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Last Updated on August 2, 2022
Culinary-wise, the 90s were a time rife with original sodas and colorful rebrandings of classics. We had weird flavors aplenty and partial to some drinks over others.
One of the most famous rivalries was between two big brands that are still alive and kicking today: Pepsi and Coca-Cola. You were either team Pepsi or team Coca-Cola, and this was actually a very hard divide!
If you are feeling nostalgic, read on to remember some of the long-lost or, thankfully, still available weird drinks that we sipped up as kids!
- 1. Tang
- 2. Crystal Pepsi
- 3. Clearly Canadian
- 4. Orbitz
- 5. Mondo
- 6. Nesquik
- 7. Hi-C Orange Lavaburst
- 8. Surge
- 9. Kool-Aid Bursts
- 10. Juicy Juice
- 11. Fruitopia
- 12. OK Soda
- 13. Snapple Elements Flavors
- 14. Tab
- 15. Sobe
- 16. Mystic
- 17. Welch’s Grape Soda
- 18. AriZona
- 19. Clamato
- 20. Capri Sun
- 21. 7 Up
- 22. Ty Nant Blue
- 23. Coca-Cola
- 24. Pepsi Tropical Chill
- 25. Little Hugs Fruit Barrels
- 26. Brisk Iced Tea
- 27. Sherbet Punch
- 28. Fudgsicle Chocolate Soda
- 29. Mello Yello
- 30. Original New York Seltzer
- 31. Vanilla Coke
- 32. The Flintstone’s Soda
- 33. YooHoo
- 34. Guzzler Fruit Drinks
- 35. Water Joe
- 36. Sunny D
This 90s powdered drink was a true pioneer of its time. After Tang, many brands tried to jump on its popularity wagon, offering cheaper prices and weird flavors, but none reached the height of success Tang did.
I still remember the original commercials where a spoiled rich kid requested orange juice from his butler. The diligent butler discovered that there were no oranges, so he made Tang and offered it with great success. Tang’s whole advertisement message hinged on this point, that it was as good as real orange juice!
2. Crystal Pepsi
Crystal Pepsi was super short-lived, having lasted only for a year, but it was a case of being too brilliant for its time. The whole concept of clear soda found the world not ready for its originality. However, it has been revived several times in the years since and sold in limited numbers in different countries all over the world.
3. Clearly Canadian
During the 90s there was no sparkling water that could compete in popularity with Clearly Canadian. This drink took over the 1990s by storm and it was featured regularly in tv shows like Sex and the City, Seinfeld, and Friends.
If you lived in a big cosmopolitan city, you just had to drink Clearly Canadian. It was a sad time when it disappeared for almost a decade, but it is now thankfully back in stores to compete with other less fashionable sparkling waters.
Does this drink make you think of a lava lamp? If it does, you are not alone! We have to thank a Canadian company for this invention. Between the little floating blobs, the shape of the bottle, and the weird colors, it is quite clear that these guys got inspired by the most famous lamp of the decade: the lava lamp. I have to admit I am not mad at all, I think it was quite brilliant!
It might not be as popular now as when it was first introduced in 1991, but Mondo managed to survive over the years and it is still available today. Back at its prime, it competed with Squeezit or Kool-aid burst and its top was a bit different.
Are you a chocolate lover? I was a huge fan of this cocoa brand when I was a kid. Nesquik has been around for a long time, but during the cocoa craze that was the 90s, it was the absolute king of after-school tea-time. Sometimes you ended up with a beverage with huge clumps, but soon enough you learned to stir it with passion for good measure.
7. Hi-C Orange Lavaburst
Hi-C Orange Lavaburst was a staple of Mcdonald’s and the 1990s alike. It is still widely available but it hasn’t been available as part of the fast food chain options since 2017.
The rumors say that Surge was created as a direct competition to Pepsi. It advertised a hardcore image and was a part of the “green is good” wave that dominated the 90s. Looks like it is still being sold in Norway.
9. Kool-Aid Bursts
Drinking the Kool-Aid didn’t mean bad things back when we were children. It was actually the coolest trending drink ever, despite the danger of spillage thanks to the very real burst of liquid that surged when you opened it up!
10. Juicy Juice
As the slogan said, “100 percent juice for 100 percent kids.” You could catch it everywhere, and its popularity back then might be why you can still find it today.
Oh, Fruitopia… It was good while it lasted. There were a ton of crazy flavors meant to sway teenagers into the fruit drink trend but it didn’t last long. Actually, it had a very short lifespan.
12. OK Soda
Coca-Cola and Pepsi were continually branching out during the 90s, and trying to one-up each other. One of those weird alternative routes happened to give birth to OK Soda. The concept behind it was to create a graveyard flavor. Which is when multiple flavors are mixed together to create a multilayered beverage that is unique and appealing. No dice, Coca-Cola. This is known as one of their biggest flops to date.
13. Snapple Elements Flavors
The original line-up of the Snapple Elements was as follows: Earth (grape-cranberry), Rain (agave-cactus), Sun (starfruit-orange), and Fire (dragonfruit). They were available for a limited time as bottled beverages under the umbrella of Snapple Co. Later on, the line expanded to include other elements like Air, Volcano, Velocity, and Spark, among others. They also made the move from bottles to cans. Sadly, they don’t exist anymore despite many fans clamoring for their comeback!
