The United States of Soft Drinks

Categories: Beverages

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Full-size image below.
In 1998, Nebraska set a precedent for all other U.S. states when it formally declared Kool-Aid to be the state soft drink. Sure, plenty of other states have state foods or state dishes, but a state soft drink?

The popular children's beverage was developed in Hastings, Nebraska back in 1927 and -- along with formally declaring a state soft drink -- continues to be one of the only interesting things Nebraska has done in the last 100 years or so. Not wanting the plains to have all the fun, Maine officially declared Moxie as its own official state soft drink. (It also submitted a bill yesterday to make the whoopie pie its official state dessert, making me wonder why I've never been to Maine; they sound like fun people).

And while other states have yet to follow this trend, there are certain soft drinks that -- like in Moxie and Maine -- are inextricably tied to certain states. Take West Virginia and Mountain Dew, for example. ("Mountain Dew mouth" is a real thing.) Or North Carolina and Cheerwine.

So we took the nation's obsession with fizzy, sugary drinks one step further and created the United States of Soft Drinks, based upon locally popular beverages in each state. For more about each drink, check out our list below the map.

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Illustration by Monica Fuentes
Click to enlarge.

Alabama - Grapico
Alaska - Bubble Up
Arizona - Cactus Cooler
Arkansas - Grapette
California - A&W Root Beer
Colorado - Aspen
Connecticut - Foxon Park
Delaware - birch beer (any kind)
Florida - Ironbeer
Georgia - RC Cola
Hawaii - Hawaiian Punch
Idaho - cherry Ironport
Illinois - Green River
Indiana - Ale-8-One
Iowa - Spring Grove
Kansas - Soda Vie
Kentucky - Big Red
Louisiana - Delaware Punch
Maine - Moxie
Maryland - Shasta
Massachusetts - Polar
Michigan - Faygo
Minnesota - Sun Drop
Mississippi - Coca-Cola
Missouri - Vess
Montana - Crush
Nebraska - Kool-Aid
Nevada - Red Bull
New Hampshire - Stewart's
New Jersey - Boylan
New Mexico - Jarritos
New York - Dr. Brown's
North Carolina - Cheerwine
North Dakota - Almdudler
Ohio - Cherikee Red
Oklahoma - Coit's Root Beer
Oregon - Thomas Kemper
Pennsylvania - A-Treat
Rhode Island - Olde Rhode Island Molasses Root Beer
South Carolina - Blenheim
South Dakota - Pepsi
Tennessee - Double Cola
Texas - Dr Pepper
Utah - TaB
Vermont - Sweetwater
Virginia - Mello Yello
Washington - Jones Soda
West Virginia - Mountain Dew
Wisconsin - Sprecher
Wyoming - Ironport


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73 comments
Kenley Byrd
Kenley Byrd

I had to do a double take when looking at Mississippi. To me the obvious choice would be Barq's Rootbeer as Barq's was created and sold for years by the Barq's family of Biloxi before Coca Cola bought them out 

rose wines
rose wines

I really agree with your post because you have a share a true and fact thing. I think a U.S. is a country of a soft drinks because many brands soft drinks are available in U.S. market. People's are enjoying every brands for drink it. I also like drink always Pepsi because it's evergreen soft drink which available at any where and good for health.

david nikol
david nikol

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furioso ateo
furioso ateo

You should get crap for misspelling "Okalhoma" but honestly, who gives a shit about that state.

Shipwater
Shipwater

how does Georgia not get Coca-Cola?

newtex
newtex

I'll add with the Indiana and Michigan comments. I'm a Hoosier, born and bred, even though I now live in Houston. Indiana should be Big Red all the way. And Michigan, where I lived for 18 years, should be Vernor's. Faygo is around in Michigan but you can find it lots of places. Vernor's is the essence of Michigan. 80% of their sales are in Michigan.

Amanda
Amanda

Delaware Punch is originally from San Antonio, TX, and the main ingredient is a grape from Ohio. If you were going to name an official Louisiana soft drink, you missed the big one with Barq's Root Beer, which is a New Orleans native.

Kes7n
Kes7n

Kentucky, not Indiana, is the birthplace of Ale8!

Biteme
Biteme

Texas should be Big Red

Abc
Abc

georgia doesnt have coke as their cola. Dumbest chart in the world

Oliviasdad
Oliviasdad

I have to say I thought it was kinda off.

I would have put Sun Drop on Wisconsin, remember it well from living there.

And I found Indiana's odd... I lived in Illinois for a decade, and I'd never heard of Green River or "Big Red" until I moved to Indiana. And I've lived here for 9 years and have no idea what "Ale-8-One" is.

Also, although Faygo isn't "bad" for Michigan, I'd have went with Vernor's.

Jubi
Jubi

Grew up in Pennsylvania (Philly to be exact) and never heard of A-Treat. I think the state soda should be Frank's Black Cherry Wishniak. Sold in every local cheesesteak shop.

Jamklev
Jamklev

Uh, I'm from Minnesota and have never heard of Sun Drop, neither has anyone I know.

How can a drink represent a state when no one there knows of its existence? Also, i noticed the URL ends in "The_United_States_Of_Soft_Drin.php" forget a letter there?

Diane499
Diane499

You definitely got the Alabama one right.

I was born in Alabama and now live in New Jersey. Whenever I visit my family in 'Bama, I make sure I come home with several cases of Grapico. I think I'll go get one now... :-)

guest
guest

Ale 8 one is a Kentucky drink. Made and love here in the bluegrass. Why would it be put as Ind. soft drink?

