Fun Facts About Soda's History
Colorado’s Best Drinks is proud to offer five delicious and carefully-crafted sparkling soda flavors – Lemonade, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Cola and Black Cherry. With just 100 calories and five natural ingredients per BPA-free can, you can’t go wrong with any of our gluten-free and vegan-friendly sparkling soda blends. While we believe that our products are the best on the market today, they certainly weren’t the first sodas to hit the scene or to be loved by the American public. In fact, popular soda flavors have dominated the beverage industry in our nation and beyond for more than a hundred years. Today’s Beverage Blog guide explores some interesting trivia about soda’s origins, its evolution to the forms we love today, and the bubbly beverage’s role in society at large.
Nine Fun Soda Facts
- Sodas were given the name “soft drinks” to distinguish them from “hard drinks,” a common term for beverages containing alcohol.
- The name “soda” was originally derived from the word “sodium,” which was a common component found in natural spring water.
- Countries in the United Kingdom have their own phrases for the drink Americans know as soda. Many of the beverage’s fans in Ireland refer to them as “minerals,” while they’re widely known in England as “fizzy drinks.”
- Soda is frequently called “pop” throughout many regions of the United States and Canada. The nickname “pop” was first used for soda in the year 1812, as a reference to the loud and distinctive sound produced by opening a bottle.
- Soda fountain workers were commonly referred to as “soda jerks.” Contrary to what we may assume from the modern-day insulting connotations, this had nothing to do with any faults in their characters or less-than-friendly attitudes. The nickname refers to the repeated jerking motion needed to pump soda water into customers’ glasses.
- Studies have suggested that United States residents drink an average of fifty gallons of soda per person each year.
- Virtually every soda flavor you love today originated in a pharmacy near the start of the 20th century. Sodas of that time were routinely flavored with a range of natural components such as dandelion, birch bark, ginger and lemon, and occasionally extracts of the coca plant. In an era prior to strict labelling regulations from the Food and Drug Administration, fantastic claims were often made by each variety’s original creator. Early batches of popular soda flavors were once toted as cure-alls for common ailments like scurvy, stomach aches, anxiety, alcoholism, opiate addiction and even impotence.
- William Painter revolutionized the soda industry in 1891 with his invention of the crown cap. This allowed for soda to be safely bottled and shelved beyond the confines of a soda fountain. From that point forward, soda-lovers had the freedom to enjoy their favorite flavors at home whenever they pleased without sacrificing freshness or soda’s coveted carbonation.
- In 1899, another invention made soda more accessible than ever. The newly-developed automatic glass blowing machine made soda production much more affordable and efficient, allowing sellers to dramatically lower their prices and still make a decent profit. This made soda accessible to a much broader range of customers, ultimately leading to a serious spike in soda’s commercial success.
- Studies have shown that glass bottles preserve soda’s carbonation much more effectively than plastic ones. As such, sodas bottled in plastic have a significantly shorter shelf life than those bottled in glass.
When Was Soda First Created?
Soda is one of those things that’s such an integral part of our lives that we either don’t think about its origin, or we tend to assume that it’s been around forever. But while most types of soda have been around longer than anyone currently alive (excluding CBD soda, which we’ll get to later), it’s still a relatively recent invention that can trace its origins to the late 18th century. It was not, however, the first carbonated beverage. That distinction by all accounts goes to beer.
Beer: The Precursor to Soda
Beer has been around for thousands of years and was well known to the Romans, (although they preferred wine and considered beer a “barbarian” beverage). The carbonation in beer was/is a natural result of the fermentation process. Carbonation in ancient beer was muted by contemporary standards and was not considered an important characteristic of the drink to the ancients. Instead, it was more of a nuisance early beer drinkers learned to live with.
Into the Modern Age
The invention of carbonated soft drinks can be considered an offshoot of the fascination 18th-century people had with mineral water. Water from mineral springs had been thought for centuries to have curative powers but it was not something that was widely consumed. Inventors of the time, instead of finding ways to bottle natural sparkling water, instead looked for ways to reproduce the sparkling effect in regular drinking water.