Everyone and your grandma tried to copy the diet cola during the 90s and Tab was not the exception. They introduced their own variation of the original formula.
Despite not being super popular, because let’s be really Diet Coke is the most popular diet beverage out there, Tab has been doing enough to keep itself afloat. If you want your kids to try it, better now than later, you never know when it will finally cease to exist.
It was 1995, and surf at its peak of popularity. Hence came SoBe, a beverage that invoked ocean waves and surf beaches. Against all appearances, this beverage was made by the South Beach Beverage Company in Connecticut despite having a very deliberate surfing-town vibe. The company was sold to Pepsi in 2000 and the lizards continued to appear everywhere where the surf was up.
This witchy and mysterious beverage is shrouded in mystery. Despite it still being available online there is not much info about it. All we know is that it was indeed popular a few decades back.
17. Welch’s Grape Soda
Grape is undoubtedly Welch’s most popular flavor. The brand has created many grape-centric products, from jams to jellies to juices, and to this very same Grape Soda. It was discontinued in 2011, sadly.
Since 1992, AriZona has remained to be one of the most famous cans of juice or tea sold all over the world. It still remains the same, all of these years later, providing us with the same taste for a very low price.
One of the weirdest combinations that I remember from the 90s is this clam and tomato juice. It was used at parties for bloody marys, and although I was not drinking that… Who didn’t happen to sip their parent’s drink once or twice? I can’t say I liked it though, but I remember it was quite unique.
20. Capri Sun
Capri Sun was a wholesome lunchtime experience. The only down low was that you drank it way too fast!
21. 7 Up
Lemon-lime sodas were maybe the second most popular hit of the 90s and maybe early 2000s. I can positively say that 7 Up owned the decade and continues to be one of the absolute favorite beverages of all time.
22. Ty Nant Blue
As seen on Frasier, this beverage was featured on many hit shows of the era, like Friends and Ugly Betty. It also showed up on the Big Bang Theory!
The unbeatable Coca-Cola was the ultimate soft drink of the 90s and continues to be the king of soda beverages up to this day. Its direct rival was PepsiCo… And that much hasn’t changed. The ads that Coca-Cola birthed during the 1990s continue to be an important part of pop culture, from the Christmas train, Santa Claus, and the polar bears that drink Coke, to the celebrities’ endorsements with models and singers alike.
24. Pepsi Tropical Chill
Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi did its own share of experimenting with weird flavors during the 90s. The Tropical Chill was released alongside Strawberry Burst and Raging Razzberry. Quite the trifecta, right?
25. Little Hugs Fruit Barrels
Another quintessential kids’ drink of the era, these little barrels have been around for decades and they continue to remain a nostalgia feature.
26. Brisk Iced Tea
Supposedly, this iced tea would wake you up. Kind of a mix between an energy drink and normal tea. Did you ever try it?
27. Sherbet Punch
Sherbet punch was everywhere, from school dances to movies. Anywhere were alcohol beverages weren’t allowed went for sherbet. Some of the flavors available were: rainbow sherbet, pineapple juice, and lemon-lime soda.
28. Fudgsicle Chocolate Soda
When I found this chocolate soda, I was a bit sceptical. No one seems to remember it, at least none of the friends I asked. But it seems like this was really a thing during the 90s. Plus, this Fudgsicle was available for a limited time in a carbonated, drinkable version.
29. Mello Yello
Another Coca-Cola product meant to shake things up, this drink might have been created to compete against Mountain Dew as a mix of soda, energy drink, and maybe even illegal upper that made it super addictive (who knows what went on there with Coke’s track record).
30. Original New York Seltzer
Once upon a time, these flavored seltzers were everywhere. They were advertised as natural soft drinks, without artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. They came in: vanilla cream soda, orange, raspberry, lime, and black cherry flavor. In 2017, after the company was revived, it expanded its flavor range to include grapefruit, lime, original, orange, watermelon, lemon, coconut, and 6-berry.
31. Vanilla Coke
Vanilla Coke might seem a very weird thing now, but these were the days of Black Cherry Coke and the KO Soda…
32. The Flintstone’s Soda
Every franchise and the grandma came out with soda pops during the 1990s, and The Flintstones was not the exception!
Chocolate milk lover but hating Nesquik’s? Yoohoo had you covered, no mixing involved. I have to say, I would definitely be up for something like this, even today!
34. Guzzler Fruit Drinks
Another juice that was beyond popular with the young crowds. I was not much of a juice person but I am really curious as to the taste of this one. Never crossed my path as a kid.
35. Water Joe
You might think that water was beyond being featured in this list, but Water Joe went above and beyond the line of duty and was actually a hybrid energy drink made of caffeinated water. Weirdly, it still exists today but no idea if it’s precisely the same. I’d rather stick to coffee, to tell you the truth.
36. Sunny D
Last but not least, Sunny D is another juice staple that is still around. However, during the 90s it was a cafeteria item that all kids agreed was rad. It had it all, amazing flavor, vitamins, and the perfect texture to please all: from parents to kids, everyone agreed it was the bomb.