According to a study done in 2006, most carbonated “soft” drinks actually do contain a little alcohol. In older methods of introducing the CO2 to the drink, this was resulting from natural fermentation, similar to how most beer gets its alcohol. However, with modern methods of introducing CO2 to the drink, this is not an issue; yet measurable amounts of alcohol remain. This is due to the fermentation of sugars in the non-sterile environment of the drink. In some types of soda-pop, additional alcohol is also introduced due to the fact that alcohol is used in the preparation of some of the flavor extracts. However, before anyone starts campaigning to make soda-pop illegal for kids due to the alcohol content, it should be noted that a typical container of yogurt of similar volume to some amount of soda-pop, will contain about 2 times the amount of alcohol over the amount in the soda-pop.

Introducing CO2 into the drink mix under pressure, makes the drink slightly more acidic (carbonic acid), which serves to sharpen the flavor and produces a slight burning sensation. It also helps preserve the drink longer without going bad.

The term “soda-pop” was a moniker given to carbonated beverages due to the fact that people thought the bubbles were produced from soda (sodium bicarbonate), as with certain other products that were popular at that time. A more correct moniker would have been “carbonated-pop”.

In ancient cultures, people believed that bathing and drinking mineral waters from springs, which were naturally carbonated, could cure many diseases. As such, scientists and inventors sought ways to artificially produce these mineral waters. Artificially produced carbonated beverages get their start from this; the first carbonated beverages were just non-flavored carbonated water sold as mineral water tonics.

The first flavored carbonated drinks were created in the United States in 1807 by Townsend Speakman. The purpose of adding flavor wasn’t just to make it taste better, but also to improve on the supposed natural curative properties of mineral water. Popular ingredients to add were birch bark, dandelions, ginger, lemon, coca, and kola (the latter two combined ended up producing Coca-Cola, which was originally formulated by Dr. John Styth Pemberton and first sold on May 8th, 1886).

Courtesy: website on carbonated drinks

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