Before they became mass-produced soft drinks, many of the sodas that are still popular today were originally medicines designed to cure certain ailments such as indigestion, impotence, headaches and various mental disorders. At that time, soft drinks also contained cocaine or the mood enhancer lithium citrate.
The fizzy drink was initially sold in pharmacies and various medicines and flavourings were added to improve the medicinal taste of the carbonated water. The flavours ranged from cherry and lime to coffee and pistachio.
And so the soft drinks soon became a popular part of American culture, and soda fountains sprang up all over the country where people would gather and chat over a carbonated beverage.