History of Soft Drinks


History of Soft Drinks


Have you ever taken a sip of a soft drink and wondered about it? The term “soft drink” refers to a drink without alcohol, as a “hard drink” is a drink with alcohol. Soft drinks started out as natural mineral waters with fruit or tea flavors. Soft drinks also needed a special type of bottle that took inventors a while to think up.


Soft drinks originated as rare, naturally formed carbonated mineral water. This water was said to have medicinal values. An English scientist named Joseph Priestley discovered a way to carbonate water from the carbon dioxide that is given off from beer production. After his discovery, Joseph Priestley wrote an article about how dripping sulfuric acid onto chalk to produce carbon dioxide would carbonate water. Over time, many scientists and inventors came up with a machine that would carbonate water with chalk and acid. Now we can carbonate water with a simple push of a button by having a canister of carbon dioxide released into the water.


As soft drinks started to shift out of medicinal use and into an everyday item, people started to infuse this water with flavors. The earliest carbonated soft drink was lemonade made with carbonated water, lemon juice, and honey. Next, companies started to infuse the water with extracts and spices, creating many new drinks, such as ginger ale.


With soft drinks becoming more popular, companies needed a new way to keep the carbonation from escaping. So an inventor named Hiram Codd invented the Codd neck bottle, which was patented in the year of 1870. The bottle had a small marble and a washer to seal the gas in. In addition to the marble and washer the neck of the bottle was pinched to keep the marble and washer in one area. Once the bottle was made it was filled upside down so when the carbonation began to build up, the gas would push on the marble and seal the bottle. As soft drinks became more popular better and more efficient designs for bottles emerged.


Soft drinks started out as mineral waters and evolving into the sugary drinks we all love. The bottles required to hold soft drinks took serious thinking and innovation. Soft drinks are one of the most popular drinks in the world with thousands of companies daily making millions of these drinks.


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