The When, Where and How Of Soda
Updated : October 12, 2021 12:10 IST
The next time you take a sip of cold fizzy soda, you will know its true origins.
Soda is a broad term used to describe carbonated water. This water is then mixed with flavouring to make soda pop (like soda beverages) or with alcohol to make sparkling beverages (like wine and beer) or sold plain as sparkling water. In many countries, the word soda is customarily used to refer to sweet soda.
It is believed that the first soda is as old as three hundred years but it was not quite as flavourful as the kind sold in the market today. The early inventors wanted soda to taste like natural mineral water. The ancient Roman thought the natural mineral water could cure many aches and ailments. So, these early inventors worked on soda as a newer version of natural mineral water. But at the time, soda was not intended to be sweet.
It was not till the latter part of the eighteenth century that the tang in the soda was swapped with some sugary versions. The first technique for carbonation was developed by Jacob Schweppe in the 1760s. And Schweppe became of the first brands to sell seltzer from Geneva in 1789.
But it took quite some time for the “soda” to gather love and become mainstream, which did not happen till 1798.
In the coming decades, sweeteners and flavourings became part of the main recipe. By 1865, you would see advertisements for fruit flavoured soda beverages everywhere. And the tropical flavours became widely rejoiced like tutti frutti, pear, black cherry, and gooseberry.
By the end of the nineteenth century, today’s famous brands like Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper and Pepsi started production and found their own place in the market. The next big invention was the soda fountain between 1920 and 1950. These fountains were put in drug stores to attract young consumers.
Since then something fancier called artisanal sodas were made available. These had more varieties and very out-there flavour profiles. Today, the soda market is valued at over 200 billion dollars but just remember when it started, you could get a bottle of soda for under a cent.