Cherry Soda (Cherry Coke and Cherryade) Tasting, History and Cocktails


Cherry Soda, unlike most of the other mixers that I’ve featured so far, is less of a category and more of a catch-all-term for anything which is soft (non-alcoholic), fizzy and tastes of cherry.

Often, it seems that Cherry Soda is a spin-off from an already successful product such as a cola (Cherry Coke, Pepsi Wild Chery), lemonade (7-Up Cherry), or whatever Dr. Pepper is.

As such, it doesn’t really have a defined history, although cherry soft drinks seems to have been around since the 19th Century. Given this lack of information, I have created a Cherry Soda timeline, marking major events in its history.




The drinks’ tastes could be broadly separated into two categories:

1) Cherryade – soda singularly flavoured with cherry; and
2) Cherry Cola – cola (including Dr. P) that has been flavoured with cherry.


Barr’s Cherryade
This smelt of sweet cherry jelly, being reminiscent of “pop-shop” cherryade. Magneta in colour and with a medium fizz, we found it to be pleasant; there was a morello cherry flavour that was quite refreshing.

Tango Cherry
This had a distinctive smell of red cherry sweets and a deep red colour. With a medium fizz, it was full of the flavour of juicy cherries with a little bitterness afterwards. Some of our panel found the flavour to be a bit too intense and all disliked the cloying, squeaky-teeth feeling at the end.

Cherry 7UP
Unlike the previous two, this one smelt of dried, sweet almond and dried cherries. I’m always surprised that this is clear. It tasted sweet with a sour note, but was quite fizzy. Overall, this was fruity and well-balanced; an easy favourite of the panel.

Cherry Vimto
This smelt bright, with lots of sweet cherry. It also tasted quite sugary and syrupy, with lots of sweet cherry, but was also rather cloying; after a short while, the flavour just dropped away, leaving a watery finish.


Coca Cola Cherry
This had a strong nose of cherry and vanilla and was very fizzy indeed. Sadly, the taste seemed to be rather minimal; some of the panel were quite familiar with it and noted that the flavour does increase as the drink warms up. The primary taste was of almond and marzipan.

Pepsi Wild Cherry
Released in 1988  this is primarily available in the US.
This had a clean nose of zingy cherry, with a hint of toasted almond. The taste was great – cool and crisp. There was a balanced sweetness with a lasting, tangy cherry flavour, accompanied by a medium-level of fizz. This was well-liked by the panel.

Pepsi Max Cherry
This is a recent addition for the UK market, which was launched in October 2011.
With a balanced nose full of strong notes of cherry bakewell (cherry and almond), this had a medium-to-high fizz.


Dr Pepper Cherry
Released in 2009, this is primarily available in the US.
Dark chocolate brown in colour, this was very similar to Dr Pepper, but with perhaps a touch more cherry (although this could be at least partially down to suggestion). This has a high level of fizz and is slightly creamy. We found it to be enjoyable to drink, but very close to Regular Dr. Pepper.

Mountain Dew Code Red
Sweet jammy flavours, high fizz, cherry lighter than many and quite similar to cherryade pretty good though some almond/marzipan flavours too. Rather refreshing if not perhaps a bit too fizzy and sweet. That said I really like it. 7/10
Dr Brown’s Original Black Cherry Soda
Rich morelo cherry flavour, with hints of vanilla. Very tasty, nice texture, quite fruity and not too sweet. Maybe a touch hollow at the end but overall, pretty good.





#1 Coppertone
[30ml Hoxton Gin,10ml Lime Juice, 80ml Cherry Cola]
Typically, this uses Malibu Coconut Rum, but as I had none, I thought that I’d use Hoxton Gin, which has quite a strong coconut element.

#2 Deep South Cherryade
[30ml Bourbon, 60ml Cherry 7up, Garnish with a slice of lemon]

#3 Singapore Fizz
[30ml Gin, 5ml Triple Sec, 5ml Benedictine, 20ml Lemon Juice, 60ml Cherryade]




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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

2 thoughts on “Cherry Soda (Cherry Coke and Cherryade) Tasting, History and Cocktails

  1. Coke Cherry: The primary taste was of almond and marzipan.

    Interesting, isn’t this as a result of the cherry pits? I have yet to drink Maraschino (not available in my area) but I see it described as having an almond taste too.

    • A good point and certainly the case when you make something fresh, like Sloe/Cherry Gin. But I’m not really sure about in soft drinks where the flavour are generally chemically driven. Perhaps they thought that adding an almond taste would make it seem more cherry-like?

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