The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Soft drink

A soft drink is a drink that does not contain alcohol, as opposed to a hard drink, which does. In general, the term is used only for cold beverages. (Hot chocolate, tea, and coffee are not considered soft drinks. Carbonated milk would probably not be considered a soft drink.) The term originally referred exclusively to carbonated drinks, and is still commonly used in this manner.

Soft drinks in a Virginia supermarket
Soft drinks in a Virginia supermarket


Soft drinks are commonly sold in stores in bottles and cans. They are also sold in restaurants and bars as fountain drinks made from syrup that comes in a special bag called a Bag-In-Box (BIB). In the U.S. and other countries, vending machine sales earn a significant amount of money for the producers and distributors. Most famous name-brand soft drinks are produced and bottled by local or regional independent bottling companies . These companies license the name and are usually sold the main ingredients (syrup) made by the main manufacturing plants of the trademark holders. For example, unless you live in Georgia, USA, or nearby, a can of Coke® will likely be from a facility near the point-of-purchase. In the past, most Cola and other soft drinks were sweetened with ordinary sugar (sucrose), but to save on production costs (due to high sugar tariffs imposed on sugar imported into the United States), most companies have turned to the more economical corn syrup as a sweetener in the United States. In some countries outside the United States, sugar is still used. Competition in the industry among soft drink producers is widely referred to as the cola wars.

Diet soft drinks

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for alternatives to sugar-heavy soft drinks. "Regular" soft drinks, being largely processed sugar or corn syrup, have been blamed in recent years for contributing to obesity in the United States and elsewhere. Sugars, like other carbohydrates stimulate the production of the hormone insulin, which causes the body to store fat, rather than burn it. "Diet" soft drinks are sweetened with chemicals, such as aspartame and saccharin, that are perceived as sweet by most people, yet do not stimulate insulin production or have any food energy or nutritional value.

Naming conventions

Pop vs. soda vs. coke in North America

In North America, "soft drink" commonly refers to cold, non-alcoholic beverages. Carbonated beverages are regionally known in the Midwest and most of Canada as "pop." In Quebec they are called soft drinks. In the Northeast, parts of the South (near Florida) and Midwest (near St. Louis), and California, they are known as "soda." In Atlanta and some other parts of the South, they are generically called "coke". (Atlanta is home to the Coca-Cola Company.)

The Pacific Northwest, being a melting pot of America, uses both "pop" and "soda," however, for most people, "pop" comes in a bottle, and "soda" comes from a fountain or can. Elsewhere they are called "soda pop", except in and around Boston, Massachusetts, where they are often called "tonic". See The Great Pop vs. Soda Controversy for maps and geographical trends.

Internally, the Coca-Cola Company (and probably other such corporations) uses the term "non-alcoholic carbonated beverage".

Names in other regions

In German, soft drinks are known as Limo short for Limonade, the German word for lemonade, but in America lemonade is an uncarbonated beverage, generally not considered a soft drink. Some regions also use Sprudel (from sprudeln=to be fizzy) for carbonated non-alcoholic drinks.

In Greece, the term Gazoza is used to refer to clear soft drinks such as 7-Up or Sprite.

In Brazil, soft drinks are called 'refrigerante', or sometimes just as 'refri'.

In Dutch, soft drinks are called frisdrank ('fresh drink'), a word coined in 1956 by adman Dick Schiferli .

In Swedish, soft drinks are called läsk which comes from läskande drycker (roughly - refreshing drinks) and denotes carbonated non-alcoholic soft drinks. The word lemonad has more or less the same use as the English word lemonade, but belongs to a slightly higher level of style than läsk. In Finland-Swedish lemonad is more common and refers to all kinds of carbonated soft drinks, läsk (or läskedryck) is also used. Many people, both Finnish and Swedish speakers, also uses the word limsa.

In Australia and New Zealand, "soft drink" almost always refers to carbonated beverages. "Lemonade" can refer to "lemon drink", but most of the time means clear soft drink (e.g. Sprite, 7-Up, etc.)

In India, soft drinks go by a variety of names including "juice", "soft drinks", "cold drinks" and "cool drinks". "Soda" in India refers generally to carbonated water and not artificially flavored, carbonated beverages.

In Ireland, soft drinks are referred to as "minerals". Lemonade is also a generic term for a fizzy drink, and comes in two varities - red and white. Red lemonade is similar to the Scottish drink Irn-Bru, and is popular both as a drink for kids and as a mixer for spirits.

In the United Kingdom the term originally applied to carbonated drinks ("pop") and non-carbonated drinks made from concentrates ("squash"), although it now commonly refers to any drink that does not contain alcohol. To further confuse matters, alcopops are often called "alcoholic soft drinks". The term "pop", once popular as a generic term for soft drinks is now mainly restricted to the north of England.

In Scotland, soft drinks are commonly known as "ginger", presumably referring to an early "soft drink", ginger beer.

