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#1
Old 10-18-2008, 01:43 AM
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Why No Cola Flavoured Mix Drinks

I must say I love those Hawaiian Punch and Wylers drink mixes you add a packet to bottled water and shake.

I was just wondering why they don't make Cola flavoured drinks like that? Other than there is no market is there a technical reason? I mean you can add water and get Hawaiian punch, Lemonade, Orange drink, Peach Tea, and a host of other flavours.

I'm not necessarily refering to those little packet just any drink mix. Why no cola? or root beer?
#2
Old 10-18-2008, 01:47 AM
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Because they're made with carbonated water.
#3
Old 10-18-2008, 01:47 AM
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WAG-cola, root beer, etc don't taste good without carbonation.

Outleaned at the tape.
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Last edited by running coach; 10-18-2008 at 01:48 AM. Reason: slow posting.
#4
Old 10-18-2008, 01:48 AM
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Kind of hard to put carbonation in powder form. Flat cola is teh suck.
#5
Old 10-18-2008, 02:03 AM
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Foster-Clark, a drink mix brand produced in Malta and widely available in West Africa produces a cola-flavored drink mix.

It is disgusting. Carbonation is what makes cola flavor good.
#6
Old 10-18-2008, 02:26 AM
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I actually don't mind flat diet root beer (cold.)
#7
Old 10-18-2008, 03:18 AM
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Wow, they still make Wylers drink mixes?!?! You just gave me a childhood flashback, vintage 1968. That's about the time they broke onto the scene in the NYC metro area (maybe elsewhere, too) with a big rollout and ad push. But after a few years the ads and the product seemed to fade into oblivion, at least around here.

Last edited by stuyguy; 10-18-2008 at 03:19 AM.
#8
Old 10-18-2008, 03:48 AM
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Well, I guess it wouldn't be TOO bad if you got a hold of some dry ice, but doing that EVERY time you wanted to use your drink mix would be a little bit of a hassle (and expensive).
#9
Old 10-18-2008, 04:12 AM
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Pop Rocks are carbonation in powder form, aren't they? Is it just that there's not enough carbonation in a small enough serving of powder? I can see the problem if it would take 1/2 a cup of powder to carbonate 16 ounces of water thoroughly.
#10
Old 10-18-2008, 04:52 AM
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Kool-Aid made a root-beer-flavored mix for years, and sold for a short while a Cherry Cracker flavor that combined Pop Rocks and normal drink mix. IIRC the Pop Rocks didn't really carbonate the water so much as make noise. I do believe Pop Rocks were created in an attempt to make a carbonated drink mix, as an aside.

Currently, Amerilab Tech. makes the classic Fizzies drink tablets, including a root beer flavor; like the Charry Cracker Kool-Aid, though, it doesn't carbonate the water so much as make noise, and the end result has a bit of that Alka-Seltzer taste to it.
#11
Old 10-18-2008, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Currently, Amerilab Tech. makes the classic Fizzies drink tablets, including a root beer flavor; like the Charry Cracker Kool-Aid, though, it doesn't carbonate the water so much as make noise, and the end result has a bit of that Alka-Seltzer taste to it.
Ah, Fizzies were before my time. One thing I've noticed about fizzing tablets and powders, like Airborne or Emergen-C, is that their bubbles seem smaller, on the surface and on the tongue, than the bubbles in soft drinks. I don't know if that's intentional or an artifact of the process by which the CO2 is produced/released. But I think that's why they call themselves "fizzy" or "lightly carbonated" instead of plain old "carbonated".
#12
Old 10-18-2008, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Ah, Fizzies were before my time.
I just tried Fizzies for the first time about a month ago; my mom told me about them when I was a kid, describing them as some kind of prehistoric relic like the straws that flavored milk or Koogle, so I was rather surprised to see a point-of-purchase display of them at a restaurant gift shop. The root beer tablets taste vaguely like flat root beer, but visually it's offputting, like a cloudy cream soda. I haven't taken the next step, though, and tried popping a tablet in my mouth, which was apparently the "cool kid" way of consuming Fizzies when they were new.

