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13 Weird Facts About Soda That'll Make You Say, "Holy Shit"

Some sodas were thought to be a cure for syphilis.

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1. 7UP used to have mood stabilizers in it.

Maura / Flickr: fragmented

Back when it launched in 1929 (two weeks before the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression), 7UP was known as "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda." That "lithiated" bit refers to the fact that the drink had lithium citrate in it, a drug used mostly as a mood stabilizer for people with bipolar disorder. In fact, 7UP kept the lithium citrate for its first 30 or so years of existence, until the brand dropped the ingredient in 1950.

2. Coca-Cola produces a kosher version for Passover.

Flickr: benfrantzdale

Back in the 1930s, an Atlanta rabbi lobbied the Coca-Cola company to produce a special version of Coke that used sweeteners that weren't derived from grains, so that Jewish people could drink it during Passover. The result was a kosher Coke formula that is still available today...just look for the yellow cap.

3. Fanta was created because of Nazis.

Andy Wright / Flickr: rightee

During WWII, bottling Coca-Cola in Germany became difficult due to lack of supplies. The head of operations at the German division of the company, Max Keith, decided to create a new soda that could be made with more obtainable ingredients. Thus, Fanta was born.


4. Coca-Cola is mostly responsible for the modern image of Santa Claus.

Mike Mozart / Flickr: jeepersmedia

Before the 1930's, Santa was often depicted wearing green or brown and was more solemn and stern. In 1931, Coca-Cola hired artist Haddon Sundblom to create art for their Christmas advertisements depicting Santa Claus drinking Coke. Working off of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (colloquially known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"), Sundblom created a Santa that was much more jolly and friendly...and while Sundblom didn't invent the red suit, he did popularize it to the point where almost any modern depiction of Santa features the same outfit.

5. Mountain Dew was made to go with whiskey.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The citrus soda was made by two brothers from Tennessee, Ally and Barney Hartman, who enjoyed chasing their whiskey with lemon-lime soda so much that they decided to make their own. Even the name, "Mountain Dew," is slang for moonshine.

6. Coca-Cola's predecessor originally had both alcohol and cocaine in it.

John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola, first made a product called "French Wine Coca" that contained alcohol and cocaine. However, a local prohibition law made alcohol illegal in his county, so Pemberton dropped the booze and created Coca-Cola. The cocaine was still present in trace amounts up until 1929.


12. In the 1980s, Coca-Cola put out advertisements to brand itself as a breakfast drink.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The company started their "Coke in the Morning" campaign in an effort to convince people to get their morning caffeine from Coke instead of coffee.