Green River (soft drink)
Green River is a bright green, lime-flavored soft drink. It was created by Richard C. Jones in Davenport, Iowa, sold widely by the Chicago-based Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company in 1919, subsequently sold by other vendors, and is currently manufactured by WIT Beverage Company.
Green River soda was first created in 1916 Davenport, Iowa, by Richard C. Jones, who owned a local confectionary shop. In 1919, Jones sold his recipe to the Schoenhofen Edelweiss Brewing Company of Chicago. Prior to 1920, the brewery produced the popular Edelweiss beer. Schoenhofen began manufacturing Green River and other soft drinks in order to survive the Prohibition Era. It was also made by the Sweetwater Brewery in Green River, Wyoming.
It was popular as a soda fountain syrup, trailing only Coca-Cola in popularity throughout the Midwest. After Prohibition ended in 1933, the Schoenhofen Brewery continued to manufacture Green River, while resuming the production of alcoholic beverages. The Brewery closed in 1950.
The Green River brand continued to be produced by a series of other manufacturers after the closing of Schoenhofen Edelweiss in 1950, including Clover Club Beverages of Chicago, which produced Green River in the 1980s By 1992, Green River had shrunk to the point of only being sold in Seattle. According to one source, Green River's current manufacturer, WIT Beverage Company, acquired the brand in 2011. while a vendor indicates they were offering it still via an expanding Clover Club in 2013.
Green River is frequently marketed as a nostalgia item, and its sales increase in March due to the association of the color green with St. Patrick's Day. While not widely commercially available, it can be purchased at some Chicago area restaurants and retailers. It can also be purchased in Ames, IA at Hickory Park.
In popular 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.
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