I forgot about Airborne and Emergen-C being similar. I had some Emergen-C a few times (I was at a hotel that put packets of them on my pillow like a mint, oddly) and was underwhelmed by the fizz and bicarbonate taste there, too. I think your observation is right, that the method simply can't provide enough carbonation. A soda has carbon dioxide dissolved in the water, so there's quite a bit left to replace that which bubbles out, while the mixes at best will resemble a soda where all of the gas has come out of solution and bubbled out.

Going back to the longer discussion of colas and root beer needing carbonation; while I agree, I do think it's interesting that both drinks started life as non-carbonated drinks (root tea in the case of root beer), and the general cola and root beer flavors aren't disagreeable in hard candies, gums, lip balms, medicines, or other products... but when it's in a drink, we suddenly need bubbles. Fruit drinks are great carbonated or not, so why do these (and other fantasias) need carbonation?
#13
Old 10-18-2008, 08:00 AM
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We did Fizzies when we were kids. We didn't drink much pop so we never knew if the taste was inferior. Plus, the cool factor was through the roof, so who cared?
#14
Old 10-18-2008, 08:55 AM
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I always felt Airborne has some carbonation in it after dissolving...but I assume it's the same acid/baking soda mix like in Alka Seltzer to make it effervesce.

I've only had the pink grapefruit favor, so he citrus would provide the acid, I guess...

A citrus hint in root beer would almost certainly make me puke.

Last edited by SharkB8; 10-18-2008 at 08:56 AM.
#15
Old 10-18-2008, 12:33 PM
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While not available as powdered mixes, you can get root beer, cola, and other syrups at your local homebrew store. You can also get them in large quantities at Sam's and Costco.

Plus, if you're a home brewer, chances are you have a CO2 tank, in which case you can make carbonated water for pennies. Add your syrup to it, and then you have home made soda.

Your next step, then, would be to make your own syrups, which is really quite simple, too.
#16
Old 10-18-2008, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuyguy View Post
Wow, they still make Wylers drink mixes?!?! You just gave me a childhood flashback, vintage 1968. That's about the time they broke onto the scene in the NYC metro area (maybe elsewhere, too) with a big rollout and ad push. But after a few years the ads and the product seemed to fade into oblivion, at least around here.
Geeze, I remember those ads. "Walk on over to wyler's."
#17
Old 10-18-2008, 04:16 PM
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Ah I see now, I didn't get it 'cause actually I'll drink flat pop, it doesn't taste bad to me at all

If you're looking for Wylers check out Walgreens or a dollar store. They sell the Wylers you can put into your bottled water. 8 packets for $1.00
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#18
Old 10-18-2008, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
While not available as powdered mixes, you can get root beer, cola, and other syrups at your local homebrew store. You can also get them in large quantities at Sam's and Costco.

Plus, if you're a home brewer, chances are you have a CO2 tank, in which case you can make carbonated water for pennies. Add your syrup to it, and then you have home made soda.

Your next step, then, would be to make your own syrups, which is really quite simple, too.
Were Soda Streams ever popular in the US?
#19
Old 10-19-2008, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by An Gadaí View Post
Were Soda Streams ever popular in the US?
I don't know that they're popular, but we do have products that are similar, if not that exact brand name. The big difference, though, is that the one's I've seen in the past have two major defects:
  • The CO2 bottle is proprietary and grossly, grossly overpriced versus non-proprietary solutions, and
  • The carbonation isn't produced under pressure, but only by passing the gas through the water (doesn't produce as much carbonation).
My 20 lb. tank costs $20 to exchange, and will last me a couple of years. That force-carbonates my home brew (when I'm impatient), serves my commercial kegs, and generates about 10 liters of carbonated water per week (and damn, it's good straight, like fancy "mineral waters").