Colonel
Colonel

Whoever put this together doesn't know their geography. Big Red is made in Indianapolis, IN. Ale-8-one is made in Lexington, KY.

anuran
anuran

Hawaiian Punch? That's about as Hawaiian as Champagne. Hawaiian Punch comes from the Dr. Pepper company and has nothing to do with the Aloha State.

If you want a real Hawaiian soft drink try POG.

Randi Blairre
Randi Blairre

I'm from New Hampshire. Lived there all my life. And so I ask. What's a Stewart's...?

Angie
Angie

The fuck is Boylan?

Annie Waight
Annie Waight

Hey I'm from Minneapolis (born and raised) and I have never even heard of SunDrop! It's not in stores here in the Twin Cities. Is this list for reals?!

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

The National Beer of Texas is Dos Equiis, my friend. Stay thirsty.

Maine <3
Maine <3

Maine is fun. You should go!! Best seafood and whoopie pies around :)

mollusk
mollusk

I would have thought Utah's bevvie would be Sprite or 7-Up - caffeine's a no no with the LDS, ya know...

H_e_x
H_e_x

Thank you Nevada for trashing up the list.

redonthehead1
redonthehead1

EOW should know by now NOT to try having fun with a blog post....rage and apoplexy will reign, regardless of intent. It will only devolve from there into name calling and brutal attacks. These commentors take their food and beverage WAY too seriously to have fun. Just sayn'.

John (Another One)
John (Another One)

Hmm. I grew up in Connecticut & never heard of Foxon Park. And it's not like there's enough of Connecticut for it to be from some remote part of the state far from where I lived.

Pekon Pi
Pekon Pi

Never heard of Ale-8-One in Indiana, must be a Southern IN thing, which is more like Kentucky, a good mix with Bourbon, much like Blenheim in SC.

Stuft17
Stuft17

why on earth is Ale-8 not in Kentucky?

Megan
Megan

Hell yeah! Green River! Still can only find it in Illinois and one diner in Des Moines, IA. Way too sweet on its own, but I love it mixed with vanilla ice cream as a shake.

As for national beer, the beer of Kansas City now is undoubtedly Boulevard. Iowa would be harder, but I'm partial to Olde Main beers. Chicago (and by extension, Illinois) would be Goose Island. I think of Leinenkugel when I think Wiscinsin, but Miller is the big player up there.

GP Burdell
GP Burdell

Yeah, I definitely think Coke belongs to Georgia. . .I mean, we have an entire museum dedicated to it.

Nicholas L. Hall
Nicholas L. Hall

I was kind of wondering what method you used to assign each state its soda. It doesn't appear to be consistent. Care to clarify?

Larry
Larry

Woo-hoo for Jones soda!

Dj
Dj

Really? Out of the millions and millions of charts that will be produced today, you have discovered this one to be the worst of them all? Congrats!

Nicholas L. Hall
Nicholas L. Hall

Man, you people are brutal! I can understand the comments about thesoda choices (I'm a Hoosier, and associate w/ A&W and Green River, notwhatever Katharine put for IN), but the URL?!

Beatfarmer66
Beatfarmer66

An overpriced soft drink that not that many people buy. I see it at Whole Foods here in Atlanta. The root beer is alright, but avoid the fruit flavors like orange or grape. It's sold in 4 packs of glass bottles here. If you can only sell 4 of them at a time, you're probably not that good.

Beatfarmer66
Beatfarmer66

My wife's from the Fargo/Moorhead area and can't get enough of SunDrop. They just started carrying it here in Atlanta about a year ago, and she lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw it. Technically, it is a border town, but they do, or at least did sell it in Minnesota.

SirRon
SirRon

Maybe it is the myopic research or the lethargic creativity at EOW. It is sometimes hard to differentiate Top 5 fatigue from actual vicarious trauma. While I cannot dismiss the possibility that grandiosity abounds when one reads blogs on food and drink, I think you should just, like, shut up. You and your cynical comments and your fancy words and stuff.

jkjkjk. I kid KS.

Johnthec
Johnthec

Its a North Haven thing, and very good. The birch beer is out of this world. Try Pepe's Pizza on Worcester St in New Haven, its the only sift drink on the menu.

Vaps7ed
Vaps7ed

The author didn't double check before sending to print, and switched Big Red (which originated in Indiana) and Ale-8,

Nicholas L. Hall
Nicholas L. Hall

Holy crap. This just made my day. Hadn't read the list closely enough, before. I grew up in South Bend, Indiana. My neighbors ran a little 5 & 10 store that had a soda fountain, and we used to go over for Green River's, both as a jerked soda and as a float, after school. I ask after it in every soda shop I find, and nobody knows what I'm talking about. I will be ordering some post haste.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

GEORGIA WILL TAKE ITS RC COLA AND LIKE IT!

No, seriously. This is a fun little infographic. It's not scientific in any way. But the rationale behind most of the soft drink choices is explained in each drink's hyperlink above.

Again, though: This was just for fun. :)

Dj
Dj

Yup, that's exactly what I was thinking. I live in Indiana and although you can get both here, Big Red is found at all the soda fountains. Ale8 is only found at WalMart.

Megan
Megan

Glad I'm not the only one. My dad introduced us (my brother, cousins and me) to it when we were kids. My mother thinks it's syrup, but she drinks Tab, which calls her taste in soda into question. Or that she grew up in Utah (which she didn't, she's from Chicago.)

wendy
wendy

You should be well aware after the chili incident how seriously we take these things. : )

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