Addicted to novelty since 2001

I Want to Assemble a Big List of National Sodas

Kinnie: The Cough Syrup ColaHere in Malta, there’s a local soda called Kinnie. It’s fairly popular, though it must be an acquired taste, because to me it tastes like nineteenth-century cough syrup.

When I lived in Ireland, I learned about Club Orange, which was a popular citrus soda native to the country.

I’ve begun to wonder if there are similarly popular, locally-made sodas in other countries. Does Canada have one? Canada Dry, but that’s not really popular enough to be as omnipresent as Kinnie and Club Orange.

Do you know of any such soda-nation pairs? I’m making a list.

34 Responses to “I Want to Assemble a Big List of National Sodas”

  1. Patricia Foster

    I know of a couple:

    Orangina – France (it’s imported to Canada, I like this one)

    Iron Brew – Scotland (really strong ginger beer)

    I don’t recall the name of the one I had in australia but it’s raspberry soda pop. This flavour is very popular there. Does anyone know the name of this one?

  2. Helen

    Here in Japan there’s one that always cracks me up when people say the name… Calpis. It’s sort of a mix of soda and milk.

  3. Manni

    Germany:

    Fanta – Orange
    Afri Cola – well… cola.
    Bluna – Orange stuff
    Bionade – Brewed, organic and mighty good.

  4. Catherine

    Kinnie, I have been told, was inspired by the Italian bitter citrus soda, Chinotto.

    Fellow Canucks may have tried the Canada-bottled version of Chinotto, Brio. It’s like a Kinnie lite.

  5. Joe Drumgoole

    Peru – Inca Cola. I’m not making this up. Its a dayglo yellow colour and tastes like cream soda.

    UK – Tizer. A variation on red lemonade.

  6. Jordan

    Malaysia: 100 Plus, a carbonated ‘sports drink’. At least I think it’s Malaysian. Sure is popular here.

  7. Michael Kwan

    Patricia: Orangina isn’t really a “soda”; it’s basically carbonated orange juice.

  8. Ashley

    Jamaica – Ting, best damn grapefruit soda ever. It’s made in Jamaica, but you could say it’s a regional drink for all the Caribbean.

  9. Patricia Foster

    Michael:
    What makes something a soda? The ingredients on Mountain Dew also includes orange juice.

  10. Brian El

    Darren: here’s four more for you

    England: Myora Twist — much like red lemonade)

    Scotland : Highands Red — also like red lemonade)

    France: La Creve — delicious orange drink ( like Orangina)

    Austrailia: Blue Citrus ( a Citrus Soda)

  11. Paula

    Did anyone mention Vernor’s? It’s a gold-colored, strong, extra-carbonated ginger ale that is only found in the Mid-West US (especially popular in Detroit/Michigan.) Canada Dry tastes disgusting compared to Vernor’s. Vernor’s is sweeter but also has more ginger-bite. When you drink it for the first few times pretty much everyone gets bubbles up their nose which makes them sneeze! Detroit locals like to mix it with vanilla ice cream and call that a “Boston Cooler” (no idea why because Vernor’s doesn’t seem to be that popular in Boston!)

  12. Carlos

    Portugal – Sumol! There’s even a Facebook group for the fans.

  13. Carlos

    India – Thumbs Up! (Apparently, Coke and it’s products weren’t too welcome way back and they set up their own soda versions. Thumbs Up goes well with Goan feni, a local “firewater” mixture….)

  14. alexis

    In Indonesia they had a fantastic drink called Green Sands. Apple, malt and lime. It was delicious.

  15. Brian El

    Almost forgot, Lomu Hog from the South Island in NZ. A delicious Lemon Soda.

  16. Erika

    I’ve been beaten to Fanta. I have a friend who collects pop cans and such, and was surprised to find a Fanta bottle in her collection because I’ve NEVER seen it in Canada.

    Patricia – is it chic-a-cherry cola? (throwback to the 90s here) ;)

    I saw a woman drinking a double-tall can of … some kind of Asian tea or soda. (I hope it was tea.)

  17. Lauren Wood

    New Zealand has Lemon and Paeroa, which is lemon-flavoured. Germany has Spezi, which is more or less a mixture of cola and Fanta. Then there is Schweppes Bitter Lemon, available in some countries (mostly European IIRC)but not everywhere other Schweppes products are sold. These are all fairly mainstream in their respective countries. BTW, one factoid I remember reading one time is that Fanta originated in Germany during the second world war when they couldn’t get the syrup for Coca-Cola.

