A Coke and a Smile….

Coca_Cola_Billboard Do you remember that slogan?  Coca-Cola drags it out now and again in an ad campaign here and there, just to remind us that they have it.  Of course, they have so many clever ad slogans at Coke that they’re beating pretty much everyone at the soft-drink-selling game.

They happen to be my favorite – in Diet Coke form – so I’m a bit partial.  And yes, I CAN tell the difference between Coke, Pepsi and a store-bought-cola brand. Now I have friends who sweat by Pepsi.  Won’t drink a Coke unless forced.  I feel that way about my Coke to a certain degree and prefer it to Pepsi, but hey, if Pepsi’s all you’ve got?  I’ll go there.286px-Mountain_Dew_logo.svg

The only Pepsi product I’ll really seek out though is Mountain Dew.

Ohhhhh….Mountain Dew.  The original slogan, when Mountain Dew was released in 1940 was “Yahoo! Mountain Dew will really tickle yore innards!”  I looooovvvvve that stuff.

Alas I don’t drink it much anymore since it has a near-nuclear amount of caffeine and unless it’s Diet, which tastes funny to me, it’s got enough sugar to send you immediately into insulin shock.

And speaking of insulin shock… When I was growing up, visiting the general store in my very, very small hometown of Boomer, NC, it was RC Cola.

OMGosh the whole “RC Cola and a Moonpie” was total sugar overload, even for a kid who could burn it off in about two seconds.  Ha!  And to tell you the truth, I preferred Coke even then. But I drank RC 1920px-Moon-Pie-Singleand ate Moonpies.  That’s a Moonpie, over there in the picture.  Cookies with marshmallow filling, all wrapped in chocolate-y goodness.

I also drank what most considered the most awful softdrink invented, Tab, which my beloved Uncle adored.  He would share with me on the sly, so hey, I had to drink it and even semi-acquired a taste for it.  It was forbidden fruit, in some ways, and since Beloved Uncle was sharing it on the sly….yeah.  I liked it in spite of not liking it.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  This blog is probably making it sound as though I drank this stuff all the time.  Au Contraire!  My mother restricted soft drinks to a couple a week.  This whole bit of more-than-one-soft-drink-a-day is a recent, adult development.

My mother is probably spinning in her grave at my soda consumption, to tell you the truth.  Then again, under her rule it was water, tea, milk, coffee or maybe, possibly, a soft drink.  In that order.

Her addiction was coffee, so hey…pot/kettle.  However, they still have yet to accuse coffee of the multitude of sins they’ve heaped on soft drinks so she’d probably tell me that, gRccolauslogolare at me and tell me to not drink quite SO much Diet Coke.  :>

As I got a wee bit older and began visiting other relatives and friends, I was introduced to an odd assortment of other people’s favorites, some of which I’d never even seen or heard of.  At all. Soft-drink adventures!

Take Barqs, for instance.  This was a root beer – still is a root beer – but it used to be that Barqs was also a famous maker of creme soda.  I’d never had a creme soda.  There was a local soda producer, long gone now, who made Birch Beer, and we had that.

The first time I had a root beer from Barqs or A&W?  Wow!  I still don’t like the creme soda much but, again, wow!  Different!

And then there was Ne-Hi. Grape, Orange, Strawberry, and NeHi Wild Red (which tasted like cough syrup to me).  Oh….the flavors!  Orange soda was such an odd concept, but I liked it!  I particularly liked it when I had the flu and Mama would give me one over crushed ice as I was recovering.  It served to get sugar and hydration back in my system, so she’d let me have a LOT of Orange NeHi when I was sick.

I still can’t taste or smell orange soda without thinking about being sick with the flu.

Now, as a cure-all for whatever ailed you, my mother believed in Vernors Ginger Ale.  This was issued at the first complaint of a tummy ache.

Trust me, this ginger ale is so sharp, so “stout” if you will, that you got better in pure self-defense.

Vernors is actually the oldest surviving original ginger ale brand in the US, (dating to 1866) and was created in Detroit by a pharmacist.  Thank you, sir, may I have another?  Every now and again, I get a craving for Vernors.  It’s hard to find in DC, but…I have my Vernorslogosources.  Grins.

