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The Professor

Double Cola

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I was watching Weird Paul's latest video and noticed that his family was drinking Double-Cola!! This really hit home for me! My family and I had Double-Cola in the house when I was growing up. I haven't seen Double Cole in YEARS and thought I'd share a bit about Double-Cola with you today.

 

Double Cola

Double-Cola was once marketed as a lower-cost alternative to Coca-Cola and other soft drinks, but Double-Cola is now marketed as a premium brand in that area, with the same or higher price than Coca-Cola or Pepsi-Cola. Double-Cola is a regionally manufactured US brand of soft drink, predominantly distributed east of the Mississippi. Double Cola is a distinctive part of culture in Indiana, especially around Evansville, IN. 

 

In 1933, the original drink called "Jumbo Cola" was sold in a 12oz bottle, which at that time was double the size of other colas. The name was appropriately changed to "Double-Cola" and it's been that way ever since. Double-Cola is sold at every single Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, nationwide. So, next time you visit Cracker Barrel pick up a vintage four-pack of glass bottles, made with pure cane sugar.

 

 

post-7-0-22517500-1475962390.jpgpost-7-0-15657600-1475962389.jpgpost-7-0-71838200-1475962389.jpgpost-7-0-85142000-1475962390.png

 

 

A bit more about Double-Cola can be found online. Double Cola is still in business and they have a pretty nice website which you can view here: http://double-cola.com/about-us/

 

Double-Cola Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Cola

 

Double Cola Product Line

Double-Cola's product line features several well-know drinks, including:

  • Double-Cola
  • Diet Double-Cola
  • Ski (compare to Sun Drop)
  • Diet Ski
  • Ski InfraRED
  • Caffeine Free Diet Ski
  • Caffeine Free Ski
  • Jumbo Flavors
  • Chaser
  • Double-Dry Ginger Ale
  • Oranta
  • MINOKU Coconut Water
  • QUAD Energy Drink
  • Zili Teas

 

 

 

Weird Paul Petroskey's recent video that just so happened to feature his family drinking a 2-Litre of Double-Cola. This makes sense as Weird Paul is from the Pittsburgh area and Double-Cola was a regional drink at the time:

 

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Pepsi Perfect?!?!?! Do you mean Crystal Pepsi?

Pepsi Perfect was released around this time last year in limited quantities. The drink itself was essentially a "perfected" version of Pepsi-Cola, the difference being that it was made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. I mention Pepsi Perfect only because it is in the same ballpark as classic formula Coca-Cola and Double-Cola due to its pure cane sugar formulation.  :nintendo_professor_hector:

 

Press Release: http://www.pepsico.com/live/pressrelease/great-scott-they-did-it---pepsi-perfect-is-here10052015

 

 

 

Pepsi Perfect commercial (October 5, 2015)

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FYI: Oddly enough Pepsi Perfect received a wider release in Mexico and Argentina, it was sold at movie theaters as part of a combo meal and came in a slightly larger bottle with the flip top straw and was more screen accurate than what was released in the United States. Pepsi had also released a product made with pure sugar cane called Pepsi Throwback a few years ago, it came in an '80s style Pepsi can and was widely available at Target, Walmart, and many grocery stores across the US. Here is a photo of the US release Pepsi Perfect:

 

 

pepsiperfect.jpg

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Let's not get too sidetracked in this thread by my mention of Pepsi Perfect. Point is well-taken though. We're already discussing Crystal Pepsi in greater detail here, and Pepsi Perfect here and here.

 

I brought up Pepsi Perfect because it's the pure cane sugar formulation of Pepsi, comparable to Double-Cola and classic formula Coca-Cola.

 

The past few years have seen a resurgence in regional colas and specialty soft drinks! Pepsi Perfect, Crystal Pepsi and Surge certainly garnered the most media attention. Big soft drink companies like Coke and Pepsi have also given us other cool colas, like Pepsi Throwback.

 

There are many other "little guys" that have flown under the radar though! Many of these are classic regional colas that we grew up with, that are now making a resurgence as local flavors and premium soft drinks. Many of these inherently have a retro theme. This is what I'd like to delve into in this topic.

