Is Green River Soda Responsible for the Word ‘Pop’ Becoming a Thing in Illinois?
When I was a kid my Dad played softball every Friday night in the summer, and after every game, we went to someone's house for a party. I LOVED those Friday night parties because it also meant we kids got to pick out a special beverage to bring with us and I often picked this...
I can't recall the last time I had a sip of Green River, but I can tell you for sure it's been over 25 years. Would it still taste as delicious to me as an adult?
The History of Green River Soda
Besides green beer, Guinness, and Irish Whiskey, Green River is often considered "the" drink of St. Patrick's Day, so I think it's only fitting to learn a bit about its history.
Most people believe Green River was invented in Chicago, Illinois, but that's not quite true. According to chicago.eater.com the soda was actually invented in Davenport, Iowa by a man named Richard C. Jones who owned a candy store with a soda fountain. The soda went unnamed until a high school student came in and asked for a "green river" and from there the name stuck.
So, how did Chicago becomes known as the birthplace of Green River Soda?
According to Green River Soda's Facebook, Green River Soda began being mass-produced in Chicago by Schoenhofen Brewery in 1919 when Prohibition didn't allow them to produce any of their usual products. Green River Soda became an instant sensation throughout the Midwest and continued to be until Prohibition ended.
Is Green River Soda Still Available Today?
The WIT Beverage Company recently bought the Green River brand and still produces the soda, although it is primarily marketed as a "nostalgia product" available at a handful of Chicago-area restaurants.
JB and I did discover this morning that Green River Soda is available for purchase at Woodman's and Menards recently had it on the store shelves too, so go get you some and let us know what you think!
The Most Fascinating Fact About Green River Soda
Being a true Midwesterner, I have also used the word "pop" when it comes to a soda drink, but I didn't know until today that Green River might be the reason the term "pop" became a thing. According to chicago.eater.com;
originally Green River bottles were sealed with marbles. To get the drink out, customers had to shake the bottle to loosen the marble. This also stirred up the carbonation, and once the marble was dislodged, it made a nice popping sound.
Is your mind as blown right now as mine is?!? Or maybe I should say "popped"...
If you happen to get your hands on some Green River today and want to make a tasty treat in honor of St. Patrick's Day, check out this recipe for Green River Cake from WGN's Dean Richards. Yum!