Red Cream Soda?

I’m from the East coast, and I recently visited Alberta. When the family I was staying with told me to help myself to a drink, I grabbed some soda. Red soda. I expected it to be, say, raspberry ginger ale or some other bracing and refreshing light soda. Boy, was I ever surprised to get a mouthful of cream soda! It’s not that I don’t like the stuff; it’s just that it was the wrong color. Around here, cream soda is a sort of pale tan. But the native Albertans said that all the places they’d been in the West (notably Montana and California) had red cream soda. Frankly, I don’t believe them. This stuff is an abomination unto God. So what’s the deal? Is it a Western thing? Where’s the dividing line (do they have some nasty purplish goop in Missouri)? And why, above all, are there two different colors of this stuff.

PS The brand I (unsuspectingly) drank was Barq’s. Is it true of, say, A&W and IBC as well?

In Chicago, I’ve seen Tan, Red & clear.

Tan ABC is the best

I live in the Seattle area and, although I have seen red cream soda, the bulk of the stuff on the store shelves is the pale tan stuff. A&W seems to be the biggest seller.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

We have red cream soda here in Michigan too, but I can’t remember who makes it, right off the top of my head. I rather like it, myself.

You occasionally see the red variety here in Colorado, too. I prefer Dr. Stewart’s Vanilla Cream. It’s in a brown bottle, so I have no idea what color it is.

Do they still have White Rock and Costa sodas on the East Coast?

Some mornings, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps.
– Emo Phillips

Haven’t checked in a while but I believe we do have red cream soda here in Ontario. When I was a kid, I remember we also had a clear brand called Snow White.

Uh, Jett: Having said that you prefer Dr. Stewart’s, I’m assuming that you’ve had a bottle or two already. Ever thought of pouring some in a glass to find out the color, just out of curiosity? :slight_smile:

I’ve never seen tan cream soda. In my youth in southern Ohio, cream soda was always red.

When I moved to western Illinois, I was appalled to find that cream soda here is blue. Yep, a bright blue, served in a clear bottle. The first time I saw somone drinking it I thought they were swigging Windex.

Has Barq’s made it up to you yet? It’s a New Orleans brand (or once was before Coke bought it) that’s making a run at the national scene. Don’t know about Canada. Barq’s makes a root beer and a creme soda. Today, the creme soda is a most definite red. In years past, Barq’s creme soda came in a red and a yellow variety. Had many arguments in my youth over whether the red or the yellow was better. I prefered the yellow. Today, as an adult, I’m beginning to suspect they may have been EXACTLY THE SAME!

Also, in New Orleans, all red sodas were called pop rouge (red soda). Today, there’s an actual brand of strawberry soda calling itself Pop Rouge. Strange, because except for pop rouge, in this part of the country, we never refer to carbonated drinks as pop. Sometimes we say soda, but the usual term is cold drink. I wasn’t born and raised here, so there was once a time when the term sounded as strange to my ear as it does to yours, but now I’m used to it.

Any other terms besides pop and soda in your part of the world?

dwtno: Yup, Barq’s made its way to Canada. Didn’t know they made Cream Soda, though.

As far as other terms are concerned, we also regularly use soft drink.

In Texas, we call the stuff “Big Red”. People down here don’t know cream soda from quinine water. But “Big Red” is cream soda.
Oh, and it’s a trademark brand.

“There will always be somebody who’s never read a book who’ll know twice what you know.” - D.Duchovny

Mazey, are you on crack.
big red tastes like some kind of buble gum flavor
I live in Texas, and cream soda is a staple for me. I know a good cream soda when I have one.
Try this. there is a soda brand called “brain teasers” the orange soda is colored purple and the grape flavor is colored orange. this will throw anybody off.
it is someware in
At least it was in the mail-order catalouge

I don’t know what alternate dimention of Illinois you guys live in, but the only drink which is red is “Rep Pop”, and it is only sold by genaric brands, and its Crush bretheren. These are all distinctly strawberry or cherry flavored. All the common brands of cream soda (Barq’s, A&W, IBC, and a couple of the other big brands) are tanish clear. I’ve never seen red cream soda, and I’d like to know where the hell you saw a blue cream soda? I am sure some gourmet brands or local soda shoppes may serve it, but its no brand name. My sampling is from Quad cities, Chicago and its 'burbs, and Champaign.

By the way what is Tan ABC???

Seems to be “cream soda” for all persons here but one. Like the one, I also thought it was ‘creme soda’. Ain’t no dairy product in it, is there?

As for “soda” in general, the question as to ‘pop’, ‘soda’ and ‘cold drink’, as generic names, brings my response that in California, and I thought, in the nation, the commonest term is ‘soft drink’.


cream/creme, I’ve seen both on different brands. I think the vanilla flavor gives it a ice cream type taste and that where the name comes from.

      • A few years back, for a while in my area there was a small name-brand (-I forget the name-) selling 12 oz. bottles of root beer, cream soda, sasparilla and something else I can’t remember, all made with all-natural ingredients. All very very very yummy, but also kinda expensive for soda. The only problem was that the flavor would kinda hang in your mouth for quite a while after you finished drinking. - MC

Here in New Jersey, all creme/cream sodas are tan. But in the 60’s we used to vacation in Ontario and northern New York State, and it was red.

It is becoming increasingly clear from these posts that red is the standard color in Canada and border areas.

Chris, you are thinking of FAygo, I think. Yummers! Used to be my favorite as a kid.

My experience has been that “red cream soda” is not “cream soda that happens to be red”. It’s an entirely different vaguely fruity flavor (which I don’t like at all).

For some reason, the rest of my family never could remember this; they’d come back from the store saying “We got you some cream soda,” and pull out a three-liter bottle of Big Red. Gag.

In the UP of Michigan (very close to Canada), Cream Soda was definitely sort of an off-clear color. Tan, I guess.

We also had Big Red, and I never thought of it as cream soda. Is it really? It was never a favorite, but I always thought it was some sort of fruit flavor.