7 Discontinued Sodas We’d Love to Taste Again: Nostalgic Fizz Fix

Remember when sodas were more than just fizzy drinks? Some classic flavors from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s had a unique flair that today’s sodas just don’t seem to capture. These discontinued sodas weren’t just beverages; they were a part of your childhood, teen years, or even young adulthood.

Whether you enjoyed them at a school dance or during a lazy summer afternoon, these drinks created memories that lasted a lifetime.

Thinking back, you might recall the distinctive cans and bottles as they chilled in the fridge, ready to be popped open for a refreshing treat.

The charm of those discontinued sodas lies in their ability to transport you to a different time, a time when life seemed a tad simpler and your biggest decision was picking your favorite flavor.

1) Crystal Pepsi

Crystal Pepsi hit the shelves in the early ’90s.

This clear soda aimed to offer the familiar cola flavor without the caramel color.

It stood out with its transparency and unique taste.

The citrusy notes and smooth cola undertones gave it a fresh twist.

You might remember the excitement of seeing it in stores for the first time.

It wasn’t around for long, but it made a lasting impression.

The idea of a see-through cola felt innovative.

Even if you didn’t get to try it, its occasional revivals remind us of this bold experiment.

2) Surge

If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably remember Surge, Coca-Cola’s attempt to take on Mountain Dew.

Introduced in 1997, Surge was marketed as the most extreme soda out there, with intense commercials that featured wild stunts and crazy energy.

Surge had a bright green color and a strong citrus flavor.

This high-caffeine soda was all about being “fully loaded” and it quickly gathered a loyal fan base.

You might recall seeing Surge pretty much everywhere back then.

Sadly, Surge didn’t last long.

It was discontinued in the early 2000s.

Surge had a short-lived comeback a few years ago but has since disappeared from most store shelves again.

Still, you can occasionally find it online or in specialty stores if you’re lucky.

For many, Surge remains a nostalgic favorite, a reminder of a time when soda was all about bold flavors and outlandish advertising.

3) Josta

If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably remember Josta.

It was one of the first energy drinks made by a major soda company in the United States.

Josta hit the shelves in 1995 and had a short run until 1999.

The soda was unique because it contained guarana and caffeine.

Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon and is known for its energizing properties.

This made Josta a high-energy drink that stood out from other sodas.

Josta’s flavor was a blend of spice and guarana, which many found intriguing.

Despite its strong taste, a loyal group of fans loved it.

They appreciated its adventurous and bold flavor compared to the usual options at the time.

You might also remember the branding.

Josta had a cool and edgy look, matching its vibrant taste.

Its fans still talk about it fondly and wish for its return.

4) Tab

Tab was a popular diet soda introduced by Coca-Cola in 1963.

It became a favorite for those looking to cut sugar while still enjoying a fizzy drink.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it stood out with its distinct pink can and unique taste.

It was sweetened with saccharin, which was different from other sodas.

Many remember Tab from the movies, like when Marty McFly tried to order one in “Back to the Future.” It added to its cultural footprint.

Despite its popularity, Coca-Cola discontinued Tab in October 2020.

This was part of a plan to simplify their product line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People were sad to see it go and some even started stockpiling it.

5) Vanilla Coke

Vanilla Coke made its grand debut in 2002, aiming to bring a touch of classic soda fountain flavor back into the mainstream.

The rich, smooth taste of vanilla blended well with the familiar cola base, making it a unique twist on a timeless drink.

Fans appreciated its distinct flavor profile, which set it apart from regular Coca-Cola and other sodas.

Coca-Cola also introduced a sugar-free version called Vanilla Coke Zero, catering to those watching their sugar intake.

Despite its popularity, Vanilla Coke faced several discontinuations, leaving many fans longing for its return.

While it may not date back to the ’60s or ’70s, its nostalgic appeal and classic flavor earn it a spot on this list.

6) Pepsi Blue

Pepsi Blue made a big splash when it first hit the shelves in 2002.

The bright blue color was eye-catching and definitely stood out.

The flavor was a mix of berry and cotton candy, which was different from other sodas at the time.

You might remember the mixed reactions it got.

Some people loved it, saying it reminded them of sweet treats, while others weren’t so sure about the unique taste.

Pepsi Blue had a short life, discontinued by 2004.

Even though it didn’t last long, many fans still talk about it.

It’s one of those sodas you’d love to see again, especially if you never got the chance to try it when it was around.

Bring back the blue!

7) 7Up Gold

7Up Gold was a unique soda that made its debut in 1988.

Unlike the clear, crisp 7Up you’re familiar with, this drink had a spicy twist with notes of cinnamon and ginger.

The color was a surprising brown, which was quite different from the typical clear 7Up.

It was an attempt by the company to add some boldness to their lineup.

Despite its interesting flavor, it didn’t last long on the shelves.

Poor sales led to its quick discontinuation, making it a rare find if you ever got to taste it.

If you enjoyed spiced drinks, 7Up Gold would have been your go-to soda.

Its blend of flavors made it stand out among other soft drinks of the late ’80s.

Historical Significance

Some discontinued sodas have a rich history and cultural impact.

These beverages weren’t just drinks; they were icons of a past era, beloved by many.

The Rise and Fall of Popular Sodas

In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, many sodas emerged that captured the public’s imagination.

7Up Gold was introduced in 1988.

It stood out with its spicy ginger ale flavor mixed with cinnamon and apple notes.

Despite its unique taste, it didn’t last long.

Crystal Pepsi, launched in the early 1990s, is another example.

Its clear cola formula intrigued many but failed to sustain sales.

Despite a brief revival, it was discontinued again.

Surge also left a mark in the 1990s with its bright green color and citrus flavor.

Despite its popularity, it didn’t stay on shelves for long.

Cultural Impact

Discontinued sodas often echo the trends and tastes of their time.

During the late 20th century, sodas like Orbitz, filled with floating colored balls, represented the bold and creative spirit of that era.

Though it didn’t last, it remains a symbol of its time.

New Coke from 1985 shows how changing a beloved formula can lead to public outcry.

The swift return to the original formula highlighted how much people connected with the classic taste.

These sodas reflect not only their unique flavors but also the cultural moments they were part of, whether it’s through their innovative marketing or their representation of changing tastes and trends.

Ingredients and Formulations

Exploring the ingredients and formulations behind these discontinued sodas reveals what made each unique.

Here, you’ll find a breakdown of their flavor profiles and sweeteners used.

Unique Flavor Profiles

In the 1960s, beverages like 7Up Gold tried to stand out with their cinnamon and apple notes.

Unlike the usual lemon-lime flavor of 7Up, this drink offered a spicy ginger ale twist.

This combination was unique and memorable, giving the soda a dry taste.

In the 1980s, Surge brought in a citrus flavor that set it apart.

It was a response to Mountain Dew, featuring bright, bold tastes and a high caffeine content, making it popular among younger crowds.

Tab, introduced in the 1960s, was one of the first diet sodas and had an interesting flavor.

It mixed artificial sweeteners with caramel-like notes, leading to a distinct taste that fans either loved or hated.

Sweeteners and Additives

7Up Gold primarily used natural flavors along with high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener, common for sodas of that era.

Surge also relied heavily on high fructose corn syrup, which was standard in the 1980s for providing sweetness.

It included additives like caffeine and Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) to keep the citrus flavors mixed uniformly.

Tab was groundbreaking for its use of saccharin, an artificial sweetener.

This was a key part of its formula, catering to those seeking low-calorie options.

Other sodas also played with color additives and preservatives to maintain shelf life and visual appeal, contributing to their distinctive looks and prolonged freshness.

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