History and development
A recipe for cream soda—written by E. M. Sheldon and published in Michigan Farmer in 1852—called for water, cream of tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Epsom salts, sugar, egg, and milk, to be mixed, then heated, and when cool mixed with water and a quarter teaspoonful of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to make an effervescent drink. It was suggested as a temperance drink preferable to those of "Uncle Bacchus" and in compliance with the recently introduced Maine law.
Alexander C. Howell, of Vienna, New Jersey, was granted a patent for "cream soda-water" on June 27, 1865. Howell's cream soda-water was made with sodium bicarbonate, water, sugar, egg whites, wheat flour, and "any of the usual flavoring materials—such as oil of lemon, extracts of vanilla, pine-apple, to suit the taste." Before drinking, the cream soda-water was mixed with water and an acid such as tartaric acid or citric acid. In Canada, James William Black of Berwick, Nova Scotia was granted a U.S. patent on December 8, 1885, and a Canadian patent on July 5, 1886, for "ice-cream soda". Black's ice-cream soda, which contained whipped egg whites, sugar, lime juice, lemons, citric acid, flavoring, and bicarbonate of soda, was a concentrated syrup that could be reconstituted into an effervescent beverage by adding ordinary ice water.
North and South America
In the United States, cream soda is often vanilla-flavored and is either clear or colored a light golden brown, but red, pink, orange, and blue are relatively common variants. In some places in the U.S. where it is made on location, especially in cafes, cream soda consists of soda water, vanilla syrup, and cream or half and half.
Popular brands include:
- Americana Honey Cream Soda
- AriZona Soda Shaq
- A-Treat Cream Soda
- A&W Vanilla Cream Soda
- Barq's Red Creme Soda
- Big Red
- Blue Sky
- Boylan's Creme Vanilla
- Big Shot Cream Soda (New Orleans area)
- Canfield's Swiss Creme (mainly in the Chicago area)
- Dad's Cream Soda
- Dr. Brown's (mainly in the New York City area, but also kosher delicatessens across the country)
- Foxon Park (mainly in Connecticut)
- Hosmer Mountain (mainly in Connecticut)
- Henry Weinhard's Cream Soda
- Jones Soda
- Jelly Belly French Vanilla Cream Soda
- Mug Cream Soda
- Original New York Seltzer Vanilla Cream Soda
- Polar Beverages Cream Soda
- Shasta Creme Soda
- SodaStream Cream Soda Syrup
- Sprecher Brewery
- Vess (Old St. Louis variety that is a deep pink)
- Virgil's Cream Soda
- Wegmans Cream Soda
- White Rock Beverages
Another variety is referred to as Italian cream soda. Despite the name, this drink originated in the US, not in Italy. The name is due to it being a form of Italian soda. Italian cream soda is usually a mixture of carbonated water, vanilla syrup, and added half and half or cream. Ratios vary widely, but the taste is usually that of sweetened, flavored milk.
In Canada, cream soda is mostly pink (except in Quebec and Newfoundland, where it is sold clear). Some brands, such as Fanta, market a colourless version. Many brands have a long-lasting, foamy head.
- Barq's Cream Soda - colourless
- Big 8 Cream Soda
- Cott Cream Soda
- Jones Soda
- Kiri Cream Soda – colourless
- Life Brand
- The Pop Shoppe
- President's Choice (Loblaws)
- Walmart Canada – US-style vanilla flavour
Some American brands are available in Canada as imports.
Caribbean and Latin America
Cream soda is usually served as a "red pop", particularly Fanta's Red Cream Soda.
- Crema Soda (El Salvador)
- DG Soft Drink Cream Soda (Jamaica)
- Frescolita (Venezuela) - a bubble gum-flavored soda
- Solo Beverage Company (Trinidad)
- ToniCol (Mexico) – a naturally flavored vanilla soda
- Bilz & Pap (Chile) - grenadine and papaya respectively
In Australia, two distinctly different flavored sodas exist. Creamy soda or brown cream soda is vanilla flavored, whereas creaming soda generally refers to a pink soft drink with fruit and berry flavors produced by Kirks, Bundaberg, and Bickford's, among other brands. Another local variant produced by Golden Circle is vanilla and fruit-flavored, and colored yellow to distinguish it from existing brands. More traditional brown varieties are also available, but less common. Brands include Kirks' Sno Drop (only available in South Australia, Victoria, and the Northern Territory), Tarax, River Port, Saxby's and Schweppes, which also produce a red variety as part of its "Traditionals" range.
This is known as creaming soda, ice cream soda, chill drink, or cream soda, though the flavor changes are negligible. It is usually a bright yellow color or a white opaque. It is one of the many flavors sold by Foxton Fizz. It is also one of the many carbonated drink-flavors offered by Golden Circle.
A brand called UGGO is being sold in the Netherlands. There is a wide variety of tastes available. Asian (especially Chinese) supermarkets also sell Schweppes Cream Soda, which is imported from Hong Kong.
Ireland has a brand of cream soda called Country Spring.
In the UK, A.G. Barr, Ben Shaw's (a Cott brand), and DG Jamaica manufacture their own brands of cream soda, and many supermarkets sell it under their respective own brands. Pakola, a Pakistani brand of ice cream soda, is also available. The colour varies on a geographical basis it is either green or clear.
A brand called Sun'n Cream Soda is made by Finnish brewery Nokian Panimo. They also have a variation called Orange Cream Soda, with a hint of orange taste.
In Japan, "cream soda" is a term used for an ice cream float made with melon-flavored soda topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
In Malaysia, the F&N or Fraser and Neave brand makes a clear ice cream soda.
In Thailand, Hale's Trading produces Hale's Blue Boy Brand Cream Soda Flavoured Syrup, a green colored, rose/floral flavored cordial. This is mixed 1 part to 4 parts water/soda water to get a cream soda drink, very similar to the South African Creme Soda, or is used as a flavoring in their shaved-ice deserts. This syrup is sold worldwide in some Asian food stores. Additionally, PepsiCo's division in Thailand produces a green, cream-flavored soda under their brand name Mirinda.
In some Arabian countries, Canada Dry offers a cream soda flavor.
- "Receipts". Michigan Farmer. X (6): 183. June 1852.
- US 48405, Howell, Alexander C., "Improved Beverage", issued 1865-06-27
- CA 24012, Black, James William, "Ice Cream Soda", issued 1886-05-10 (Patent information at CIPO)
- US 332134, Black, James William, "Ice-cream Soda", issued 1885-12-08 "This invention relates to a new confectionery composition or sirup for conveniently and economically making, as desired, a refreshing beverage called "ice-cream soda." The ingredients used in the beverage, except the ice-water, are combined in a concentrated form and bottled for use, so that as occasion demands it may be quickly mixed with ice-water to form an effervescent, refreshing, and healthful drink."
- Mario Theriault, Great Maritime Inventions 1833–1950, Goose Lane Editions, Fredericton, New Brunswick, 2001, p. 19
-  Archived October 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Golden Circle Creaming Soda". seniorchem.com. Retrieved 2015-12-29.