Top 10 Regional Soft Drinks That We Wish Were National

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Top 10 Regional Soft Drinks That We Wish Were National
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Top 10 Regional Soft Drinks That We Wish Were National

We’ve ranked our favorite regional soft drinks that we wish were available all over the country.

10. Vernor's

Legend claims that without the Civil War, there would be no Vernor’s. Creator James Vernor, a Detroit pharmacist, created the drink and left it in an oak cask when he was called after war. When he returned, the drink had transformed. The ginger soft drink quickly gained a strong following, and today the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group owns the soft drink. Even after expansion, Michigan still accounts for a large amount of the soft drink’s sales.

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9. Nugrape

Made with a secret formula, Nugrape is a grape soft drink that claims to be the best in the grape soft drink game. The company started in Atlanta, Georgia in 1921 and was unique at the time since they both made and bottled the beverage. The beverage is sold primarily in the Southeastern part of the states, specifically Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

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8. Green River

Green River was introduced to the Midwest in 1919. The lime-based soft drink has a hint of lemon and a distinguishing bright green color. The soft drink can be found in various restaurants around Chicago and is often marketed as a nostalgic item. Eddie Cantor, a popular entertainer at the time, even wrote a jingle for the soft drink titled “Green River.” Because of its signature color, it is increasingly popular in super markets around St. Patrick’s Day.

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7. Ale-8-One

Ale-8-One prides itself on being the only soft drink invented in Kentucky that still exists. The ginger and citrus flavored soft drink is often described as “ginger ale with a kick,” and is available in retailers mostly in Kentucky, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, and eastern Tennessee. It has less carbonation than most soft drinks and is still family owned and operated. The exact composition of the beverage is unknown and said to be a family secret that’s only known by a select few.

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6. Dr. Enuf

Dr. Enuf claims to be a soft drink that is filled with vitamins and minerals, resulting in a strong energy-boost. Since it was created in 1949, the beverage has been delighting customers with their product and their slogan, “Enuf is Enough!” The soft drink is sold primarily in northeastern Tennessee and some parts of Virginia and North Carolina. Tri-Cities Beverage Company, who was once the same owner of Mountain Dew, bottles the hometown favorite.

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5. Blenheim's Ginger Ale

Located in Hamer, S.C., Blenheim’s Ginger Ale has retained its small town, family style production since 1903. The company boasts of their products while saying that they stay true to their history and beginnings, specifically the strong flavor of the mineral water in the beverage. The company offers three varieties, and their Old #3 Hot Red-Cap is their boldest flavor. The soft drink is available at a variety of specialty markets throughout the United States, but is most prevalent in the Carolinas.

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4. Big Red

With a history dating back to 1937, Big Red claims to be the original red cream soft drink. It was originally called Sun Tang Red Cream Soda, but was named when the president of the bottling plant overhead a golf caddy call it by the name “Big Red.” The soft drink is popular throughout the Southern region of the United States (especially Texas), and is known for its unique taste many liken to bubble gum. Their slogan is “deliciously different,” and they are known throughout the internet for their interesting videos and commercials.

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3. Moxie

Moxie prides itself on their slogan, “distinctively different,” and while some claim the beverage is an acquired taste, there is no doubting it’s following of loyal fans. The beverage has a rich history dating all the way back to 1876 when it was first created, and was one of the first mass produced beverages in the United States. Generally speaking, the soft drink has a more bitter taste than most other soft drinks. It is sold primarily on the East Coast and is the official soft drink of Maine, where there is even a Moxie museum and Moxie festival.

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2. Passaro's Manhattan Special

Since 1895, Passaro’s Manhattan Special has had a serious cult following, specifically near its roots in Brooklyn. The company is not named after the island (like many assume), but after the avenue in Brooklyn. Their most famous beverage is their Espresso Coffee Soft drink, made of “the world’s finest coffee beans” and cane sugar,. The delicious beverage comes from the Passaro family, who were Italian immigrants, and they still use the secret family recipe that is over 100 years old.

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1. Cheerwine

Cheerwine was first created in 1917 in Salisbury, North Carolina. General store owner L.D. Peeler was the creator of the beverage, which became an instant hint. With a strong hint of wild cherry, this hyper-carbonated soft drink is known as the “Nectar of North Carolina,” and the company is still owned by the same family. With a strong cult following, the soft drink is mostly available close to its roots in the South (particularly the Carolinas and Virginia), but it is available at some retailers in more northern states like New York and New Jersey.

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Soft drinks are one of America's guilty pleasures. We all know the big guys like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but regional soft drink flavors can provide a special sense of pride. In a world dominated by large beverage brands, many regional soft drinks have stayed true to their roots and are still family owned and operated. Others have been bought by larger corporations, but continue to be distributed on a small scale in specific regions.

Top 10 Regional Soft Drinks That We Wish Were National

We compiled a list of the top ten regional soft drink chains we wish were available on a national scale. Our soft drink flavors range from cherry to ginger ale, and while they may not be as famous as much as mainstream soft drinks, people are still proud and eager to track down bottles of these fizzy beverages.

Check out the slideshow above to find out what regional sodas are just as good if not better than the big brand soft drinks.

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