I’ve always thought of it as the Guiness of Ginger Ales.  Tall, Dark, Brooding, Spicy.  Yum.

As I said, thought, I’m a Coca-cola girl.  LOVE me some Coke.  It was born in Atlanta in 1886 and was a supposed recipe for a soothing tonic for the nerves.  Ha!  Still, it’s good to this day and it’s crisp, refreshing taste is something I truly enjoy.

As to Pepsi, “The Taste Born in the Carolinas” – New Bern, North Carolina, to be exact – I don’t like it very much, as I said.  It too was originally a digestive aide, and is and has always been a fierce competitor for the Cola Business.

I have a dear friend – and Kathryn Anderson, you know who you are – who swears by Pepsi as much as I swear by Coke.  Ha!  I accused her once, on a road trip, of trying to lure me to the Dark Side by only having Pepsi in the car.  Bwahahahah!  It didn’t work!!

Last but not least  – and right there with Vernors, Orange NeHi and Coke in little glass bottles – was the miracle “medicine” of Seven-UP.

My mother stocked this, right along with the Vernors, as a surefire remedy for post-flu-malaise, for upset stomach, and for anything that might need a little boost of sugar and/or carbonation.  Like the Orange NeHi, I can hardly drink a Seven-UP without remembering being sick.  201px-7-up_Logo.svg

Kinda ruins the moment, you know?

I did go through a Seven-UP phase, however, back in the late seventies, when the divine Geoffrey Holder became the spokesperson for Seven-UP and did the famous “Cola Nut, or UnCola Nut” commercials.  Do you remember those, or have you seen them on YouTube?  OMGosh, I had SUCH a crush on Geoffrey Holder.  First of all, that VOICE.  I could listen to that man read the phone book.  Twice.  LOVE his voice. Plus, it was just so entertaining to see him waving around cola nuts and uncola nuts.  Cracked me up.

And now, gentle readers….I’ll admit it…yes, I DO give my kids Seven-UP or Orange soda over crushed ice if they’ve been sick.  I do resort to Ginger Ale as a tummy tonic.  I don’t restrict the soda as much as my mother did, but I do restrict it – my boys are still growing and building bone and muscle, so it’s kinda the same list my mom had, in a different order:  Milk, water, tea, lemonade (not something of which my mom was fond, so it didn’t appear on her list!), with soda and coffee coming in dead last as possible beverages for the boys.

Hypocritcal of me, since I drink soda?  Yes.  But…healthier.

For you healthy ones, I HAVE cut down on my soda consumption.  I also no longer have a six-can-a-day Mountain Dew habit.  I had to give that up when Eldest Son was on the way.  Faaaaar tooooo much caffeine!  Lord-d-dee, one of those and neither I nor the baby would sleep, so I gave it up.

That was a while ago, and I’ve not taken the habit back up, which is probably why I’m not doing the “Orange is the new Black” bit.  I’m really energetic anyway.  Hopped up on caffeine?  Whoa, baby.  Grins. Also, I decided since I was restricting the kids, I had to set a better example than to always have coffee or a soda in my hand.  Sigh.

I do still drink a LOT of iced tea though.128px-Dr_Pepper_modern.svg

What about you, Banditas and Buddies?  

Soda or no soda?

Coke or Pepsi?

Store brand or Name Brand?

Do you have any odd brands that are totally “IT” in your part of the country or world?

YES THERE IS A REASON I DIDN’T MENTION DR. PEPPER.   I am deeply distasteful of anything with an artificial Chery Flavor.  (I hear Bandita Nancy laughing now….)

But if your preference runs that way….Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, or Cherry Coke?

Have you ever had a Vernors?

Did your Mama or Grandmama use soft drinks as a cure/medicine?  Or did they have some other “cure-all”? (Don’t even get me started on the joys and pains of Vicks Vapo-Rub!)

