The Soda Pop Page

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The Soda Pop PageSoda 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.

  1. 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.
  2. About.com offers a history of soft drinks called "An Introduction to Pop." It's a concise guide.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. How Soda Pop Got Its Name is a short blog post about the linguistic origins of the phrase "soda pop."
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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 pop.

  1. 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.
  2. This 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 soda fountains.
  3. 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.
  4. BrewSupplies.com offers a detailed guide to making root beer and soda pop.
  5. Chow.com offers multiple recipes for making your own homemade soda pop.
  6. Not Dabbling in Normal features several recipes for homemade soft drinks, including ginger ale, lemon lime soda, orange soda, and vanilla cream soda.
  7. 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.
  8. Energy Fiend celebrates caffeine, and the link will take you to a page about how to make your own homemade cola drinks.
  9. Michael Eades, M.D., on his blog, also features the recipe for "OpenCola," which is a recipe for homemade cola that's free to distribute.
  10. 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.

  1. Soda Pop Reviews - Concise reviews of various soda pop brands. The site owner has created his own rating scale for soft drinks.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Galco's is an online mail-order service that stocks over 500 different flavors of soda pop that you can order online.
  5. Soda Emporium is another great online soft drink retailer with a huge selection.
  6. Soft Drinks International is an industry insight magazine and publication aimed at anyone who's interested in the soft drink industry.
  7. 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.
  8. Collectors Weekly Article about Vintage Soda Pop Signs - This guide includes a lot of great photos of vintage and collectible soft drink signs.
  9. Collectible Soda Cans is one collector's guide to how to collect soda pop cans. He includes photos from his personal collection.
  10. 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.