  18. Patricia Foster

    Erika:

    Fanta was in canada in the 80s. I also remember a weird commercial with a woman with orange hair, orange clothes rocking out. And the tag line was: Fanta! The Electric Orange! Positively Shocking!

  19. Simon

    Another New Zealand oddity is Raspberry and Coke. Once upon a time it was ordered by the jugful at one’s local pub, now it’s available premixed at the supermarket.

  20. Heron

    Carlos beat me to Thumbs Up in India (which actually looks more like Thumps Up on the label) but they also have Gold Spot (orange) and Limca (lemon lime). I don’t recall the name of the cola, I just remember it was particularly nasty, so I never drank it. Gold Spot and Limca were both at least palatable.

  21. Adriana

    Colombia:

    A company called Postobon makes:
    1) Manzana (apple flavoured) and
    2) Colombiana (“champagne cola”)

    Both are great, but I especially love manzana. The whole carbonated apple drink idea is wonderful (even if this one is artificially flavoured – other places like in Austria have carbonatated real apple juice.. mmmm)

    It’s slightly embarrasing to go elsewhere and not have a domestic soft drink industry/labels.

  22. nick s

    England: Dandelion and burdock.

    Lilt is made by Coca-Cola for the UK market: it’s a Caribbean-style pineapple-grapefruit soda. Coke also makes bitter chinotto sodas for the Italian market: you can sample them (along with all the other foreign varieties) at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

    Mexico has apple soda, most famously Sidral Mundet.

    Australia has lemon, lime and bitters: usually made to spec, but now sold pre-mixed.

  23. Josh

    I started an online store just over a year ago fro this very same reason. I have researched what’s available around the US and beyond and have a list of over 1700 sodas,juices, energy drinks and well, only things available in glass bottles.

    Some brands that many don’t know still exist in the US are:
    Big Red
    Bubble Up
    Frostie
    Jolt
    Moxie
    Nehi
    Nesbitt’s

    From other countries I currently have:
    Africa:Fanta lemon & orange, Malta Guinness and Coke
    Australia: Bundaberg ginger beer
    Canada: Ting not from Jamaica as someone else posted, it just uses Jamaican grapefruit.
    Ecuador: Fanta orange,Manzana, Tropical
    El Salvador: Uva
    France: Lorina lemonades & Orangina
    India: Thums Up, Limca, Fanta Orange
    Italy: San Pellegrino
    Japan; Ramune no cap, uses marbles
    Macedonia: Fanta orange & Shokata
    Mexico: Jarittos, Barrilitos, Sidral, Senorial, Boing, Malta Goya, Crush, Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Fanta, Fresca.
    Philippines: Royal, Sarsi
    Slovenia: Cockta, Jupi
    Thailand: Fanta (orange, lime, black currant)

    Please visit my online store and see what all there is out there.
    http://stores.ebay.com/Hip-Hop-Soda-Pop-Shop

  24. Tony Skaggs

    This is a great idea :-) I know of two cola drinks from the former German Democratic Republic (you know – East Germany) They did not have Coke or Pepsi. They had at least two of their own though: Club Cola and Margon Cola. I’m not sure if they are still produced but they were at least until 1990. And by the way, they were disgusting!!

  25. Calum

    Scotland also has a drink called Moray Cup, which is delightful. It’s a lot more popular in the north east than anywhere else though.

    And to the first commenter – it’s Irn Bru, and it’s not a really strong ginger beer – sorry! It’s just a very, very sugarry fruit flavoured ‘soda’

  26. Sean

    Does anyone know the national soda of Croatia and Ecuador? Please E-mail me if you do.

  27. carmen

    look up Galco’s in LA Calif. Perhaps they will send you a catalogue. I sure wish I had a Kinnie out here in Ca.

  28. carmen

    Birch beer in Pennsylvania. Unique to that part of the world…tastes like root beer. Non alcoholic of course.

  29. brooklin

    I am currently in french 1 and we are having a ‘cultural experience’ I am supposed to bring a french soda. does anyone have suggestions. i need to bring the soda next friday

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