A soft drink
is a drink
that contains no (or very little) alcohol
, as opposed to a hard drink, which does contain alcohol. In general, the term is used only for cold beverages. The term originally referred to carbonated
In North America, "soft drink" commonly refers to cold, non-alcoholic beverages. Carbonated beverages are regionally known in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and most of Canada as "pop". In Quebec they are called soft drinks. In the Northeast, parts of the South (near Florida) and Midwest (near St. Louis), and California, they are known as "soda". In Atlanta, Georgia and some other parts of the South, they are generically called "coke". (Atlanta is home to the Coca-Cola Corporation). Elsewhere they are called "soda pop". See The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy for maps and geographical trends.
Soft drinks are commonly sold in stores in bottles and cans. They are also sold in restaurants and bars as fountain drinks made from packaged syrup. In the U.S. and other countries, vending machine sales earn a significant amount of money for the producers and distributors. Most famous name-brand soft drinks are produced and bottled by local or regional independent bottling companies. These companies license the name and are usually sold the main ingredients (syrup) made by the main manufacturing plants of the trademark holders. For example, unless you live in Georgia or nearby, a can of Coke® will likely be from a facility near the point-of-purchase. In the past, most Cola and other soft drinks were sweetened with ordinary sugar (sucrose), but to save on production costs, most companies have turned to the more economical corn syrup as a sweetener in the United States. In some countries outside the United States, sugar is still used.
Diet sodas are sweetened with chemicals that are perceived as sweet by most people yet contain no calories or nutritional value, such as aspartame, and saccarine.
Competition in the industry among soft drink producers is widely referred to as the cola wars.
In German, soft drinks are known as Limo short for Limonade, the German word for lemonade, but in America lemonade is an uncarbonated beverage, generally not considered a soft drink.
In Swedish, soft drinks are called läsk which comes from läskande drycker (roughly - refreshing drinks) and denotes carbonated non-alcoholic soft drinks. The word lemonad has more or less the same use as the English word lemonade, but belongs to a slightly higher level of style than läsk.
In Australia and New Zealand, "soft drink" almost always refers to carbonated beverages. "Lemonade" can refer to "lemon drink", but most of the time means clear soft drink (i.e. Sprite, 7-Up, etc.)
In the United Kingdom the term originally applied to carbonated drinks ("pop") and non-carbonated drinks made from concentrates ("squash"), although it now commonly refers to any drink that does not contain alcohol. To further confuse matters, alcopops are often called "alcoholic soft drinks".
In Scotland, soft drinks are commonly known as "ginger", presumably referring to an early "soft drink", ginger beer.
Some famous soft drinks (by country):
- Almdudler (Flavoring by herbs and flowers)
- Pago (Mix of fruit juices)
- Red Bull (Energy drink)
- Dansk Citronvand (Carbonated lemonade)
- Jolly Cola (Cola)
- Mecca-Cola (Coca-Cola copy cat aimed to Muslims).
- Orangina (orange flavoured fizzy drink).
- Fanta (Coca-Cola Company, but mainly in Europe)
- Kvast (Syrup flavored)
- Kinnie (Black-orange with bitter)
- Chaparrita (variously flavoured soda in small bottles)
- Pascual Boing (concentrated sweetened fruit juice).
- Peñafiel (natural sparkling flavoured mineral water).
- Sidral Mundet (apple soda).
- Titán (gooseberry flavoured soda).
- New Zealand
- L&P (Lemon and Paeroa) is now made by the Coca-Cola Company.
- Inca Kola (Yellow colored and a fruity taste)
- Kola Real
- Kvass, a low-to-non alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains.
- South Africa
- Appletize (apple flavoured soda)
- Grapetize (grape, red and white, flavoured soda).
- Kas (orange- [yellow], lemon- [greenish-yellow] or apple- flavoured soda)
- Mirinda (soda with orange colour and flavour)
- Tri-Naranjus (non-carbonated soft drink)
- Julmust (Traditional stout-like, very sweet seasonal soft drink)
- Sockerdricka (Traditional sweet-sour soft drink)
- Fruktsoda (Traditional lemon-lime soft drink)
- Champis (Soft drink alternative to sparkling wine)
- Pommac (Soft drink alternative to sparkling wine)
- Cuba Cola (Cola)
- United Kingdom
- United States, including Puerto Rico
- 7Up (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc [in the United States])
- Ale-8-One (a ginger-and-fruit drink distributed mostly in Kentucky with a cult following in the central part of that state)
- Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola Company)
- Coco Rico, (Coconut flavored soda) (Puerto Rican)
- Cream soda (often a vanilla-flavored soda) (Traditional soft drink)
- Crush (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc.)
- Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc.)
- Fanta (Coca-Cola Company)
- Faygo (line of soft drinks)
- Ginger ale (Traditional soft drink)
- Green River (soft drink)
- Kola Champagne (despite a name that suggest an alcoholic drink, Kola Champagne is actually a soft drink) (Puerto Rican)
- Jolt Cola
- Jones Soda
- Mountain Dew (PepsiCo)
- Moxie (the first American mass produced soft drink)
- Old Colony, (soda that is produced in grape and pineapple flavors) (Puerto Rican)
- Old Town (line of sodas)
- Patriot's Choice (Cola)
- Pepsi (PepsiCo)
- Pibb (Dr Pepper clone; formerly known as Mr. Pibb) (Coca-Cola Company)
- President's Choice (Cola)
- R.C. Cola (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc.)
- Root beer (Traditional soft drink)
- Safeway Select (Cola)
- Sarsaparilla soda (Traditional soft drink)
- Shasta (Cola)
- Sierra Mist (7Up clone) (PepsiCo)
- Squirt (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc)
- Sprite (Coca-Cola Company)
- Stewart's Fountain Classics
- Sunkist (orange only) (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc.)
- Welch's (soda) (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc.)
- Yoo-Hoo (chocolate flavored soft drink)