From having lithium and cocaine as ingredients to being the byproduct of Nazi Germany, here are 10 strange facts about sodas you probably didn’t know.
1. A mood adjuster
When it was first launched in 1929, 7 Up was known as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.” The “lithiated” referred to the fact it had lithium citrate in it, which is a drug that was used as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder, being in the beverage until 1950.
2. No need to pass on Passover
Early into the Thirties, a rabbi from Atlanta lobbied for Coca-Cola to produce a special version of Coke that used sweeteners not derived from grains, which would allow Jewish people to drink it during Passover. The company agreed and the result was a kosher Coke formula – identified by its yellow cap – that is still available today.
3. A Nazi byproduct
Even though the United States had yet to enter the war, the bottling of Coca-Cola in Nazi Germany had become difficult, due to lack of supplies. That’s why Max Keith, the head of operations at the German division of the company decided to create a new flavored soda that could be produced with the ingredients on hand.
4. Santa Claus
Did you know that the most imitated depiction of Santa is one that was created by Coca-Cola? Before 1931, which is when Coke hired an artist to create art for the company’s Christmas advertisements, Santa was mostly depicted wearing brown or green and not red.
5. Whiskey and Dew, please
Mountain Dew gets it name from slang for moonshine, from the two Tennessean brothers who created it, which was originally made as a mix for their whiskey.
6. The yayo
While Mountain Dew was created as a mix for alcohol, Coca-Cola was the byproduct of alcohol. The inventor of what is considered the world’s most popular soft drink, John Pemberton, originally made a product called “French Wine Coca,” which contained both alcohol and cocaine. But due to local prohibition law, the product was illegal, so Pemberton dropped the wine and ran with Coca-Cola.
7. No bueno
If you love your Coke – Coca-Cola, that is – it’s probably not the best idea to go live in North Korea or Cuba, the two countries that are free of the soft drinks, due to sanctions and trade embargo.
8. A warm glass of Dr. Pepper?
While most people like a chilled Dr. Pepper, in the Sixties, there were some people who drank warmed up Dr. Pepper! Although, the idea didn’t take off.
9. Wake and bake
Just like their competition, Coca-Cola also tried to have Coke become a breakfast beverage, which was the emphasis of the “Coke in the Morning” campaign.
10. Check those dimples
Those dimples on Sprite bottles are part of the soft drink’s legacy, representing the drink’s carbonation, having also been on the original bottles.