Soda pop, soft drinks, soda, pop, or fizzy drinks (for our British readers) are a huge part of what we drink on this planet. Coca-Cola has staggering sales — the company netted nearly $42 billion last year alone. We guess Don Draper’s yoga dream came true and the whole world did get a Coke.
Health be damned, we all have that go-to soda we grab on a hot day. Some of us love the cut of a great root beer, others prefer the citrus fruit of a nice orange soda, while others still like the bite of an ice cold Dr. Pepper. But, what’s the best soda of all time? Which combination of sugar — well, corn syrup usually — fizz, and flavor is the top drink?
Over at Ranker, they asked the people to vote on their favorite sodas. 282,000 votes later, a top ten emerged. Sorry, Pepsi, you didn’t make the cut. They wound up at 12th just behind Canadain Dry Ginger Ale (which we all know should have been much higher). Let’s see if your favorite soda pop landed in the top ten. Then… let’s argue in the comments!
10. BARQ’S ROOT BEER
Coca-Cola’s Barq’s gets us started in a good spot. Barq’s is a great root beer that’s not too sweet, has a nice sasparilla bite, and goes down pretty easily when you’re dropping a buck-fifty for a hot dog at Costco.
Orange soda feels like summer days spent plunging into lakes and watching the stars come out. Sunkist definitely hits that nostalgia button hard with a sharp orange sweetness. You can almost feel that summer sweat on the back of your neck with every sip.
8. CHERRY COKE
Frankly, we’re surprised this is so low on the list. Who doesn’t love a great Cherry Coke? It’s the perfect accompaniment for a bucket of buttery popcorn at the movies, a hot dog at a baseball game, or a backyard BBQ. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and then you’ve really got something special going on — with the sweet cherry mixing with the Coca-Cola kick of sharp caffeine and bubbly sweetness.
7. ORANGE CRUSH
Speaking of a scoop of vanilla ice cream, an Orange Crush poured over a pint glass of vanilla ice cream is summer personified. There’s something about Orange Crush’s tart orange that works with the sweet creaminess of the ice cream that’s just … kisses fingertips… perfect.
Good ol’ 7-Up is the old school lemon-lime soda pop that jettisons the caffeine for plenty of fizz and sweetness. The slightly tart edge is perfect for mixing with Canadian blended whisky. Next time you hit your local dive bar, don’t sleep on a ‘7 and 7’ (a 7-Up and Seagrams 7 highball).
5. MOUNTAIN DEW
Will “Do the Dew” ever fade from our American consciousness? Doubtful. Mountain Dew does seem like the perfect midpoint for any ranking of sodas. It takes the citrus elements of the great citrus sodas and adds a lot of caffeine for that extra kick. And, somehow, it’s green. Don’t ask why it’s green.
4. A&W ROOT BEER
Root beer floats are awesome. A&W Root Beer was made for a great float. All that vanilla ice cream goodness mixes perfect with the spiciness of a great root beer and that’s what you have here. So, a fourth-place finish feels a little low, but fair since the drink shines brightest when you add ice cream. Is it just us or was this extra popular in the Pacific Northwest?
Sprite always seems to win out in its battle with 7-Up. There’s a little more tartness of that lemon-lime matrix that comes through with Sprite, which, to be fair, does give it the edge in the refreshing department.
2. DR. PEPPER
This feels like it’s out of left field coming in at number two. But, come on, Dr. Pepper is a classic that’s full of great spiciness, unique flavor (kinda half way between a root beer and a regular cola), and never overly sweet. Dr. Pepper always felt like the connoisseur’s soft drink or, at the very least, the soda you reach for when you want to treat yourself to something different.
Also, when making a “graveyard” at the soda fountain the Dr. Pepper is the dominant force. Everything ends up tasting like the Doc. That must count for something.
We mean, did you really think any other soda would be in the number one slot? Coke is a worldwide juggernaut of a brand. Plus, it’s Coke. You can get it in every McDonald’s, corner store, and bar around the world. The sharp bit of cola combines with the smoothness of the sweet sugars and caffience kick along with that perfect level of fizz, making this a damn near perfect soda.
It’s also one of the best DL hangover cures. Just sayin’.