(All pictures of logos are from Wikimedia Commons and are not in any way intended as a copyright infringement)

Posted in , , , , , , ,



  • Jane says:

    Hello Jeanne,
    I love soda, but have made an effort to not indulge too often. I never heard of Vernors until I visited my cousin in Michigan. My first experience drinking Squirt was when I visited Phoenix. I’m definitely a Coke fan. No store brand soda for me. My mom used to heat up Coke with sliced lemons or ginger as a cold remedy for us.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jane! Watch out, the Golden Rooster LOVES soda and will drink it all before you know it. Grins.

      I hadn’t heard of Squirt untill I was a grown-up. and I can’t remember where it was, but yes, that was one of those “regional” ones. Wow, hadn’t thought about that for a while! Ha!

      I’d never heard of heating it up, but I do like to put a lemon or lime in my Coke. Grins. Did it help?

  • flchen1 says:

    I do love soda! Many flavors but I tend to not drink caffeinated stuff too much any more because I like sleeping at night 😉 When I drank more of it, I preferred Pepsi to Coke, although I remember more of Coke’s ad campaigns 🙂 (Coke adds life; Have a Coke and a smile; I’d like to teach the world to sing… and on and on…)

    These days I’m OK with either, but I don’t tend to drink the cola flavor–either ginger ale or the fruity flavors 🙂

    I’ve never had a Vernors, but now I’m intrigued!! Must track one down!

    We used to get 7-up or something similar when we had tummy issues, but it was a rare thing 😉

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Fedora! I remember more of Coke’s ads too. Ha! They have a knack for that. Pepsi…not so much. Grins.

      Fruity flavors means you’d love NeHi in all its incarnations.

      Like you, it was a rare thing when we got soda in quantity b/c we were sick, but I tell ya, when you’ve had the flu, orange soda tastes like pure 100% heaven. Ha!

  • Helen says:


    We used to drink come all the time not that much but it was our choice of soft drink then when hubby was diagnosed with diabettescwe changed to diet coke but these days we drink Pepsi max we enjoy that much better although I will drink diet come but not coke zero.
    When my sister holidayed in the States a fe years ago she was a come drunker but in The States she drank Pepsi said it tasted like come dies here in Oz 🙂
    No my Mum never used any type of soft drink when we were sick

    Have fun

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Helen! Its odd that that tradition of using soda as a “medicine” isn’t with your family there in Oz. I wonder if it’s because they started that way here, and the old-aunties swore by it, but it didn’t “travel” well to other continents until the 20th century.

      I finally tasted Orangina, for the first time in France. Love that stuff. About 10 or 15 years ago, you could finally get it in the States. The company said, for a long time, that it didn’t “travel” well. :>

  • Deanna says:

    I’m not much of a soda drinker since while we were growing up soda was a treat and we didn’t have it often. One thing that we were allowed on special family get togethers was shandy. Anyone had those? It’s a mix of beer and lemonade and it was what we were allowed to drink as an “adult” beverage. We also drank something called Sarsi which was a type of sarsaparilla soda drink which I loved, it’s much like root beer actually. These days, my soda of choice is a Diet A&W Root Beer. It’s pretty much the only soda that I will drink. When we visit the US, I pretty much just always order root beer when we eat out. Usually, it’s IBC Root Beer, as A&W is not that common, but we do make special trips to A&W for their root beer floats and coney dogs which are special treats. Over here in Australia, I buy my A&W Diet Root Beer from USA Foods by the case and tend to stock up whenever I order it – they tend to run out of stock regularly! My soda intake is not much at all. I will maybe drink one soda every 2 or 3 weeks. Usually, my beverage of choice is decaf coffee in the mornings, juice with breakfast, then water with electrolytes throughout the day and perhaps a beer or cider shared with my husband in the mid afternoon, wine or ice tea with dinner depending on what we are having. All that said, the husbster is a Diet Coke fan and we have that in the fridge too. I like it but I can’t drink it because of the caffeine. He’s also a Coke snob so he’ll turn his nose up on a Pepsi and the only Pepsi he’ll have is a Pepsi Max if there’s no Coke to be had.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Yay for the Coke snob! Grins. I have to say that my DH would SO love it if I adopted your “once every two to three weeks” system. Then again, he’d have to put up with more coffee, which he dislikes. Hahah! I keep telling him a girl has to have SOME vices.

