Canada Dry’s Cross-Cultural Appeal

Canada Dry -- Sparkling


I remember as a child that we would drink Canada Dry Ginger Ale about as often as we drank Coca Cola.  Originated in Canada and adopted by America, the Canada Dry brand serves as a cultural bridge between our two countries.  Canada Dry Ginger Ale was created in 1890 by John J. McLaughlin, an Ontario pharmacist, and for a few decades thereafter this effervescent beverage was mainly a Canadian regional drink.  (Coincidentally, Coca Cola was also concocted a few years before in 1886 by a pharmacist, John Pemberton.)  Once its popularity spread to the U.S. around the 1920s, it eventually became a major American brand as attested by this assortment of vintage advertisements.

17 responses

  1. I grew up drinking Canada Dry too!! When the adults were drinking Champagne, my Mom would put Ginger Ale in a Champagne Flute for us kids! We thought we were so sophisticated and grown up, it was so much fun! Great vintage ads!!

  2. i’m an old enough Canadian to be entering my second childhood, and Ginger Ale is a comforting thing for me. My mother always went out and got us bottles of it to drink when we stayed home from school with an upset stomach or flu… So when I have ‘the sniffles’ I always make my husband get me Ginger Ale along with harder drugs …. like tylenol lol

    • I think many of the Canada Dry flavors have fallen by the wayside. Ginger Ale is the most widely available here in the U.S. and their tonic water and club soda products are sold as well. Don’t often see many of their other products.

  3. I have also used Canada Dry to settle an upset stomach. I don’t think I am old enough to remember the flavours, which is too bad! I see often in South Korea though, I did not realize that it was so internationally popular.

  4. Not much of pop drinker but yes I do remember Canada Dry. Great blog post on fun history. I am curious: Do you get a lot of regular Canadian readers?

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