They finally figured it out in the 1760s when an English Scientist named Joseph Priestly dripped sulfuric acid onto chalk suspended above a vat of water. This, he discovered, infused the water with carbon dioxide. 5 years later he published a paper describing his process and the ground was laid for the modern soda industry.
Others picked up on Priestly’s inventive technique and put it to use. In 1789 Jacob Schweppe began selling his own brand of seltzer water in Geneva. By 1810 the first patent was issued in the US for imitation mineral water. By 1819 the soda fountain was patented. And 16 years after that bottled soda water first appeared on store shelves.
While bottled soda water was picking up steam as a product there was still something missing: flavor. Exactly who first started adding flavorings to soda water is unknown. What is known is that in the early 19th century, some enterprising individual had the idea of combining wine and soda water, effectively creating the first spritzer and the first flavored soda at the same time.
This drink was a hit among those who could afford the ingredients (which wasn’t everybody). But it wasn’t long after the first spritzers were making an impression on the hi-so circuit that the first flavored syrups appeared. You would think this would have the effect of immediately creating the soda pop industry, but remember, this was the mid-19th century. News traveled slowly and the production and distribution of new products was even slower.
That said, by the end of the Civil War advertisements were appearing in big-city newspapers for flavored, non-alcoholic seltzers, and 20 years after that the cola nut and cocaine (yes cocaine) were first combined to create the now-iconic taste of Coke. (In the early 20th century the cocaine was replaced by caffeine, but the name “Coke” endured.)
By the end of the 19th-century, soft drink brands were springing up like wildfire including Dr Pepper, Pepsi, Vernor's Ginger Ale, Hires Root Beer and more, (in addition to Coke of course). Most of these now-staple brands were created by pharmacists at their in-store soda fountains. But while the Soda Jerks who first served them went the way of the dinosaurs long ago the brands took on a life of their own.
In the first half of the 20th century, the soda industry ran into some significant headwinds in the form of the First World War, the Great Depression and the Second World War. Following WWII however, an era of prosperity occurred which led to widespread innovation and diversification. In 1957 aluminum cans were introduced. In 1962 pull tabs were added to those cans for the first time. In 1970, plastic bottles began to replace glass bottles. And in 1974 the ‘stay-on’ tab was introduced.
Into the 21st Century
As the 20th century gave way to the 21st, concerns surrounding the consumption of sugary drinks came to the fore and producers looked for ways to make their beverages more appealing to health-conscious individuals. As a result, every major soda manufacturer today offers caffeine-free and/or sugar-free varieties of their drinks. Others, however, have taken the idea of healthy carbonated beverages even further, and that is where brands like CBD Sparkling Soda come in.
Sparkling CBD soda is America’s favorite brand of healthy, refreshing carbonated beverages. Infused with broad spectrum hemp extract CBD soda provides an array of health benefits regular soft drinks can’t touch. All Sparkling CBD flavors - black cherry, cola, ginger ale, root beer and lemonade - use safe, organic sweeteners instead of sugar and get their outstanding taste from all-natural flavors. In addition, they are free of gluten, sodium, artificial preservatives and GMOs.
With Sparkling CBD soda the beverage industry has finally matured to the point that soft drinks are able to live up to some of the health claims made of mineral water centuries ago. CBD sparkling soda sets the bar for others to clear and sets a course for the industry toward a healthier future for everyone.
Here's to Sparkling CBD Soda!
Sparkling waters and sodas offer a much healthier and ever-delectable alternative to processed soda products, contributing to the dramatic shift in popularity in recent years. Our five original sparkling CBD soda options have just 100 calories per can - as do our newest CBD beverage flavors, Lemon Iced Tea and Watermelon Soda. Colorado's Best Drinks also offers calorie-free sparkling water flavors - Citrus Water and Hibiscus Water. All nine delicious flavors of Colorado’s Best Drinks have five simple ingredients or fewer with phytocannabinoid-rich, broad spectrum hemp extract in BPA-free packaging. They’re also vegan, non-GMO and free of gluten, sodium and preservatives.
While the origin of carbonated sodas in Selter spring is more than a millennium behind us, Colorado’s Best Drinks remains devoted to bring carbonated beverages back to their natural roots - and to deliver them straight to your doorstep.