Soda’s roots go back to natural springs and their legendary curative powers. Scientists discovered that carbon dioxide caused the bubbles in mineral waters, and began to look for ways of replicating the process artificially.
In 1767, Dr. Joseph Priestley created the first drinkable man-made carbonated water in England. Carbonated beverages did not catch on in the U.S. until 1832, when John Mathews invented a machine that made carbonated water in store, which he then distributed to soda fountains in all 50 states.
Drinking soda was considered a healthy practice, and pharmacists began to add medicinal and flavorful herbs like birch bark, dandelion, sarsaparilla, and fruit extracts to differentiate their inventions. The soft drink bottling industry came about because consumers wanted to take their "health" drinks home with them.
In May 1886, Doctor John Pemberton, a pharmacist from Atlanta, Georgia, invented Coca Cola in a three legged brass kettle in his backyard. The original formula contained caffeine and five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup (a significant amount). In 1903 the cocaine was removed though Coca Cola still contains coca flavoring.
Coke was first sold to the public from the soda fountain in Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta on May 8, 1886. It was initially a flop: Jacob’s sold nine servings per day and sales for that first year totaled about $50, $20 less than it cost John Pemberton to produce.
In 1887, another Atlanta pharmacist and businessman, Asa Candler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from inventor John Pemberton for $2,300. By the late 1890s, Asa had so effectively marketed Coke that it had become the most popular soda in the U.S.
Since 1980 in the U.S. Coke has been made with high-fructose corn syrup [“HFCS”], originally in combination with more expensive cane sugar, but by late 1984 Coke was sweetened entirely with HFCS. Since then incidences of type 2 diabetes have doubled in the U.S. and there have been historic increases in obesity, propelled by the empty calories of the HFCS sweetened, mass-market sodas.
Recently, national brands like Jones Soda Co and Boylan Bottling Company, and local brands like Brooklyn Soda Works and P & H Soda Company, have introduced naturally flavored de-junked sodas sweetened by cane sugar and fruit juices.
Since day one, 4food has produced handcrafted, made-to-order sodas for our guests. Taking a cue from the pharmacists who first infused herb tonics into carbonated water, our sodas are made of all natural fruit and herb tonics, sweetened with organic agave nectar, and poured over triple filtered Natura sparkling water on tap. This summer our world class Mango Chai, White Peach Rosehip, and Hibiscus Berry sodas will be joined by new and classic flavors.