 

What I really LOVE about the story of Double-Cola is that it's the underdog that made it! It's one of those "what ifs" that actually came true! For all the discussions we have on "what if Atari did this one thing differently", "what if Atari had gotten the rights to the NES", "what if E.T. had been a successful game", this is one of those rare stories where a beloved brand fought to survive and came out even better than before. It's not often that we get a nice story like this. I love it!

 

There are many specialty soft drinks that come to mind. Jones Soda, Stewart's, Nehi, and others. There are also regional colas that have never really gone away, like Vernors, Schweppes, Faygo, and Cheerwine.

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Some history on High Fructose Corn Syrup replacing Pure Cane Sugar in North America:

 

The cost of sugar in the US started to rise in the late 1970s and 1980s due to government imposed tariffs, prompting soft drink manufacturers to switch to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a cheaper alternative to sugar. HFCS has also been shown to create a more addictive product. By the mid-1980s, all of the major soft drink brands switched to HFCS for their North American products. One theory suggests the entire "New Coke" debacle was staged to gloss over Coca-Cola's quiet transition from sugar to HFCS in the Coca-Cola Classic formulation. In most countries, sugar is still used rather than HFCS. By the late 2000s, many soft drink fans wanted a return of sugar in the drinks, citing a slightly sweeter taste, controversies over negative health effects of HFCS, increases in the cost of corn syrup due to increased use of the product for ethanol production, as well as the cost of sugar having since dropped at that time.

 

Even though anything to do with sugar isn't especially healthy for you, cane sugar is a natural, pure ingredient. High fructose corn syrup used in many major soft drinks has been linked to obesity and metabolic disorders, addiction, and manufacturing contaminants. 

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http://www.dublinbottlingworks.com/

We have a local company in Texas which up until recently made the (somewhat) famous Dublin Dr. Peppers.   These have always used Imperial Cane Sugar.

Recently Dr. Pepper Snapple shut them down for selling their stuff outside their area via the internet.

They still make some GREAT sodas.

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http://www.dublinbottlingworks.com/

We have a local company in Texas which up until recently made the (somewhat) famous Dublin Dr. Peppers. These have always used Imperial Cane Sugar.

Recently Dr. Pepper Snapple shut them down for selling their stuff outside their area via the internet.

Awesome story Rowsdower! I was just searching for info on this! I remember there being a regional version of Dr. Pepper produced by an independent bottler using the classic Dr. Pepper formulation but I couldn't remember where it was or what it was called. I know they were limited geographically to only selling within their territory.. I'm so disappointed to hear that they finally shut it down! How do you think the taste differed from regular Dr. Pepper?

 

They still make some GREAT sodas.

Any colas you'd like to mention?

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It had a distinctive flavor, maybe a little bit sweeter than a regular Dr. Pepper.  Also it always came in the 12oz glass bottles, which tastes better to me too.   

Which brings me to the answer of your second question, Original Black Cherry is my favorite.  If you drink it, you will be...shall we say, GREATLY reminded of the flavor of an original Dublin Dr. Pepper.   (It tastes exactly the same)

I also love love their grape soda, but I'm a sucker for good grape soda.

I'd highly recommend, if you have some bucks to spare, ordering a 6-pack of history. 

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I thought that was sold as a novelty item for BTTF - not as a real (or different) soda (guessed they just poured regular pepsi in there). I didn't realize it had real sugar in that one. 

 

It definitely had a novelty aspect to it and was released in smaller numbers than Crystal Pepsi. Pepsi Perfect was available in small numbers in Wal-Mart, supposedly. I love that Pepsi gave us a tiny bit more to the story by differentiating Pepsi Perfect as something different from regular Pepsi by being made with real cane sugar.