In Japan, soft drinks are commonly referred as "juice" and younger generations refer as "drink", a shortened term for "PET-bottle drink". Non-carbonated drinks capture the majority of soft drink market and their main rivals are variety of bottled green tea and tea. Canned and bottled coffee has equally large market share and carbonated drink market is smaller in contrast to other nations. Coca-Cola split the carbonated market with Mitsuya Saidaa, a sweet clear carbonated drink, and Pepsi lags behind these two entering the market only in the 90s. Lime flavored drink (Mountain Dew and Sprite) holds almost no market share or marketed with only a touch of lime flavor. The official name for such drinks in documents and labels are Seiryo Inryo Sui (清涼飲料水) and those carbonated are called Tansan Inryo (炭酸飲料).

In Mexico, soft drinks are called "sodas" in the north. In central and southern Mexico, they are called "refrescos", and less frequently "gaseosas".

List of soft drinks (by country)



  • Almdudler (Flavoring by herbs and flowers)
  • Kracherl (carbonated lemon- or rasberrytaste)
  • Lattella (whey drink)
  • Pago (Mix of fruit juices)
  • Red Bull (Energy drink)


  • Junkanoo
  • Goombay


  • Guaraná Antarctica


  • Clearly Canadian Beverage Corporation (makers of Clearly Canadian)
  • Cott (World's leading distributor of carbonated soft drinks)
  • Most drinks listed below under United States
It should be noted that most soft drinks in Canada not labeled as 'cola' cannot contain caffeine. Dr Pepper is a notable exception.


  • Feichang Cola (Cola, similar to Coca Cola and Pepsi)
  • Jianlibao (orange flavored soft drink with some Chinese herbal ingredients)
  • Smart (Coca-Cola Company; soft drinks of various fruit flavors such as apple, watermelon, grape, peach, coconut, etc.)

Czech Republic

  • Kofola (special cola flavoured with herbs)


  • Dansk Citronvand (Carbonated lemonade)
  • Jolly Cola (Cola)



  • Afri-Cola
  • Bluna (lemonade)
  • Brottrunk (healthdrink, somewhat similar to Russian kvass)
  • Frucade (orange and lemontaste)
  • Mezzo Mix by Coca Cola
  • Sinalco (lemonade)


  • Cola Lacaye
  • Cola Champagne


  • Campa-Cola
  • Limca (lime flavored, carbonated drink)
  • Mazaa (mango, non carbonated drink)
  • Thums Up
  • Gold Spot (orange flavored, carbonated drink)
  • Frooti
  • Funday
  • Rim Zim



  • Red Lemonade



Words in italic indicate that they are written in a combination of Japanese scripts.



  • BOSS
  • Fire
  • Georgia
  • Latte Latte
    • Latte Latte Cafè Mocha
  • SORA Cafe Latte
  • Wonda


  • Amino-Value
  • Calpis Water--Calpico Water
  • Momo no Ten-nen sui ---Peach water drink.
  • Nattyan
  • Qoo

Sports drink


  • Flaban Tea
  • Gogo no koucha
  • Iuemon
    • Hot Iuemon
  • Jasmin tea
    • Hot Jasmin tea
  • Mantenbatake
  • Oolong tea drink (originally from China)
    • Hot Oolong Tea
  • SORA Green Tea Latte


  • Chilsung Cider


  • Kvast (Syrup flavored)
  • Kvass


  • Kinnie (Black-orange with bitter)


  • Chaparrita (variously flavoured soft drinks in small bottles)
  • Pascual Boing (concentrated sweetened fruit juice).
  • Peñafiel (natural sparkling flavoured mineral water).
  • Sidral Mundet (apple soft drink).
  • Titán (gooseberry flavoured soft drink).
  • Jarritos (similar to Jones Soda, various flavors and in bottles).
  • Fanta (orange and strawberry soft drinks).
  • Mirinda (orange drink soft drink).
  • Manzanita Sol (apple soft drinks).

New Zealand

  • Lemon & Paeroa (Lemon and Paeroa) is now made by the Coca-Cola Company.
  • V made by Frucor Beverages
  • Wests (local brand similar to Schweppes found mainly in the South Island, some 12 flavours)


  • Bubble Up
  • Pakola (variously flavoured soft drinks)
  • Vimto


  • Inca Kola (Yellow colored and a bubble-gum or fruity taste)
  • Kola Inglesa (Red coloured; literrally "English Kola" reference to messengers and cola nuts, but strawberry-flavoured and represented by a red-cheeked pale and cheeky face.)
  • Kola Real


  • Borsec mineral water
  • Dorna mineral water


  • Kvass, a low-to-non alcoholic beverage made from fermented grains.



  • F&N


Sports drink

  • 100 Plus
  • H-Two-O


  • Kofola (special cola flavoured with herbs)
  • Vinea (soft drink with the taste of wine)

South Africa

  • Appletize (apple flavoured soft drink)
  • Grapetize (grape, red and white, flavoured soft drink).


