Soft drinks

Soft drinks in an Australian supermarket

Different soft drinks are popular around the world. On a trip abroad you may encounter interesting beverages that you’ve never heard of before — do try them out.


“A soft drink is a beverage that typically contains carbonated water, a sweetener and a natural or artificial flavoring.”Wikipedia

Sure, practically wherever you are in the world you can ask for a Coke and know what you’re gonna get. Though why not go for something else that you may not be able to get at home?

There are a couple of different kinds of soft drinks; common types include colas and fruit drinks (often orange or other citrus fruits). Also energy drinks may be regarded as soft drinks.

Carbonated soft drinks are also known as soda or pop in some parts of the world.

The volume served in restaurants varies considerably around the world, at one extreme, in the USA, sizes can vary from 0.3 liters to 1 liter (or even 2 liters in cinemas) and are refilled at no extra cost in some parts of the country, while at the other end in the Netherlands you will be served a 0.2l bottle which you will probably empty before your meal has arrived and will have to purchase a few more.

The very same beverage may also taste differently depending on the country it is produced in. For instance, soft drinks produced in the United States are usually sweetened made with high fructose corn syrup which gives them a slightly different taste from the ones produced with regular sugar like in most of the rest of the world. In addition to this there are of course "diet", "light", "life" and other variants of the same product (explicitly marketed as a better version in one way or another) where aspartame, Acesulfame K or stevia has been used instead of sugar.

Branded drinks

Austria's specialty, Almdudler

Here are some soft drinks that can be regarded as local specialties in one way or another.



North America

Globally available soft drinks also have flavor alternatives such as vanilla and cherry that you won't find in many countries other than the US.

Central America

South America

Inca Kola

Regional non-alcoholic drinks


"How does one convert water to wine?" -"??" - "Schorle."
--German joke


Around the world


Vending machines can be found on many streets in Japan

Soft drinks can be purchased at a lot of different places; supermarkets, kiosks, street vendors and restaurants among others, and the prices often vary a lot. Big bottles bought in a supermarket are usually the cheapest alternative, while a glass of the beverage in a restaurant is the most expensive. Also, vendors at places like airports and sports venues often charge as much as they can. In some European countries, for example Germany, there is a deposit of the bottles (and crate if you buy in bulk) which you can claim by returning to any shop also selling similar drinks.

Stay healthy

In low income countries, watch out for fake products. Where water bottles are refilled with undrinkable tap water, there is also a risk that soft drinks are not what the label says.

In warm parts of the world and otherwise where you’re losing a lot of fluid through sweating, water is a better way to keep yourself hydrated.

Overall, over-consumption of sugared, fizzy and phosphates drinks are bad for your teeth, bone and health in general in the long run. Fruit and yogurt-based drinks are a good alternative to pop and alcoholic beverages. Overall, water is the best way to stay hydrated and eating actual fruit is almost always better than drinking juice or juice-derived beverages.


In some public spaces, like transport systems, eating or drinking anything at all may be prohibited. Also, when going through airport security you are just allowed to bring small amounts of liquids in your hand luggage which means that anything you want to drink airside or in the plane has to be purchased there, often at inflated prices.

See also

When eating street food or especially the North American variant of fast food, soft drinks are frequently the beverage of choice (although there are often other alternatives available too).

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, September 18, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.