Sharon Sinnamon, they’re still alive and kicking and they had great fun helping put the concoction together.”

The thirst for the iconic soft drinks is clearly still there.

Two flavours of the iconic McMahon's Soft Drinks are up for sale again to raise funds for Ipswich Hospice Care.
Two flavours of the iconic McMahon's Soft Drinks are up for sale again to raise funds for Ipswich Hospice Care.

Mr McMahon jokingly suggested to mayor Teresa Harding that a McMahon’s Sarsaparilla fountain be included as part of the new Nicholas Street Precinct.

He said the most important thing about bringing back the products was getting to support the hospice, something which was very close to his heart.

“It’s not a cheap product we’re selling,” he said.

“It’s going out at a premium price but everyone is happy because they’re getting something from memory lane.

“I wish dad was here (to see it).

“He started the family business back in 1934 and he had a wonderful work ethic. It would have been just more wonderful.”

The 24-bottle cartons are available for $110 each and can be picked up at the swim factory in Woodend or delivered in Ipswich for a small fee.

Visit here for more information.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.



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