      Love A&W Root Beer. The older brands, like A&W still make it with a bit of a bite. There used to be a really old brand called Frosty. I don’t know if it still exists. :> I like IBC but it’s expensive. My boys and hubster like IBC’s creme soda. Bleeeech.

  • Becke says:

    For me it has to be Diet Coke. It makes me crazy that hotels go Pepsi or Coke. You don’t see that happen with beer! My favorite rant.

    We drank Orange Crush and I used to love all of the Nehi diet flavors. I loved A/W and now occasionally buy Diet A/W. My rule-don’t drink calories. If I’m going to add inches to my hips, I gotta chew!

    We did drink that wretched Tab. I also liked Fresca. As a child, we always had iced tea for dinner. I despised milk. Mom drank coffee, grandparents drank coffee. Dad drank hot tea.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Becke! Another Coke snob with me! Yay! Grins.

      Oh, I’d forgotten about Fresca! I have seen it in our stores, but don’t buy it. I must get some and try it again. I remember it as being very crisp, citrusy and refreshing. :> Don’t I sound like an ad exec? Ha!

  • Shannon says:

    Soda or no soda? Soda, and sigh, I am drinking way too much of it right now.

    Coke or Pepsi? (Cherry flavored :))
    I like flavored diet colas at times so its Diet Coke with Lime, Cola Zero with Cherry, or when I can get it Wild Cherry Diet Cola. But my usual is store brand diet ginger ale.

    I’ve seen Vernor’s … but where?

    Soda was kind of a cure–usually ginger ale for an upset tummy or 7-up to rehydrate.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Yeah, see, Shannon, it’s that cure-all/re-hydrate thing! You got it too! :>

      You and Bandita Nancy and Bandita Donna who loves Dr. Pepper can KEEP all the cherry flavoring. DIS-like! :>

  • Mozette says:

    What about you, Banditas and Buddies?

    Soda or no soda?

    I don’t drink soda… haven’t in a long time

    Coke or Pepsi? blech, no way on either.

    Store brand or Name Brand?

    Store brand… unless of course, the name brand is better.

    Do you have any odd brands that are totally “IT” in your part of the country or world?

    I love Root Beer… I know it’s black, disgusting and tastes like old socks, but I truly love it… and Hanks Gourmet Root Beer is the only one I down. 😀

    YES THERE IS A REASON I DIDN’T MENTION DR. PEPPER. I am deeply distasteful of anything with an artificial Chery Flavor. (I hear Bandita Nancy laughing now….)

    But if your preference runs that way….Dr. Pepper, Mr. Pibb, or Cherry Coke?

    None of the above… cherry tasting stuff gives me mouth ulcers.

    Have you ever had a Vernors?

    No.. what’s that?

    Did your Mama or Grandmama use soft drinks as a cure/medicine? Or did they have some other “cure-all”? (Don’t even get me started on the joys and pains of Vicks Vapo-Rub!)

    Actually, I found out a soft drink medicine through Stephen King – strangely enough – and it’s using root beer to clear up Strep Throat. Now, don’t laugh, it works. I caught Strep Throat a few years back from some dork who coughed all over me when he had the flu on the bus (as dorks often do when they don’t know the meaning of bedrest) and I not only took the anitbiotics but also sipped about 4 bottles of Hanks Root Beer – as root beer is made from the ginger root… it soothes the throat like a liquid lozenge. Fortunately for me, it’s nice and cold and I don’t mind it. 😀 And yes, it works.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Well! I learned something new! A liquid lozenge. I’m so using that. Ha! And I’m LOL about the old socks. I don’t like old sock in my beverage, but I do like Root Beer! Hahah! (I dont’ think it tastes that way, but then again, I’ve only had the lighter versions….Jones Beverage, here in the states makes a Root Beer that’s black as pitch. Never tried it!)

