What Is Cream Soda? [What its made of & Ingredients]

What Is Cream Soda

As an avid Cream Soda fan I’ve been wondering about cream sodas origins, and what it’s made from and I wanted to share my research with you in this post.

So, what is cream soda?

Cream soda also called creaming soda is a carbonated beverage that tastes like vanilla ice cream.

There are many different cream soda manufacturers like Mugs, and Barq’s.

Interestingly, it’s typically made colorless or light brown in color and isn’t white like milk.

It gets it’s cream flavor from vanilla extract, but there are stories of how it was made many years ago using cream, and instead of being carbonated baking soda was used to make it fizzy.

Below, I’ll give you a full recipe, and explain the most common and popular brands.

What is cream soda made of?

What is cream soda made of

Cream soda made by leading brands such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper are made using carbonated water, sugar or corn syrup, caramel color, natural and artificial flavors, sodium benzoate, phosphoric acid, caffeine, and sodium phosphate.

The nutritional information for the biggest soda manufacturers like Coke and Dr Pepper can be found here, here.

The cream flavor comes from natural and artificial flavors.

Unfortunately, they don’t give away their recipe but in my opinion, they use either vanilla beans or vanilla bean extract to give it a creamy taste.

As you may be aware Barq’s is owned by Coca Cola so their version of cream soda is their Barq’s product.

But, they also make vanilla coke.

And most of the top brands make a vanilla-flavored cola as well.

However, it tastes very different to creamsoda.

How is creaming soda made?

How is creaming soda made

There are a range of recipes.

The simplest is soda water, vanilla extract, sugar, and cream or milk.

But, the biggest manufacturers don’t use cream or milk, and instead, rely on the vanilla flavor to give it its creamy flavor.

It’s a really nice drink and creaming soda was one of my favorites because it isn’t as strong tasting and bitter as Coke or Sprite.

You can also make it extra creamy by adding a scoop of ice cream to your glass to make a cream soda float.

Why is it called cream soda?

Why is it called cream soda

It’s called cream soda because it’s a carbonated beverage that tastes like vanilla ice cream.

The first person to invent and name it is considered to be Robert Green, who invented it in 1874 in Philadelphia according to the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The story goes that Mr. Green was selling his standard cream soda drink which was made with soda water, sweet cream, and special syrup.

But, when he was serving it he ran out of cream and used vanilla ice cream instead.

The new drink was so popular that he sold about 100 times as many sodas that day compared to what he normally sold.

Previous to this though in the 1860s, there were a range of patents granted for both ‘cream soda-water’ and ‘ice-cream soda’ as shown here and here.

So, it’s unclear exactly who invented the first one.

What is the difference between root beer and cream soda?

What is the difference between root beer and cream soda

Root beer tastes like liquorice, bubble gum, toothpaste, or mouthwash.

The main ingredients used in root beer are liquorice root, ginger root, and other spices such as cinnamon.

Whereas, creaming soda is made using soda water, vanilla flavor, and sweetener.

Root beer is a love it or hate it kind of drink.

And based on data provided by Statista, North and South America consume the most root beer globally and account for 41% of the root beer market.

However, in my opinion, root beer is more popular in North America, where it was invented.

Both root beer and cream soda are sold in both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ varieties.

A hard cream soda or root beer is made with alcohol and they typically contain 5% alcohol.

Soft root beers or cream sodas don’t contain any alcohol.

Is cream soda the same as soda water?

Is cream soda the same as soda water

Cream soda is different to soda water.

Soda water is water that’s been carbonated using CO2 gas.

Whereas cream soda is soda water with extra flavors such as cream, vanilla, and sweetener.

Soda water can also occur naturally in volcanic areas.

You may have heard of the brand Perrier which is a widely available soda water.

Perrier comes from a source of naturally carbonated water.

But, when they collect it they separate out the CO2 from the water, and then re carbonate it.

They don’t explain exactly why they do that, but in my opinion, it’s to get the same amount of fizz in every bottle.

There are many different names for soda water, and they have slight differences.

Examples are seltzer water, tonic water, club soda, and sparkling water.

I explained the differences between them in an article I wrote titled ‘Is Perrier Water Naturally Carbonated?’

I also did a deep dive investigation into whether soda water is healthy where I looked at a range of scientific studies.

You can read that article Is San Pellegrino Healthy?

What is the best cream soda?

What is the best cream soda

The most sold cream soda is likely Barq’s, Mugs, and A&W based on US soft drink sales data provided by Statista.

However, there isn’t a consensus on which cream soda is the best overall. 

And the one you like the best will depend on your individual palette.

Some people prefer craft cream sodas which tend to be made from all-natural ingredients while others prefer common cream sodas you can buy in almost any store.

Here’s a table showing who makes each cream soda and how much of the market share they produce in the USA.

Brand Cream soda brand % market share (2017) % market share (2018) % market share (2019)
Coca Cola Barq’s 42.8% 43.2% 43.7%
PepsiCo Mugs 25.6% 24.9% 24.1%
Keurig Dr. Pepper A&W 17.9% 17.9% 18.2%
Refresco unknown 3.7% 3.6% 3.8%
National Beverage Shasta 2.9% 3.1% 3.1%
All other brands n/a 7.1% 7.2% 7.1%

As you can see Coca Cola sells the most soft drinks so you can reasonably infer that they sell the most cream soda.

But, I haven’t been able to find any data that gives the percentages of the cream soda market share by company.

Let me know in the comments if you know where I can find this information and I’ll update the article.

Is Dr Pepper cream soda?

Is Dr Pepper cream soda

Dr Pepper is not cream soda, but the brand that owns Dr Pepper also makes a cream soda.

Dr Pepper is owned by the company Keurig Dr Pepper. Dr Pepper tastes like cherry, cola, and cinnamon.

Cream soda tastes very different and tastes like vanilla ice cream.

Keurig Dr Pepper makes the famous A&W soda and A&W also have a restaurant chain with the same name.

A&W has a cream soda product and it’s made using ‘aged vanilla’.

That about sums up everything you need to know about cream soda.

In Conclusion

Cream soda is a soda that tastes like vanilla ice cream.

It’s made using a vanilla extract which gives it its creamy taste.

It is thought to have been first invented in the 1870’s in the USA.

It is very different from any other type of soda.

And you can also make your own by mixing together soda water, vanilla extract, sugar or other sweeteners, and cream.

Chris Watson

I'm the owner and blogger here at SodaPopCraft.Com. I'm a soft drinks enthusiast amd I'm bringing you all I know and research from the world of Soda Pop & Kombucha soft drinks. I hope it inspires you to make your own healthier fizzy drinks at home. Read more About Me here

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