The Soda Pop Page
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Soda pop is known by many names, but the most common (and
probably most official) is "soft drink," but no matter whether you
call it a "pop," a "coke," or a "soda," it refers to a drink that's
mostly made of carbonated water, sweetener, and other flavoring
agents. They're almost always served cold, although some people
drink them at room temperature, and they're called "soft" drinks
because they contain no alcohol. (A drink containing alcohol would
be a "hard" drink.)
The purpose of this page is to take a look at the soda pop
throughout history and provide educational resources that might be
useful to students, teachers, researchers, and/or historians.
The History of Soft Drinks
Drinks sweetened with honey and flavored with lemon are hundreds
of years old, originating in the 17th century. Carbonated water was
invented in the late 17th century, and drinks made with carbonated
water started becoming popular in the 19th century. As early as the
1830's, businessmen were making and selling soda pop.
The History of Pop includes a timeline of important events
in the history of the soft drink, and it includes the histories
of some of the major soft drink brands--Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, 7
Up, and Dr. Pepper.
About.com offers a history of soft drinks called "An
Introduction to Pop." It's a concise guide.
Art of Manliness features a post about how to become a
connoisseur of soda pop, and it includes a good deal of
historical information about soft drinks.
Full Documentary is a great site that includes free
documentaries on all kinds of subjects. The link I've included
is for a page with a documentary about the history of soda pop.
If you prefer watching video over reading, then this is the best
link on the page for you.
How Soda Pop Got Its Name is a short blog post about the
linguistic origins of the phrase "soda pop."
The History of Coca-Cola is the official history of the most
popular soft drink in world, straight from the company who
manufactures and distributes it. Did you know that in 1886,
Coca-Cola only sold 9 drinks a day? Now they sell 1.8 billion
drinks a day.
The History of Pepsi-Cola is from a Pepsi lover's fan site,
and it covers the other most popular brand of cola in the world.
Did you know that Pepsi was invented in 1898?
The History of Dr. Pepper is from the Dr. Pepper Museum's
official website, and it covers the history of the Waco, Texas
invention. Did you know that Dr. Pepper was invented in 1885,
making it older than Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
The History of Root Beer is a page from The Root Beer Store
which explains how root beer is the original soft drink, older
than any other soft drink, including Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper.
Another history of root beer, this one from Eric's Gourmet
Root Beer site.
How Soda Pop Is Made
Soda pop is made in different ways. Some of it is mass produced
in factories, while some people make their own soft drinks at home.
At one time, soda pops were hand-mixed in drugstores throughout the
United States. The following resources provide details of the
process, and some of them even explain how to make your own soda
This PDF is an online reproduction of Joseph Priestley's
original method of making carbonated water. This dates back to
1767, so it's of more historical value than practical value.
Soda Fountain History explains how soda pops were made at
soda fountains from the 1920's to the 1970's. It includes
sections about various soda dispensers and information about the
Liquid Carbonic Company, which was the leading manufacturer of
Making a Cherry Phosphate is an article from The Atlantic
where the writer recounts making a long-forgotten soft drink
called a cherry phosphate, but he adds bourbon to it at the end.
Skip the bourbon and experiment with his method, and you could
make your own cherry phosphate.
BrewSupplies.com offers a detailed guide to making root beer
and soda pop.
Chow.com offers multiple recipes for making your own
homemade soda pop.
Not Dabbling in Normal features several recipes for homemade
soft drinks, including ginger ale, lemon lime soda, orange soda,
and vanilla cream soda.
Kefir Soda Pop is made from water kefir grains, and the link
includes several different recipes along with an explanation of
why making homemade soda pop is probably much healthier than
buying soda pop at the store.
Energy Fiend celebrates caffeine, and the link will take you
to a page about how to make your own homemade cola drinks.
Michael Eades, M.D., on his blog, also features the recipe
for "OpenCola," which is a recipe for homemade cola that's free
How to Make Root Beer at Home is another detailed recipe and
guide to making your own.
Other Soft Drink Guides & Sites
The Internet has made finding information about soft drinks a lot
easier. Homegrown blogs review various flavors of soda pops, and
some online retailers even specialize in distributing and selling
rare, hard-to-find soft drinks. Here are the best of these various
soda pop guides.
Soda Pop Reviews - Concise reviews of various soda pop
brands. The site owner has created his own rating scale for soft
Soda Pop Riot is another blog that reviews soft drinks, but
it looks like they stopped updating in 2011. Still, they offer a
lot of reviews of a lot of unusual soft drinks.
Weird Soda Review - I liked this site when I first saw it,
because the first post I saw was a review of a peanut butter
flavored soda pop. They also have a rating scale, and they
include a list of their top-rated soft drinks in their sidebar.
Galco's is an online mail-order service that stocks over 500
different flavors of soda pop that you can order online.
Emporium is another great online soft drink retailer with a
Soft Drinks International is an industry insight magazine
and publication aimed at anyone who's interested in the soft
Soda Pop Collectibles - Soft drink bottles, cans, and
merchandise are all collectible, and this site is the most
complete guide to understanding how to collect soda pop
collectibles and what they cost. You'll be surprised at how
interested in soft drink memorabilia these folks are.
Collectors Weekly Article about Vintage Soda Pop Signs -
This guide includes a lot of great photos of vintage and
collectible soft drink signs.
Collectible Soda Cans is one collector's guide to how to
collect soda pop cans. He includes photos from his personal
Counting the Drink Combos at Sonic Drive-In - Sonic is one
company that understands how much fun soft drinks can be. They
advertise that they offer 168,894 different combinations, but
there are actually even more combinations than that. This
Wall Street Journal blog post explains the math behind
calculating the number of possible combinations.