The history of soda dates back to the 18th century when creating a bubbly water by adding CO2 to it was first introduced. Soon, pharmacists started experimenting with the CO2 flavored water by adding medicines to it. The concept of flavored CO2 water caught on throughout America and became popular as it saw its transition from a medicinal beverage to pop culture.
The Soda Fountain
Before the currently known bottled soda became popular, soda fountains were the sole source of this delicious drink. The fountains were located inside pharmacies, which held all sorts of ingredients for the sodas, including tinctures, strong drugs like cocaine, and medicinal syrups. The pharmacists who served these sodas tended to the needs of their customers greatly by making the environment aesthetically pleasing.
As these non-alcoholic beverages become more popular, independent soda shops appeared all over America. New flavors appeared and started spreading as shop owners experimented with different tastes. Some of the soda flavors included, cinnamon, anise, banana, blackberry, almond, cream soda, maple, lemon, ginger ale, green apple, chocolate, peppermint, cherry, and vanilla.
Sodas became even more popular during the prohibition as people flocked to soda shops to quench their thirsts and find an alternative to alcohol. The demand for sodas was so high that a portable option was produced to enjoy the effervescent drinks on the go, in the car, at home, or even at work. The portable drinks were packed in specially sealed bottles to keep the fizz from escaping. Later, cans were also introduced by some of the major brands in addition to bottles.
Soon after, a handful of the soda companies monopolized the trade resulting in only a few of the sodas remaining in the mainstream market. Today, the soda choices available to the public are limited and have lost their gourmet touch. However, a few shops have opened offering independently made sodas sweetened with real cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.
World famous classic sodas also date back to the era when only pharmacies were their distributors. For example, Coca-Cola dates back to 1886 where it was first produced in an Atlanta pharmacy by a pharmacist named John Pemberton. The original drink had a large amount of cocaine added to it — approximately five ounces of cocaine per gallon of syrup. Today, a stimulant-free cocaine is used to flavor the drink. The recipe for the drink is kept safe in a bank vault in Atlanta.