  • Kas (orange- [yellow], lemon- [greenish-yellow] or apple- flavoured soft drink)
  • Mirinda (soft drink with orange colour and flavour)
  • Tri-Naranjus (non-carbonated soft drink)


  • Enbärsdricka (Traditional stout-like, very sweet soft drink)
  • Svagdricka (Traditional stout-like, soft drink similar to Kvass)
  • Julmust (Traditional stout-like, very sweet seasonal soft drink)
  • Sockerdricka (Traditional sweet-sour soft drink)
  • Fruktsoda (Traditional lemon-lime soft drink)
  • Champis (Soft drink alternative to sparkling wine)
  • Pommac (Soft drink alternative to sparkling wine)
  • Cuba Cola (Cola)


South Korea

  • McCol ---Malt Beverage.
  • Milkis


  • Uludağ ('fruits flavoured' - also sold in many places in Germany)

United Kingdom

United States


  • 1919 Root Beer
  • 7Up (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Ale-8-One (a ginger-and-fruit drink distributed mostly in Kentucky with a cult following in the central part of that state)
  • A&W Root Beer and A&W cream soda, originally distributed by the A&W drive in restaurant chain. (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Baja Blast (Lime-flavored Mountain Dew sold only at Taco Bell) (PepsiCo)
  • Barq's (the only major American root beer with caffeine in most locations; Coca-Cola Company)
  • Big Red Texas Cream
  • C & C Cola (a cola brand distributed as a regular grocery item rather than stocked by the bottling company's local drivers)
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Cheerwine (cherry flavored drink - mainly North Carolina)
  • Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Code Red (Cherry-flavored Mountain Dew) (PepsiCo)
  • Cream soda (often a vanilla-flavored soft drink) (Traditional soft drink)
  • Crush (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc.)
  • Dad's Root Beer (Monarch Beverages, Atlanta, GA)
  • Diet Rite (diet cola by Dr Pepper/7Up's R.C. unit, although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Double Cola (regional cola brand based in Chattanooga, Tennessee)
  • Dr Enuf (vitamin-fortifed lemon-lime drink available in northeast Tennessee)
  • Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Fanta (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Faygo (line of soft drinks)
  • Fresca (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Ginger ale (Traditional soft drink)
  • Grapico (Grape soft drink primarily available in Alabama)
  • Gray's (line of soft drinks)
  • Green River
  • Hires Root Beer (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Jolt Cola
  • Jones Soda
  • Live Wire (Orange-flavored Mountain Dew) (PepsiCo)
  • Minute Maid (soft drink only) (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Mello Yello (Lemon lime similar to Mountain Dew) (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Mountain Dew (PepsiCo)
  • Moxie (the first American mass produced soft drink)
  • Mug Root Beer (PepsiCo.)
  • Nehi (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc.)
  • Old Town (line of soft drinks)
  • Orbitz
  • Patriot's Choice (Cola)
  • Pepsi (PepsiCo)
  • Pibb (Dr Pepper imitator; formerly known as Mr. Pibb) (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Pitch Black (Grape-flavored Mountain Dew (PepsiCo)
  • Point Premium Root Beer (Sold primarily in Wisconsin) (Stevens Point Brewery)
  • President's Choice (Cola)
  • R.C. Cola (Cola) (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Red Rock Cola
  • Root beer (Traditional soft drink)
  • Safeway Select (Safeway brand drink)
  • Sam's Choice (Wal-Mart brand drink)
  • Sarsaparilla soda (Traditional soft drink)
  • Schweppes Ginger Ale (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Shasta (Cola)
  • Sierra Mist (7Up and Sprite clone) (PepsiCo)
  • Slice (orange soft drink) (PepsiCo)
  • Sour Power (sold only on tap in bars primarily for mixing cocktails) (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Squirt (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Sprite (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Stewart's Fountain Classics
  • Sun Drop (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Sunkist (Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Tab (Coca-Cola Company)
  • Teem Soda
  • Vess (a line of soft drinks primarily available in the Greater St. Louis area)
  • Vernors Ginger Ale (the first American soft drink, Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Welch's (licensed by Dr Pepper/7Up, Inc., although produced and distributed by local bottlers)
  • Yoo-Hoo (chocolate flavored soft drink) (Dr. Pepper/7 Up, Inc.)

Puerto Rico

  • Coco Rico , (Coconut-flavored soft drink)
  • Kola Champagne (despite a name that suggest an alcoholic drink, Kola Champagne is actually a soft drink)
  • Old Colony , (soft drink that is produced in grape and pineapple flavors)


  • Frescolita Cola flavored carbonated drink
  • Uva Hit Grapefruit flavored carbonated drink
  • Naranjita Hit Orange flavored carbonated drink
  • Chinoto Lemon-Lime flavored carbonated drink

Mixed soft drinks

  • a float is created by dropping a scoop of ice cream into a soft drink.
  • a suicide or pop bomb is made by mixing many soft drinks together, usually from a soda fountain.
  • Swamp Water is made by pouring a small amount of root beer into a clear green-colored lime soft drink.

External links

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