  • Jo Robertson says:

    As you know, Jeanne, soda is my drug of choice, but I only like Pepsi — Yes! A Pepsi girl from way back.

    Dr. Big is always searching for Henry Weinhard’s root beer, which he adores, but it’s hard to find. Apparently it started as a brewery but created a line of sodas, root beer the prominent one, during prohibition.

    I, however, detest the taste of root beer.

    But when sick, a clear 7-Up does the trick and since 7-Up is made by Pepsi Cola Co., I don’t feel too much of a traitor.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hahah! Jo, it’s my drug of choice as well. Ha! And LOL about detesting the taste of Root Beer. Grins.

      And yes, that UnCola taste is exactly the thing when sick. :>

  • catslady says:

    I can’t remember the last time I’ve had any kind of soda – I’m a coffee drinker lol. When sick as a child we either got hot tea (I’m just learning to drink it again) or mint ginger ale (Tuckers – never heard of Vernors) – I liked it better than the tea lol. Sometimes we got orange pop and when older I would drink Pepsi or cherry sodas at the local drug store. Then I liked coke because I didn’t think it was as sweet. Now I find them all too sweet and heaven knows what is in them – too much sugar and chemicals I’m afraid.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      You’re so right, Catslady they DO have too much sugar and “other stuff” but…I’m an addict. Grins.

      I’ve not heard of that ginger ale – Tuckers – much less a MINT ginger ale! Sounds like a good combo, though.

  • Cassondra says:

    Jeanne, I’m a coke girl now. I wasn’t always though.

    I don’t consume fake sugar if I can help it, as I think it is bad for me, and now when we drink Coke, it’s generally the glass-bottled “Mexican” coke you get on the international foods aisle at Kroger. It’s made with real sugar. Not high fructose corn syrup. And it tastes like the coke of my childhood.

    As a kid I went through Grape Nehi phase, and OMG–Orange Crush–Choc-ola, which wasn’t really a carbonated beverage so almost doesn’t count–

    I went through a Tab phase too as a teen. (Is that even still around?)

    I like Dr. Pepper a lot–it doesn’t taste cherry to me at all–just spicy. I don’t like fake cherry flavors either. If I want a cherry soda, I want the real soda with Grenadine–and that’s fabulous in 7-up.

    My clear drink of choice is 7 up, and though that was what we had when I was sick as a kid, I don’t think of it that way. We used to have 7 up and crackers when we were sick and trying to get well. Steve’s family, however, did 7-up and sherbet in a “float” concoction. So now we do that once we get to the “stomach can keep it down” phase.

    I like root beer. Specifically Abita, as it’s the best root beer ever. I also like Stewart’s Orange Cream soda. Don’t care much for plain cream soda, but the orange tastes like a dreamsicle. *slurp*

    Gingerale–I never had this as a child. Now I buy whatever is available, but my favorite is Ale-8-1, which is bottled in Winchester, KY.

    Now when I go to a drive through, I get half-cut iced tea–which is half sweet, half unsweet. Even if I’m craving a coke, it’s usually so sweet I can’t drink much of it. But as I don’t drink the chemical sugar substitute, it’s either that or nothing. Drank Pepsi growing up, but now if it’s Pepsi or nothing, I’ll have nothing. ;0)

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Abita root beer, never heard ot that one either! Is it a local bottler?

      And LOL about Choc-ola! OMGosh I hadn’t thought of that in a while! Ha!

      I didn’t know the “Mexican Coke” was made with real cane sugar. Will have to look for that.

      LOL about the grenadine in 7 up – yuck – and also the floats when you’re sick. I could see how that would be good.

      I love tea, but the drive throughs make it too sweet, even for me. Ha! I think they’re catering to the full-sugar-soda crowd and as catslady said, those are too sweet for me now. I drink only the diet Coke and it’s not as heavily sweet as the “regular” Coke.

