Soda Trivia and Fun Facts

Top of glass soda bottle of cherry soda against red background

No matter which part of the political, economic, or cultural spectrum people occupy they all agree that there's nothing like the taste of a cool, refreshing soda. An abiding love of soft drinks is what prompted us to create our Sparkling CBD Soda and we continue to find ways to put a new spin on this venerable beverage. In honor of everyone's favorite liquid refreshment, the team here at CBD Beverages decided to bring together the following list of interesting and surprising bits of soda trivia. Enjoy!

Trivia and Fun Facts About Soda

So you think you know soda? Well, it's time to put your soft drink knowledge to the test. Here are six facts about soda you may not be aware of from the team that brings you CBD drinks.

ONE: In the beginning, you could only get soda at pharmacies

When flavored carbonated beverages were first introduced they were marketed to pharmacy owners as having health benefits. As a result, the only place you could find something like Coke in the late 19th century was in a drug store where they were served up alongside bacon and egg breakfasts, grilled cheese sandwiches, and ice cream.

These were the days before truth in advertising became a thing so soft drink manufacturers were free to make all kinds of claims regarding their beverage. Over time, however, people began to care less about the alleged health benefits and more about the fact that an ice-cold soda was a first-class tasty treat.

TWO: Speaking of soda fountains...

Unlike Europe, cafe culture never really took hold in the US. Even today, the closest we come to cafe culture is - gulp - Starbucks. When soda fountains came along in the late 19th century they became, in many ways, the American equivalent of the Parisian cafe. A place where local people would meet and socialize over some light food and a refreshing beverage.

While soda fountains never offered the rows of marble-top tables you'll find in traditional cafes (and they served soda instead of wine and beer) they nonetheless served an important service when it came to community building. When most soda fountains closed in the 1970s something important was lost.

THREE: The fascinating case of "don't care" soda

When the soda phenomenon was still in its infancy it dawned on some soda manufacturers that the flavors they offered did not necessarily enjoy universal appeal. (Remember, compared to today the number of available flavors was extremely limited.) In order to address this market void some soda fountains began marketing a "Don't Care" soda flavor.

Basically, "Don't Care" soda was made up on the fly using whatever the fountain owner had at hand, which may have included fruit syrups, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and even port wine and whiskey. As the number of available soda flavors began to increase in the early 20th century Don't Care sodas gradually fell out of favor. Maybe the closest thing we have to them today is the wine spritzer which many consider to be little more than "hard" soda.

FOUR: "7 Up" used to have a very different name

Ever wonder about the origins of the name "7-Up"? If you have, you're not alone. People have been offering theories regarding the origins of the name since the drink's inventor Charles Leiper Grigg decided to abandon his creation's original name: "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda".

No joke - that was the original name of "7-Up." It reflected the fact that the soft drink originally contained the drug lithium, now widely used as a mood stabilizer. In 1948 the government compelled Grigg to remove lithium from his drink and so he went looking for a new name, finally settling on "7-Up." But what exactly does "7-Up" mean? For whatever reason Grigg never explained it, leaving generations of soda lovers to speculate.

FIVE: Fanta was a war baby

Today, Fanta is one of the biggest soft drink brands in the world. But it wasn't always that way. In truth, the fact that Fanta has risen to such heights is something of a miracle considering their less-than-idyllic origins. During the Second World War the German company that bottled Coke was in something of a bind since vital ingredients were getting hard to come by.

Desperate, they decided to create a new soft drink based only on available ingredients. The result was Fanta Orange Soda. The name Fanta is derived from the German word Fantasie and was used because it sounded upbeat and happy - both feelings that were hard to come by during the war.

SIX: All Hail Peanut Coke!

Most Southerners are familiar with the practice of putting peanuts into a bottle of Coke. This habit dates back about 100 years to the time when bottled Coke first appeared on store shelves in the South. Peanuts have long been an important cash crop in southern states (President Jimmy Carter was famously a peanut farmer before his Presidency).

When bottled Coke came along someone had the idea of dropping salted peanuts directly into the bottle. The practice quickly caught on and became something of a badge of honor for many Southerners and a way to differentiate their culture from that of the still-hated North at a time when a lot of Civil War veterans were still alive.

SEVEN: Everyone's a Winner! Not!

Most marketing promotions come and go without leaving much of a mark on the culture. Their intention is simply to jump-start sales and for the most part, they do a good job of that. Sometimes, however, promotions are not properly thought out and the results can be at best unfortunate, and at worst, deadly.

Such was the case in 1992 when Pepsi decided to launch a promotion in the Philippines whereby a number was printed on the inside of Pepsi bottle caps and whoever wound up with the winning number would win a million pesos (about $40,000). The Philippine people bought in big time. But Pepsi had made a mistake and actually printed thousands of caps with the winning number (349 if you're curious). When the company declined to pay out, riots ensued and several people lost their lives.

The Bottom Line

Those of us who bring you Sparkling CBD Soda are proud to be a part of the long and colorful history of soda (though maybe not the rioting part). Our goal in making our Sparkling CBD beverages is to bring the soda tradition into the new century in an environmentally responsible way. If you're looking for a delicious and eco-conscious alternative to Big Soda pick up some Sparkling CBD Soda for your next get-together. It may not be peanut Coke, but we're pretty sure you're going to love it!