A gift of cheer…

In my “five things you might not know about me” blog entry, I mentioned that one of the things that I missed about no longer being in the South was the absence of Cheerwine from my life. What is Cheerwine, you ask? Well, it’s a soda somewhat akin to cherry Coke, although with quite a distinctive flavor. The story I had always heard about it was that it was invented at a time (WWI, I believe) when there was rationing of sugar. The soda company was looking for a sweetener, and found that the only thing they could get a supply of was some cherry flavoring that was normally used for cough syrup. They put it in their cola and the rest is history!

I have no idea if this is true or not, and this may sound absolutely disgusting, but I certainly love it. Looking at www.cheerwine.com, it appears they’re based in Salisbury, NC, which would make sense since I usually had Cheerwine while visiting my grandparents who lived in Charlotte, just down the road. So there’s definitely a sentimental angle to it as well. For a little while, a local (Seattle) grocery story actually stocked Cheerwine in their “specialty” bottle section, but then it disappeared and I only have it when I come home.

However, Chris Williams, a VB MVP and all around great guy, read my blog entry, thought to himself “hey, I sell that in my store,” and decided to send me a six pack. So I’ve been very gratefully indulging in my nostalgic drink. Maybe I’ll head downtown and get some Krispy Kremes and then I’ll really feel like I’m back home…

5 thoughts on “A gift of cheer…

  1. Roger Jennings

    Have you considered that the cherry flavoring might have contained codeine in the early days. You probably weren’t born when kids (like me) became addicted to cherry-flavored codeine cough syrup. I used to fake coughing fits to get another teaspoon.

    Bear in mind that the early Coca-Cola flavors did contain coca-leaf extract, the same ingredient that the Peruvians use today in coca tea to combat altitude sickness.

    –rj

    Reply
  2. Bryan St. Amour

    That looks pretty good, I know it’s not a good practice to judge a book by its cover, but that soft drink can makes me thirsty. Any idea if that can be purchased up here in Canada? I’m looking for something new, haha.

    Reply
  3. dhughens

    Thought you might be interested in the Cheerwine Festival coming up on May 19:

    Something to Cheer About: Cheerwine’s 90th Anniversary Celebration

    Salisbury to Host Cheerwine Celebration on May 19

    SALISBURY, N.C. – Cheerwine, North Carolina’s original cherry different soft drink, will celebrate its 90th anniversary on May 19 by hosting a celebration in downtown Salisbury, home to Cheerwine.

    The event will be held on Easy Street in the heart of the 200 block, just off N. Main Street, from 1 – 6 p.m. and will include local entertainment, activities for families and kids, a Cheerwine burping contest and of course, lots of Cheerwine.

    “We invite everyone who loves Cheerwine to join us in celebrating our 90th anniversary,” said Cliff Ritchie, chief executive officer, Cheerwine. “The people of Salisbury, along with our growing fan base from places far and near, have allowed our family business to be successful year after year, so this event is really about them.”

    Attendees of the festival will be able to view Cheerwine ads and other memorabilia from 1917 to the present, thanks to the displays of several collectors who will be in Salisbury for the celebration.

    Carolina Beverage Corporation was founded in 1917 and originated the Cheerwine and Diet Cheerwine soft drink brands. Nearly 90 years later, Cheerwine is one of the oldest family-owned soft drink businesses in America.

    Cheerwine and Diet Cheerwine soft drinks are made and distributed by Carolina Beverage Corporation, which also makes and distributes Blue Mist bottled water and Savage Energy Drink http://www.savagenergy.com . Carolina Beverage’s products are available in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia as well as parts of the Midwestern U.S. For more information on Cheerwine visit http://www.cheerwine.com.

    Reply
  4. CONNIE CARTER

    I AM 51YRS OLD AAND BORN IN ROWAN COUNTY. MY FATHER AND GRAND-FATHER WORKED AT THE CHEERWINE FACTORY FOR MANY YEARS WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL. MY GRAND-FATHER HELPED WITH THE INVENTION OF THE "PAL" ORANGE DRINK.

    AS A SMALL CHILD I HAVE 3 YOUNGER SISTERS AND I CAN REMEMBER OUR PLASTIC BABY BOTTLES WITH A RED STAIN IN THEM. I’M PRETTY SURE IT WAS CHEERWINE WITHOUT AND SUBSTANCE IN IT.

    I AM A COLLECTOR OF "PAL" BOTTLES NOW. I AM INTERESTED IN FINDING A "PAL" SIGN TO HAVE FOR MYSELF.

    I CAN’T WAIT TO MEET THE COLLECTORS SATURDAY….

    Reply

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