      BTW yes, Tab still exists. :>

  • Sally Schmidt says:

    Brings back memories. My mom used Seven-Up when we were sick. My grandmother used ginger ale, which seemed way too strong. Drank up drinking a lot more soft drinks than we probably should have. When Coke introduced “New Coke” I thought it was so bad I switched to Pepsi and Diet Pepsi. When they dumped the new and went back to the old I was still mad at them 😉 so stuck with Pepsi. I can definitely tell the difference. Occasionally enjoy a Coke but Diet Coke bears no resemblance to Coke to me so never have that.

    More of an iced tea and water person these days.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Sally! Had to LOL about you getting mad at them. I did too. Hahah!!

      Still, didn’t switch to the “Dark Side” of Pepsi. YOu’d think my being a Carolina girl, that I’d go for Pepsi, but nope. Alllllll Coke

  • Hi Jeanne!

    I so need to cut back on my consumption of Diet Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke. But it’s so easy to just grab a can out of the fridge. It’s so cold and convenient and right there! I’m trying to cut back by pouring the can in a glass with ice cubes – and drink more iced tea. My preference in order is Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi if I must but I’m not crazy about it, iced tea sweetened with the pink stuff (sweet tea is too sweet to my taste) then water. I’ll drink milk and juice in the mornings. That’s it.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hahah! You and me both, Donna! :> I’m trying to go for more water and tea, but I don’t LIKE water, event the flavored stuff. Like you though, I’m going for the “mitigation effect” of having it over crushed ice. Grins. I figure I get more liquid/hydration that way. Probably not, but hey, can’t hurt, right?

  • Amy Conley says:

    YEAH! Another Vernor’s lover! This was so good my paarents wouldn’t even let us have it. For years we could never get it in southern Indiana, but we always brought it home wwith us from my grandparents. Now, we do have it here.

    Pepsi (ONE) girl all the way here. It used to be Pepsi until my bil turned me onto Pepsi One and I’ve been drinking them ever since. And yes, I can tell the differencee between coke and Pepsi.
    They happen to make Barq’s in this area, so it isn’t anythiing new. We also have DOUBLE COLA, OMG!
    My hubby is a huge fan of RC and Moonpies.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Amy! Wow! Finally someone who knows Vernors. is that stuff stout or what? Grins. Love it. Tell your Hubby he’s a serious dude if he can handle the sugar rush from an RC and a Moonpie. I could do one, ot the other, but not both. Ha!

      • Amy Conley says:

        Jeanne, did you know there is an ‘RC AND MOONPIE’ carnival every year just outside of Nashville, Tn? It is hubby’s dream to make it there one yeR soon. It happens fo be close to our anniversary, sk he remembers the date. LOL

  • Pissenlit says:

    Growing up, my house was a sad pop-free zone but I always got a can of pop at my grandmother’s on weekends. 🙂

    Coke! If there isn’t any, I will take a Coke Zero as a substitute but never a Diet Coke. When it comes to Ginger Ale, I’m all about the Canada Dry but I will enjoy a tasty tasty Vernors every now and then despite finding it a little too carbonated. Ooh, I love iced teas like Nestea and Brisk, I periodically like an Irn-Bru and I won’t touch Dr. Pepper, root beers or cream sodas with a ten foot pole. In university, I liked the caffeine-free Mountain Dew we have(had? I haven’t had one since the caffeine in pop law changed) better than the caffeinated original kind in the States.

  • Growing up Coke was a treat and my brothers and I usually had to split one.

    I basically survived getting two bachelor’s degrees at once in undergrad school with copious amounts of Mr. Pibb. People could tell how hard I studied or if I had a test or exams by the number of Mr. Pibb bottles outside my dorm room door.

    I drank a lot of warm Coke when I was in Europe. I would troll the bars because they had ice buckets and I could add ice to my Coke!

    I am definitely a Coke drinker. However, these days I limit myself to one and I only drink it at work. (With my job it is a very good thing I don’t drink alcohol. I’d be spiking my Coke with whiskey to get through the day. I don’t know where they find these managers, but Ancient Rome just called. They want their emperor back!)

    My Mom always prescribed Canada Dry Ginger Ale for any sort of stomach problem.

    And her absolute favorite is RC Cola. She doesn’t drink anything else unless she can’t find RC.