What kind of carbonated water did they drink in the USSR?

In this article, I tried to collect most of the drinks that existed then. Frankly, I have not tried all of the above, but I drank Malvina only a couple of times. But on the absence of “Tarhun”, “Bell”, “Buratino” never complained.

“Flora” – a whole separate family of sodas. Several flavors were sold under the label. The taste, respectively, was indicated on the bottle: “Clove flora”, “Coriander flora”, “Mint flora”. There was also a tarragon “Flora”. I haven’t tried it, so I cannot say whether it was different from the usual “Tarhun” or not.

Drink “Flora coriander”
Photo: Source

“Cream soda” possessed a mild creamy vanilla flavor. The acidity of the drink was 1.25 pH. For comparison, “Citro” – 2 pH.

I have met a strange statement that “Cream Soda” was made by mixing carbonated water with ice cream, although the composition of the drink does not contain any ice cream (and how would such a mixture look?). The Soviet “Cream Soda” included water, vanillin, flavoring, the ubiquitous preservative sodium benzoate, coumarin (sweet clover or sweet bison extract), sugar, and citric acid.

Why Extra-Citro so called, it is not clear. What was “extra” in it compared to the usual citro? The recipe itself was invented by chance in France. According to legend, the cupbearer served lemon water to the king instead of wine. The poor man was already preparing to go to the scaffold, but then an idea struck him: sugar was added to the water. The king liked it.

In the 18th century, Jacob Schwebb carbonated the drink, and the word “citro” for a long time meant sweet carbonated water in general. Interestingly, Jacob’s enterprise lasted until 1999, when the Coca-Cola concern bought Schwepps.

The Soviet “Extra-Citro” included tinctures of orange, tangerine and lemon. It was probably the most citrusy lemonade of all.

Soviet lemonades
Soviet lemonades

The word “duchess” is translated as “duchess”. But in the case of drinks, we mean the pear variety. The soda was so named because of the addition of pear syrup. Variety Duchess very sweet and juicy and gave the drink a sweet-wine flavor and strong aroma. The drink appeared in the 30s of the last century. Became the second sweet sparkling water after the actual “Citro”. Syrup “Duchess” was prepared according to GOST 28499-90.

The simplest lemonade was Buratino… It could even be done at home. Sugar, lemon, orange and siphon gassed water. In production since the 70s. The drink was produced by different factories with different labels.

Drink Isindi I have never seen it live. Judging by the composition, it was a kind of non-alcoholic cider, where bay leaves were added to the apples. The soda is named in honor of the old Georgian game Isindi, in which horsemen threw spears with a blunt end and a soft nozzle at each other.

Isindi drink
Isindi drink

“Bell” contained not only citrus syrups, but also ascorbic acid. Slightly bitter with the zest of oranges and lemons. At the same time, the taste was much milder than Extra-Citro, for example. But the soda got its name in memory of the tradition of making lemonade from bell honey.

“Malvina” I tried it twice in my life, I even forgot that such a drink existed. There is, however, one oddity. The original soda has a turquoise color, like Malvina’s hair from the children’s film “The Adventures of Buratino”. I remember it exactly as dark cherry.

Malvina drink
Malvina drink

“Malvina” was sold in two versions: completely without chemicals (shelf life – a week) and with the addition of a preservative (stored for up to 20 days). They made a drink from apples and raspberries.

Interesting story “Bahmaro” – another Georgian soda. The composition was invented in the late 70s. The leadership of the food industry of the USSR liked the taste so much that they gave the go-ahead for the construction of a special plant for the production of the drink. “Bakhmaro” became a real innovation of that time and the predecessor of the so-called “ice teas” obtained from tea concentrates.

Bakhmaro drink
Bakhmaro drink

I met publications that this drink quickly gained popularity in all republics of the USSR, but, to be honest, I first learned about it only when I started writing an article. No one from my friends and acquaintances has heard anything about him either. Therefore, I can only describe the taste from hearsay: creamy sweet with cognac aroma.

Soda with the addition of various herbs were popular. Tarragon – tarragon (dragon wormwood), “Shadow” – levzeya (useful for asthenia), “Baikal” – a whole bunch of herbs: sage, wormwood, angelica, cardamom, hops, eucalyptus, and a dozen more names.

It is unrealistic to list all Soviet soda in one article. There is enough material for an entire book. “Breeze”, “Thumbelina”, “Bee”, “Salute”, “Cruchon”, “Rose dew”, “Fox and Grapes”, “Sparkling” – dozens of recipes were put into production. Some were successful, others left the store shelves. For example, the people did not like the pumpkin-tangerine “Gourmet”… However, the assortment of sweet soda in the USSR has always been impressive, for every taste and color.



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