10 defunct sodas we wish we could still drink
Take a sip through the past with Patio, Aspen, Rondo, OK and… er, Worms?
Top image: Thinkstock
The soda business is a dog-drink-dog world. Hundreds upon hundreds of colas, pops and soft drinks have been introduced to a thirsty market over the decades. Some once-major brands like Nehi can still be found, though many names remain just a lingering aftertaste.
We popped open a can of nostalgia and came up with ten sodas we'd like to sip again. What was your favorite?
Pepsi launched its first diet cola with a name evocative of kicking back in the shade on a hot summer day. Essentially, it was Diet Pepsi — and would be rebranded as such just a year later — though it did come in grape, orange and root beer varieties. More recently, Patio became one of Don Draper's fictional clients on Mad Men. Seems like reason enough for a retro comeback.
Image: Culinary Lore
2. I Like Worms
Don't worry, this curiosity was cherry flavored, not fish bait. We're guessing the gross-out name was somewhat influenced by the popular children's book How to Eat Fried Worms, published in 1973.
3. Pepsi Light
Many of us order a cola with a slice of lemon, so Pepsi figured, why not add the citrus to the soda inside the can? This tart variation of Diet Pepsi was the perfect refresher after finishing Jane Fonda's Workout. We fondly recall sipping a can alongside a pool in July.
Late 1970s – Early 1980s
"Whenever I want to quench my thirst, I feel like a Quirst!" So said the jingle. 7 Up introduced this lemonade-flavored soda circa 1979. Considering its name was an anagram of Squirt, it didn't stick around for long. But it's fun to say. It would pair well with some Quisp, no?
Image: Can Museum
Late 1970s – Early 1980s
Take that, thirst! Rondo promised to crush your puny thirst with its "fine essences" (citrus flavoring). There was a diet variation in a green can, as well. The commercial explained that Rondo was "lightly carbonated, so you can slam it down fast." In many ways, the masculine ad campaign was a precursor to the extreme-sports marketing of "Do the Dew."
Another Pepsi product, Aspen offered a crisp apple flavor. Well, "a tantalizing snap of apple," as the ad-speak said. The commercials made it seem like the perfect drink for the ski lodge.
7. Hubba Bubba
The Wrigley Company jumped into the crowded soft drink field with this bubble-gum drink in the totally awesome '80s. Oddly, it came in a diet iteration, too, though it seemed marketed only to kids, being sold at toy stores and the like. Limited distribution was perhaps its downfall.
8. 7 Up Gold
7 Up and Dr. Pepper merged together in 1987, and this joint development was in some ways a middle ground in liquid form. The taste of the amber-hued soda had a bit of ginger, a touch of apple and cinnamon. One of the major hurdles was marketing, as 7 Up was at the time going with the rather misguided "Never Had It, Never Will” slogan — referring to caffeine, but still. 7 Up Gold did have caffeine in it, however.
Image: Fizzled Out
9. Crystal Pepsi
Ah, the ultimate drink of 1990s nostalgia. Divisive at the time, the clear cola could be back on shelves in the very near future. We only had it once, and recall it being kind of fruity. The extensive use of Van Halen's "Right Now" in the ad campaigns could not make this transparent soda stick around.
10. OK Soda
Aimed squarely at Gen Xers, Coke's "ironic" cola even put quotation marks around "beverage" on the side of the can. It popped up in a few movies, though never made it nationwide. The cans were works of art at least, with underground comics illustrators Daniel Clowes and Charles Burns adding images to the aluminum tubes. Quotes were printed around the rim, sayings like "Please wake up every morning knowing that things are going to be OK" and "What's the point of OK? Well, what's the point of anything?" Coke could easily relaunch this for Millennials under the name Meh.
Image: Anchor of Gold