Soda. Soft drink. Pop. Whatever you call it, you know what I am referring to – a carbonated, sugary beverage.
I know soft drinks are not healthy at all, but I love them & they might be my biggest guilty pleasure. Different countries have different soft drinks & very often international brands make country specific products. It is super exciting for me to try different soft drinks along my travels. This is a massive topic & could go on for ages so I’ve decided to limit this post to just a handful.
When I was in India with my brother in 2017, I ordered a Pepsi or Coca-Cola in a restaurant & the waiter replied with “Thums up?” and gave a thumbs up. I thought this was an odd response, but I assumed he was just confirming my order so I gave a thumbs up back to him. The drinks arrived & he had brought a Thums Up cola… and the earlier interaction made sense.
Thums Up was launched in the late 1970s when Coca-Cola pulled out of India & it quickly became very popular. Later, when India opened the market, Coca-Cola bought the brand & intended to phase it out & replace it with their own brand. However, it became apparent that consumers would buy Pepsi if Thums Up was not available. Coca-Cola then relaunched the drink. To date, it is the leading cola soda in India.
The first Swiss products which come to mind would most likely be chocolates, cheese, watches & Swiss army knives, not a soft drink. Enter Rivella. This beverage has an interesting taste but is actually really good. It is made from milk whey as well as herbal & fruit extracts. The taste is difficult to explain, but it is less sweet than a typical soft drink & has an almost gingery flavor. The drink is very popular in Switzerland & has been on sale since the 1950s.
This brand alone is large enough to produce many blog posts – I’m just going to list a few facts here. There are over 150 flavors of Fanta worldwide which means if you are traveling to another country, there is a high chance of you getting to try a new flavor. Orange seems to be the most prevalent flavor worldwide, but the formula differs. It will be sweeter in some countries than in others. The color varies from a neon orange to a light yellow. I grew up in South Africa where the flavors pineapple & grape are produced alongside orange. I now live in Qatar where strawberry & citrus are popular.
Lemon & Paeroa, or simply L&P, is a soft drink produced in the country which is often left off of world maps, New Zealand. It has been on the market since 1907, but it is very difficult to find outside of New Zealand. Being a lemon drink, it does have a slightly sour taste, but it has a good balance of sweetness. I think this refreshing beverage might be New Zealand’s best-kept secret.
Sparletta Creme Soda
Okay, so cream soda is not an exotic idea since a form of it is available in many countries. The flavors & colors vary greatly from country to country. Sparletta Creme Soda finds itself in this blog post because it is my favorite soft drink. From what I’ve found out, it entered the market in 1953 in South Africa. It is green & the cream soda flavor is not as strong as other cream sodas, but it has been described as having a ‘floral’ taste. It is sometimes called ‘green ambulance’ in South Africa because it is believed to help cure hangovers.
What are some soft drinks you have found to be interesting? Are there any from your country you think I should try?
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Keep traveling, keep safe.