Green River (soft drink)
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Green River soda was introduced to Midwestern drinkers in 1919, just as Congress was passing the 18th Amendment establishing Prohibition. When Prohibition officially went into effect on January 16, 1920, some breweries turned to making nonalcoholic drinks, while others were churning out ice cream. The Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago turned to Green River in late 1919 as a non-alcoholic product. The Schoenhofen Brewery resided in the Pilsen neighborhood at 18th and Canalport. Two of the remaining original 17 buildings can still be found at that location. It was popular as a soda fountain syrup, trailing only Coca-Cola in popularity throughout the Midwest. However, after Prohibition ended in 1933 the Schoenhofen Brewery made Green River a second priority to alcoholic drinks. The Brewery then closed in 1950.
It is frequently marketed as a nostalgia item and can be found in some Chicago area restaurants.
In pop culture
Early 20th century entertainer Eddie Cantor, while with the Ziegfeld Follies of 1918, penned a jingle for the soft drink entitled "Green River." The ditty was performed by Cantor and the singing duo, Van and Schenck. The refrain was:
For a drink that's fine without a kick,
Try Green River,
It's the only soft drink you should pick,
Try Green River.
It is shown being poured by the band Smith Westerns in their "Weekend" video.
- The Soda Depot - Green River Story
- "My Life Is In Your Hands," Eddie Cantor's 1928 autobiography, written with David Freedman.
- Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival Songfacts