A soft drink is a beverage, often carbonated, that does not contain alcohol. Carbonated soft drinks are more commonly known as soda, pop, tonic, or soda pop in parts of the United States and Canada, or fizzy drinks in the U.K.; sometimes called minerals in Ireland.
The name "soft drink" specifies a lack of alcohol by way of contrast to the term "hard drink". The term "drink", while nominally neutral, often carries connotations of alcoholic content.
Beverages like colas, sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, squash, and fruit punch are among the most common types of soft drinks, while hot chocolate, hot tea, coffee, milk, tap water, alcohol, and milkshakes do not fall into this classification.
William Brownrigg (England) created the first artificial mineral water in 1741, but desp
ite this, and small-scale commercial production by Thomas Henry (England] during the 1770s, the father of the soft drinks industry is usually held to be German-Swiss jeweller Jacob Schweppe, the first large-scale commercial producer of aerated waters (from 1783]. But it was Townsend Speakman [USA] who took the vital step towards soft drinks as we know them today, by producing the first flavoured carbonated drink in 1807.
During the 19th century American pharmacists were trying to improve on the natural curative properties of mineral waters by adding ingredients that included birch bark, dandelions, ginger, sarsaparilla, lemon, coca and kola. The most famous of these drinks was Coca-Cola, formulated by pharmacist Dr John Styth Pemberton and first sold on 8 May 1886 at Jacobs' Pharmacy in Georgia, USA.
Soft drinks were usually served from the soda fountain at the local pharmacy, but shop-based trade was a limited market and it wasn't until the advent of bottling that the soft drinks industry really took off. Keeping aerated drinks in the bottle was a problem, and more than 1,500 types of cork and bottle-stopper were patented before William Painter (USA) made a huge breakthrough with the crown cork [crown cap] in 1891, paving the way for carbonated drinks to be sold in shops and transported to the home. image source : freeschoolclipart.com