If you love citrus and you especially love grapefruit, then Squirt Soda is probably one of your favorite sodas. This delightful grapefruit-inspired soda is one of the longest-running and most popular citrus-based sodas around. There are also still natural flavors used in the Squirt recipe, which is unusual compared to many modern soda recipes.
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The clear drink market is really competitive, which makes it really unusual that any soda besides 7up has been able to survive for years and remain popular. Many other clear and citrusy sodas that have been brought to market have not been able to enjoy enough sales to be around for many generations. Squirt continues to hold its own, likely because the grapefruit tartness of the soda is not like anything else you can buy.
Squirt Soda was dreamed up by Herb Bishop in 1938. The product was brought to market in 1941 with the help of a mascot. The mascot was called ‘Lil Squirt’ and helped to make the product relatable for kids as well as adults. The original product was sold in green glass bottles with a simple yellow splash of color and the word “Squirt” written on top of it. Some versions of the bottles had another label of the product name on the neck in yellow.
Lil Squirt looked like a 1950s child combined with a cherub. He has a little button nose, a swoosh of bright blonde hair, and shoe-button eyes. He was often dressed in a green shirt and red pants and shown hugging the bottles of Squirt affectionately.
There were also marketing items made with Lil Squirt for businesses who were selling the product to display. These are worth a little bit of money now, and there are various collectors who look for these items to add to their soda items collections. The most common version of Lil Squirt that was used for marketing in stores was a small statue of Lil Squirt standing by a bottle of Squirt with his hand on the neck. The base of the little statuettes usually said something like, “Just call me Squirt”.
The original idea for the Squirt Soda product was that it would be used as a mixer for cocktails. While the company wasn’t going to turn its nose up at sales of the product for drinking on a hot day, they didn’t expect anyone to be that excited about drinking Grapefruit juice without alcohol mixed into it.
Despite this, Squirt Soda was nearly an overnight success. The drink remains the most popular in the West and Southwest but is sold nationwide. It is still used as a mixer, but many people just drink Squirt for the refreshing, bubbly taste of it. Mixers using soda are less and less common in the US these days, and many people can’t even imagine using a soda to mix a cocktail. You might still find these kinds of drinks on the menu at your favorite fancy restaurant or bar, but people don’t usually make drinks like this at home.
That doesn’t mean that Squirt Soda is any less popular, however. Kids actually consistently approve of the flavor of this soda, despite the fact that grapefruit is a large portion of the flavoring used to make it. The company could never have predicted that children would enjoy a tart soda so much, but the mixer-only concept was easy to throw out the window. After all, sales are sales, and it doesn’t matter who likes a product so long as it’s selling well!
The recipe for Squirt Soda has always included natural flavoring. Despite the fact that real fruit juice is just 2% of the finished product, the taste of the grapefruit in the recipe shines through. Diet Squirt was offered for the first time in 1983, but it also manages to pack a grapefruit punch. This was one of the first sodas to be made with aspartame in the 80s. Vitamin C-enriched Squirt was also offered briefly to those who drank Diet Squirt in the 80s but has since been discontinued.
In the 90s, there was a short duration when a frozen Squirt popsicle product was sold in Detroit, but this has also been discontinued. Berry-flavored Squirt enjoyed some time on the market but was replaced by Ruby Red Squirt, which has had far more staying power. You can still get Diet Ruby Red Squirt and regular Ruby Red Squirt at most stores today. Ruby Red Squirt also has some caffeine in it, which makes it attractive to those who love a pick-me-up but don’t like dark sodas.
As the popularity of energy drinks ratcheted up, Squirt Citrus Power was added to the product lineup. This is a caffeinated version of the classic drink recipe that includes taurine and other ingredients that are in common energy drink recipes. There is no grapefruit juice in this product, however, so the flavor is somewhat different.
Today, Squirt Soda is sold and managed by Keurig Dr. Pepper. This brand holds its own with many of the other giants in the soda industry, so it’s unlikely that Squirt is going to go anywhere. If you have never tried Squirt because you thought that it was just another clear soda, you need to make sure that you give it a shot. This is a very different kind of soda drink, and there is not a lot out there that is like it. There is something really refreshing and tart and enjoyable about this crisp soda, and it might become your new favorite soda!
- Carbonated Water
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Contains 2% or Less of: Natural Flavors, Concentrated Grapefruit Juice, Citric Acid, Modified Food Starch, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Ester Gum, Brominated Vegetable Oil, Calcium Disodium EDTA (Preservative)
This is the recipe for the original drink. There are variations in the recipe ingredients for the other products in the Squirt lineup. The energy drink version of Squirt has the least in common with this original recipe.
|1 can or bottle (12 fl oz) (370g)
|% Daily Value*
|Amount Per Serving
- The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
This product has had many appearances over time. This seems to be the lot of every clear soda product. Maybe it’s just that difficult to stand out in the clear soda space, or maybe it’s a coincidence that every clear soda except for 7up has gone through many different versions of livery.
Squirt Soda has almost always maintained a commitment to the appearance of the logo itself, no matter what else has changed about the cans and the colors of the rest of the branding being used. In the 90s, the cans were made with logos that did not look quite the same as the classic design and which included an image of a sliced grapefruit directly behind the word “Squirt”.
Overall, however, Squirt Soda original is typically sold in a yellow can with images of citrus fruit behind the lettering. Diet Squirt has largely been marketed in a white can with the same logo and images of fruit but a clear indicator that the cans contain a diet product. Ruby Red Squirt has had a few different versions of its livery, but overall has been sold in a reddish-orange can with the same logo and images of fruit on it.
The bottles of Squirt actually look much different than the cans. These almost feel more like dark soda bottles turned green. The labels are yellow with a reddish font for the product name. It is not common for the plastic bottles of a product to look so different from the cans, but in the case of Squirt, this difference has been quite consistently present for years.
If you decide to pick up a liter bottle of Squirt Soda, you will need to look for a greenish, yellow-colored bottle with a bright yellow label. The other varieties will still have labels that match their can colors, but the overall appearance of the plastic bottles is quite different than what is offered when you pick up a 12-pack of cans.
In some markets outside the US, Squirt Soda is actually sold in glass bottles. These bottles are green in color, and they have the classic yellow label with the Squirt logo on them in red. The fruit ingredients are represented in a much simple format on these bottles. The interesting and rather cool thing about glass bottles of Squirt is that they are twisted gently. The entire bottle seems to curve and twist, which is really fun.
This is not a version of the product that is offered for sale in the US, but with online sales being an option today, you might be able to track down glass bottles of Squirt Soda for your home. This is a great throw-back product that makes you think of the long-ago times when sodas were all sold in glass bottles.
- Squirt Grapefruit Soda
- Zero Sugar Grapefruit Soda
- Ruby Red Squirt
- Diet Ruby Red Squirt
- Vitamin C-enriched Diet Squirt -discontinued
- Berry flavor Squirt- discontinued
- Squirt Citrus Power
An ad from the 90s:
A classic 80s era Squirt Soda ad:
A newer ad for Squirt Soda:
Who makes Squirt Soda?
Squirt Soda is made by Keurig Dr Pepper.
What flavor is Squirt Soda?
Squirt Soda is a grapefruit drink.
What alcohol goes with Squirt Soda?
Squirt Soda can be mixed with any spirit but it is particularly nice mixed with tequila.
My name is Brianna and I love writing on all topics. Candy history fascinates me and I am passionate about sharing my love of this topic with everyone else!
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