A soft drink is a beverage, often carbonated, that does not contain alcohol. (Carbonated soft drinks are more commonly known as pop, soda, tonic, fizzy water or soda pop in parts of the United States and Canada, or Fizzy drinks in the U.K.; sometimes called minerals in Ireland) The name "soft drink" specifies a lack of alcohol by way of contrast to the term "hard drink". The term "drink", while nominally neutral, often carries connotations of alcoholic content. Beverages like colas, sparkling water, iced tea, lemonade, squash, and fruit punch are among the most common types of soft drinks, while hot chocolate, hot tea, coffee, milk, tap water, alcohol, and milkshakes do not fall into this classification. Many carbonated soft drinks are optionally available in versions sweetened with sugars or with non-caloric sweeteners.
Soft drinks trace their history back to the mineral waters found in natural springs. Ancient societies believed that bathing in natural springs and/or drinking mineral waters could cure many diseases. Early scientists who studied mineral waters included Paracelsus, Robert Boyle, Friedrich Hoffmann, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, Hermann Boerhaave, William Brownrigg, Gabriel F. Venel, Joseph Black, and David Macbride.
The first marketed soft drinks (non-carbonated) appeared in the 17th century. They were made from water and lemon juice sweetened with honey. In 1676, the Compagnie des Limonadiers of Paris was granted a monopoly for the sale of lemonade soft drinks. Vendors carried tanks of lemonade on their backs and dispensed cups of the soft drink to thirsty Parisians.
In the 1770s, scientists made important progress in replicating naturally carbonated mineral waters. Englishman Joseph Priestley impregnated distilled water with carbon dioxide. Another Englishman, John Mervin Nooth, improved Priestley's design and sold his apparatus for commercial use in pharmacies. Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman invented a generating apparatus that made carbonated water from chalk by the use of sulfuric acid. Bergman's apparatus allowed imitation mineral water to be produced in large amounts