Did you know that the soft drinks that you have today is not a novice concept? Since the ancient times, the drink has been serving people of all ages. Today considered degenerative for the health, soft drinks were once regarded as a health drink. Right from the mineral water devised from natural springs to the soft drinks available today, the beverage has come of age. Apart from the many varieties of the drink, they are also available in different flavors. To get detailed information about the how it all started, read through the history given below.
Interesting Information on Origin & Background Of Soft Drinks
Talking about the history of soft drinks, it can be traced back to the time when mineral water was found in natural springs. As per the general belief during that time, natural spring was considered healthy for life. In fact, people believed that just by bathing in the springs, one could be cured of many diseases. The reasoning also instigated them to drink the water. The earliest form of soft drinks was sherbets, which was developed by Arabic chemists and served in the medieval Near East. These were basically juice or fruit punch, as we call it today, soft drinks made from crushing fruits, herbs and flowers. In the mid 13th century, a drink named Dandelion & Burdock made a rage in England. It was prepared by fermenting dandelion and burdock roots and then naturally carbonating them. Though the drink is still available today, the flavor has changed.
It was in the 17th century that the first marketed non-carbonated drink appeared in the West. The juice mainly consisted of water, lemon juice and honey as its major ingredients. In the year 1676, the Compagnie des Limonadiers of Paris was granted a monopoly for the sale of lemonade soft drinks. Local dealers would carry tanks of lemonade drink and sell it to thirsty Parisians in dispensable cups. It was only in the next century that the actual carbonated mineral water was manufactured, thanks to Joseph Priestley and his discovery. Priestley discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide, to make carbonated water. He found out that the infused water had a pleasant taste and served as a refreshing drink. The water is still available today and is better known as soda water.
With time, the concept of carbonated water caught up and other scientists started improvising the method. Torbern Bergman, a Swedish chemist, invented a generating apparatus that made carbonated water from chalk, by the use of sulfuric acid. The most advantageous feature about Bergman's apparatus was that it allowed production of mineral water in large amounts. By this time, another Swedish chemist, Jöns Jacob Berzelius started adding flavors to the drink. The concept of artificial mineral water intensified in United States. It was in the year 1806 that Yale chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman sold soda waters in New Haven, Connecticut. Soon, people started the business of selling mineral water. John Matthews of New York City and John Lippincott of Philadelphia began manufacturing soda fountains.
Artificial mineral water was considered healthy for life. With time, the water was further urbanized, as flavors started to play a major role. Herbs, such as birch bark (see birch beer), dandelion, sarsaparilla, fruit extracts and other substances were added to the mineral water to improve the taste. Since the U.S. glass industry was facing problems, bottled drinks did not play a major role. Instead, soft drinks were dispensed and consumed at a soda fountain, usually in a drugstore or ice cream parlor. In 1885-86, Charles Aderton invented ‘Dr Pepper’ flavored beverage in Waco, Texas, while Dr. John S. Pemberton formulated ‘Coca-Cola’ in Atlanta, Georgia. Four years later, Caleb Bradham had invented the ‘Pepsi-Cola’.
The last year of 19th century saw first patent issued for a glass blowing machine, used to produce glass bottles. However, it was only in the 20th century that bottled soda increased exponentially. Year 1919 saw the formation of the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages. Four years later, the first Hom Paks or soft drink cartons were created. The later half of the century saw the emergence of canned soft drinks, which formed an important share of the market. Facing a lot of tiffs and squabbles, be it economic downturns or health movements, soft drinks manage to be one of the most profound beverages available in the food and beverage industry, by constantly adapting themselves to the changing taste of consumers.