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The Mystery Drinks of Raffles Hall

Have you ever wondered what exactly is that drink in your cup?

In the beginning, I thought the different flavours were illusions created by the effects colors have on perception. However, when I found the drink delicious on one day, and grotesque on the next, I finally accepted they are distinctly different.

Here’s a personal review of the (rather suspicious) flavours, and every fact I have collected about them.*


Suspected grape juice.

— Generally safe. So far, I haven’t encountered anyone who hates it. Yet.


Possible orange juice.

— A personal favourite and quite refreshing in my opinion. However, be aware, as some may find it too syrupy.


According to my block-mates: a mixture of artificial unsweetened barley and artificial honey

According to me: Cough medicine

— Needless to say, I avoid this one at all costs.


Fairly-certainly fruit punch.

— I highly recommend this. While its bright neon color makes it appear much more hazardous and artificial than the rest - not that the others look particularly natural or appetising either - ‘Fairly-certainly fruit punch’ has a decent taste. Pink is not as sweet as yellow, and it comes with a slight fruity note.


  1. All opinions expressed are my own, and doesn’t reflect Phoenix Press’s stance on the delectability of the drinks

  2. Everything noted here are anecdotal observations of one individual, and not scientific fact, nor a reflection of general opinion. Further research will be required, to determine the true composition and popularity of the drinks.

So, what exactly is the mysterious liquid you are served during dinner time? We can confidently categorise it as a substance known as ‘cordial’.

Why? That's what the dispensers say.

Admittedly not a very helpful label.

According to wikipedia, cordial may refer to “an alcoholic beverage” (not so in our case) or “a non-alcoholic fruit drink concentrate”. It could also mean “a medicinal beverage” - I may not be so wrong with the white one being cough syrup!

For those who are as interested in cordial as I am, you may also find it interesting that ‘cordial’ could also be used as an adjective, meaning “showing or marked by warm and often hearty friendliness”, or, “tending to revive, cheer, or invigorate”. (Merriam Webster)

What better drink could we have after a long day of studying? No wonder I feel so much more alive after mealtimes.

Then again, it would be ridiculous to think the cordial atmosphere in comm hall is caused by the cordial. What makes dinnertime great is the people we get to talk to, say hello to, or simply live alongside of. The cup of mystery drink by our hand, although not always the most delicious, may simply be a small reminder of the happy hall life we enjoy.

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