What Flavor Is Big Red, Anyway?

Schweppe's may have created the first carbonated mineral water in 1783, but it would be another 80 years before companies began adding other flavors to the fizzy concoction. After Vernor's Ginger Ale was produced in the 1860s, other soda companies began creating their own new and unique flavors. For many people, it comes down to Pepsi vs. Coke, but if you look at all the different regional sodas, it becomes much more complex. The rest of the country may not know what Moxie soda is, but New Englanders love it. The same goes for Texas-based Big Red.

While many Texans would love to make Big Red the state's national drink, even those who love it have trouble explaining the flavor. On a Reddit thread, the suggestions are all over the place. "If you took cinnamon flavored gum and mixed it with cotton candy then diluted it," suggested one fan. "I agree with the bubble gum taste. I've heard some people say red vines," said another. In reality, though, Big Red is essentially a classic cream soda with citrus flavors added in for good measure.

Originally it was only sold in Texas

Big Red was founded by Grover C. Thomsen and R.H. Roark in Waco, Texas in 1937. Originally called Sun Tang Big Red Cream Soda, it was shortened after hearing someone refer to it as 'Big Red.' Current flavors include the original Big Red, Big Red Zero Sugar, Big Blue, Big Peach, and Big Pineapple. It may not be as well-known as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, or Mountain Dew, but it's popular enough that it appears to have earned a copycat.

H-E-B Wild Red Soda may not be the brand name, but as far as store-brand sodas go, this knockoff has its fans. Slightly sweeter and with a more distinct cream soda taste, it has won over some who prefer this drink over the original. "Can't count the number of times someone has said, 'Why is your Sprite so good' or 'I don't remember Big Red being so good,'" remarked one big fan on Reddit.

For decades, Big Red was only sold in Texas, but ever since Dr Pepper Snapple (which has since become Keurig Dr Pepper) bought a stake in the company in 2008, it broadened the distribution. This means Big Red has begun showing up in stores all around the country, giving people the chance to decide for themselves exactly what it tastes like.