 

 

Which brings me to the answer of your second question, Original Black Cherry is my favorite.  If you drink it, you will be...shall we say, GREATLY reminded of the flavor of an original Dublin Dr. Pepper.   (It tastes exactly the same)

 

I agree Rows! I used to love Dr. Pepper and was fortunate enough to enjoy a few cold brisk Dublin Dr. Peppers during my short time in Texas. It looks like Dr. Pepper Snapple Group is continuing to produce a version of Dr. Pepper made with real Imperial Cane Sugar for distribution in central Texas, more info and ordering found here: http://soda-emporium.com/FRESH-6-Pk-8oz-Dr-Pepper-with-IMPERIAL-PURE-CANE-SUGAR-P2356927.aspx

 

 

What I really LOVE about the story of Double-Cola is that it's the underdog that made it! It's one of those "what ifs" that actually came true! For all the discussions we have on "what if Atari did this one thing differently", "what if Atari had gotten the rights to the NES", "what if E.T. had been a successful game", this is one of those rare stories where a beloved brand fought to survive and came out even better than before. It's not often that we get a nice story like this. I love it!

 

I love that story too!! Always love a good underdog story where the underdog comes out on top.

 

 

Wow!  I had NO idea that Double Cola existed past the 80s, that it even existed to this day!  I also always wondered why it was called "Double Cola" - now I know!  Thanks for the info!

 

I had no idea either. It's been years since I've seen Double Cola! It's so awesome that it got to be part of your video. I wonder if there's a place to order regular 12-packs of Double Cola online?

 

Great to have you posting in the forums Weird Paul! The memories you share are awesome.

 

 

YES! How about a Double-Cola video sometime Weird Paul?  :lol:

 

I love that idea!  :thumb:  :100:

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MeTV has a nice blog post up right now about regional soft drinks. It was totally incidental that I saw this but it's exactly what we're talking about right now.

 

Regional Colas discussed in the article:

 

  • CHEERWINE - North Carolina
  • MOXIE - New England
  • BIG RED - Texas
  • VERNORS - Michigan
  • FAYGO - Michigan
  • GREEN RIVER - Chicago
  • SUN DROP - South
  • VESS - St. Louis
  • DR. BROWN'S - New York City / South Florida

 

 

 

Until reading this I had no idea Sun Drop was a "Southern" regional cola. I swear I've seen them at Arco stations in California. Dr. Browns is also widely available in North Carolina. I think just as with craft beers, demand for regional and specialty colas have grown exceptionally in the past few years. As with most everything on MeTV, this blog post is worth a look:

 

 

 

regional_soft_drinks.jpg

 

 

From MeTV:

9 Delicious Regional Soft Drinks We Still Crave To This Day

We're talking favorites like Cheerwine, Big Red and Faygo.

http://www.metv.com/lists/9-delicious-regional-soft-drinks-we-still-crave-to-this-day

 

 

 

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faygo.png

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whistle.jpg

green-river.png

big-red.png

moxie.png

doc-browns.jpg

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We need a "Regional Soda" Atari.io junk box.

 

 

That's a GREAT idea Rick! I have some Ramune Japanese soda from Lost Ark Video Games that I've been sitting on for about six months that I've meant to send to MaximumRD for a taste test. Only concern is making sure glass bottles don't shatter.

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Wow!  I had NO idea that Double Cola existed past the 80s, that it even existed to this day!  I also always wondered why it was called "Double Cola" - now I know!  Thanks for the info!

 

 

I'm gonna go to Cracker Barrel to pick up some Double Cola this weekend and see how it goes. I've been thinking about this all week!

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I tried Double-Cola for the first time today because of Weird Paul's videos. It's fantastic! I finally had the chance to pick up a few of the Double-Colas made with pure cane sugar in the retro glass bottles. I thought they were delicious, in all honesty. I also was able pick up a few bottles of Ski, which is their lemon-lime drink that would be comparable to 7-Up or Mountain Dew. I haven't tried one of those yet, but I love the retro design of the bottle, it looks like it came straight out of the '70s or early '80s. I should really do a photo shoot of these drinks next to some Atari stuff. If you enjoy trying out different colas like others do beer tasting, I highly recommend trying out Double-Cola. It hit the spot!

 

double_cola.jpg

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