15 Sodas You Might Not Know About Slideshow
September 20, 2011
This unique coffee-flavored soda, made with espresso beans and pure cane sugar, has been produced at the same family-owned, Brooklyn-based factory since 1895. The company produces other flavors as well, but the espresso variety is certainly the most popular and iconic, widely available in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
Touted for its use of all-natural ingredients (flavors include everything from white birch and gassosa to iron brew and cream soda) the East Haven, Conn.-based brand has been in business for an impressive 80-plus years. The sodas should also strike a chord with fans of New Haven's iconic pizza joints (Frank Pepe's and Sally's), and the legendary burger spot Louis' Lunch, where it is a staple on the beverage menus.
Dublin Dr Pepper
Wikimedia Commons/Brian Oberkirch
Old-school purists can still seek out this cane sugar-sweetened variety, which is produced by the Dublin Dr Pepper Bottling Co. and is made according to the soda's original recipe. The only hitch is that due to franchise agreements with the Dr Pepper Snapple Group, this version of the soda may only be sold within a 44-mile radius of the small town of Dublin, Texas, where the bottler is located. Soda pilgrimage, anyone?
Originally created in Waco, Texas, in 1937, this red-tinted cream soda has since made a big splash in the southern part of the country. Although it is now more widely distributed (in 2008 the brand was ranked as the sixth largest carbonated drink company in the U.S.), the unique bubble gum-flavored soda is predominantly linked to the south and its native Texas.
With all of the negative attention that soda receives as being bad for one's health, it's interesting to remember that many were actually conceived as good-for-you elixirs. Such is the case with Moxie, a gentian-flavored soda (the root was considered a cure-all) that came about in Maine in the late 19th century. Declared the East Coast state's official soda in 2005, the slightly bitter drink is most popular and accessible in New England.
This caffeinated ginger ale-like soda has a strong following in the South, particularly in its native Kentucky. Often referred to simply as "Ale 8," purists are said to prefer the drink from the glass bottle rather than the can.
This "wine" is actually a cherry-flavored soda produced by what claims to be "the oldest continuing soft drink company still run by the same family." Created in 1917 in Salisbury, N.C., the beloved drink can be found almost exclusively in North and South Carolina. That said, this past spring the company announced that it has hopes to become a national brand by its 100-year anniversary in 2017.
Blenheim Ginger Ale
Known for its strong, spicy ginger flavor, this proud product of South Carolina was originally created by two doctors in 1903 who decided to add Jamaican ginger to the Blenheim mineral water in order to make it more palatable to their patients.
It's not too often that you hear about a brewery whose beers are overshadowed by their gourmet sodas. But, such is the case with Milwaukee's Sprecher Brewery. Although the solid craft brews are certainly well respected, the company's premium sodas are a real local favorite. The brand's root beer, which features local Wisconsin honey as an ingredient, is particularly popular and has even received critical acclaim from The New York Times and Details magazine.
Given Utah's particularly strict liquor laws, it should probably come as little surprise that this "beer" is actually a non-alcoholic apple-flavored soda. Developed in the 1960s after the brand's owner was introduced to a similar German beverage called fassbrause, the not-too-sweet soda has since enjoyed a strong local following.
Motor City natives (and fans of hip hop artists Insane Clown Posse) should be quick to recognize this locally produced brand of soda. Created in Detroit in 1907, the cult favorite is known for its wide variety of unique flavors, including everything from cotton candy and rock & rye to root beer and cherry cola.
Originating in Chicago during the Prohibition, this acid green-colored lime soda has since become a Midwestern retro favorite. And, not surprisingly, it also apparently pops up in Windy City stores in the month of March to coincide with St. Patrick's Day.
Vernors Ginger Ale
Created in 1866 by a Detroit pharmacist named James Vernor, this ginger ale claims to be the longest living soft drink in the country. Although it is now more widely distributed, the sweet caramel-colored soda is especially popular in The Motor City.
Time to check the history books. Like Vernors, this Philadelphia, Penn.-based root beer brand also claims to be America's oldest continually produced soft drink company.
Not to be confused with that other big-name soda brand that sometimes features polar bears as its mascot, this fourth-generation family-owned company is well known on the east coast for its fruit-flavored sodas and other non-alcoholic carbonated beverages.