My God, I almost want to make it my mission to sell people on the idea of carbonated water as a beverage in its own right.

Last edited by Balthisar; 10-19-2008 at 12:50 AM.
#20
Old 10-19-2008, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Balthisar View Post
My God, I almost want to make it my mission to sell people on the idea of carbonated water as a beverage in its own right.
Carbonated water aka sparkling water is extremely popular as a beverage here. It's available in all convenience stores and supermarkets.
#21
Old 10-19-2008, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by An Gadaí View Post
Carbonated water aka sparkling water is extremely popular as a beverage here. It's available in all convenience stores and supermarkets.
Carbonated water is available in pretty much all groceries here in the US Midwest, but usually as a specialty drink. San Pellegrino and Perrier as "exotic" European bottled waters (despite cheap prices), Topo Chico and other aguas con gas in the Hispanic/Mexican aisles and tiendas. Maybe $1 for 500 ml, less than $2 for a full liter, but it's still considered unusual. (It was an eye-opener to take Spanish language/culture classes and discover that carbonated waters were the norm elsewhere.)

That said, I find it hard to guzzle a liter of San Pellegrino in less than a day, but can down a 2 liter of soda in minutes. I think it's the root of carbonated water's niche popularity in the US- in general, we prefer drinks we can guzzle with abandon (juice, agua sin gas, sweet sodas), while carbonated waters seem to only be sippable.
#22
Old 10-19-2008, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Carbonated water is available in pretty much all groceries here in the US Midwest, but usually as a specialty drink.
We have that, but also cheapass seltzer in 2L soda bottles. Which I suppose is as expensive as soda so there's not much point in adding packets to seltzer except as an experiment.

However, soda flavoring is specifically formulated to offset the taste of carbonation, which is part of the reason is doesn't taste as good flat. It should be simple to reformulate it for non carbonated water. I've had coke flavored ices and they taste great.
#23
Old 10-19-2008, 08:14 PM
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Not to mention we loved cola flavoured sweets and ice lollies (both non-carbonated) as kids
#24
Old 10-20-2008, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Student Driver View Post
Carbonated water is available in pretty much all groceries here in the US Midwest, but usually as a specialty drink. San Pellegrino and Perrier as "exotic" European bottled waters (despite cheap prices), Topo Chico and other aguas con gas in the Hispanic/Mexican aisles and tiendas. Maybe $1 for 500 ml, less than $2 for a full liter, but it's still considered unusual.
...
That said, I find it hard to guzzle a liter of San Pellegrino in less than a day, but can down a 2 liter of soda in minutes. I think it's the root of carbonated water's niche popularity in the US- in general, we prefer drinks we can guzzle with abandon (juice, agua sin gas, sweet sodas), while carbonated waters seem to only be sippable.
In many smaller grocers or convenience stores, they're not to be found at all, and even in the big ones, carbonated waters are usually found in the alcohol mixers section -- at least in my part of the country. There are the imported brands, but also the garden variety Faygo and Canada Dry. These are usually sold as "club soda" whereas the imported stuff is sold as "mineral water" or "sparkling water." In certain parts of the country, I imagine the commercial stuff would be sold as "seltzer." Strictly speaking, there are some differences, in that club soda has some additional mineral content added, etc. In restaurants that don't sell mineral water, you can usually just ask for plain old "soda water" which the bar wand dispenses (soda without syrup).

Interestingly I recently came across a Canada Dry Club Soda fountian dispenser. I'm guessing that the Club Soda dispenser simply didn't have a syrup line connected to it, whereas the rest of the soft drinks worked normally. But… club soda has added (non-sodium) salts.

In any case, I have no problem putting away 2L of homemade sparkling water in a single day. Since I don't really drink soda-pop, it's either beer or bubbly water, and the bubbly water is a lot more healthful and has a lot fewer calories!
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