The Oldest Soda In The World Is Still Around Today

Some soft drink brands are household names; in some places, "Can I have a Coke?" may not even refer to Coca-Cola, but rather an interchangeable word for soda instead. That's the legacy Coca-Cola has left behind, one in which the brand name represents soft drinks all around the world. Per History of Soft Drinks, Coca-Cola was introduced in 1886, and it tops the list of the most popular soda products ever. It further strengthens its hold on the market with the second most popular soft drink, Coke Zero, followed by Diet Coke.

However, contrary to popular belief, Coca-Cola isn't the oldest soft drink in the world. To define this, you must consider what a soda actually includes. Per Science Direct, "soft drinks are defined as water-based flavored drinks usually with added carbon dioxide and with nutritive, nonnutritive, and/or intense sweeteners with other permitted food additives." By this definition, sodas don't have to be caffeinated, but simply carbonated to make the cut.

The truth will Schweppe you away

The oldest soft drink in the world is one you may not have expected. Per its website, Schweppes, founded in 1783, wins the title. The company was invented in Switzerland by Jacob Schweppe, who refined the carbonation of mineral water before patenting it as his own. Per Oldest, the company moved to London in 1792, where it became the official drink of the Great Exhibition of 1851. Today, the brand is owned by the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

Although Schweppe holds the patent for carbonated mineral water, Joseph Priestly was the first to create carbonated water by mixing it with carbon dioxide. Per Southside Craft Soda, the invention was believed to cure ailments, making soda more of a drug rather than a beverage to drink with a meal. Coca-Cola was among the first brands that made it popular to drink soda as a beverage, followed by Dr. Pepper in 1885. As for Schweppes, it's definitely evolved over the years, though it still maintains its roots as a ginger ale, tonic water, and club soda manufacturer.