Baikal – “Really Refreshing”
A dark-brown color and delicate fragrance of natural herbs and roots. This describeda new fizzy drink called Baikal, which the Soviet Union launched into production in 1976. It was the food industry’s response to Coca-Cola, which was popular around the world. Although it may have resembled its overseas competitor by its color, the taste was significantly different. And it is no wonder, because according to the GOST standard it consisted solely of sugar, citric acid, carbon dioxide, St. John’s wort tincture, extract of Eleutherococcus, and essential oils of eucalyptus, laurel, and lemon. It is the last ingredients that made Baikal really refreshing. It quenched thirst, and yet was safe for both adults and children. Moreover, according to history, at first the drink included pine cones, but then, due to the economy, they were left out. Of course, neither Pepsi nor Coca-Cola could boast such an arsenal of ingredients.
Khrushchev tries Pepsi
The idea to start production of a new refreshing drink originated long before 1976. In 1959 the first American trade exhibition was heldin Moscow. The American side was represented by President Nixon, and the Russian side by Nikita Khrushchev. It was there that Khrushchev first tried PepsiCo’s product. He liked it very much. While the secretary-general savored the curiosities, representatives of “the bourgeois world” did not pass up the opportunity to use it for their business purposes. Soon photos appeared of the Soviet leader with the inscription: “Khrushchev learns to bemore sociable. Pepsi helped him with this.”
Baikal – Considered Healthy For Consumption
When in 1972 the company announced its intention to enter the market of the USSR and started to actively developits production, Soviet scientists decided to create their own refreshing drink. It had dark-brown color, but a completely different taste, because for many long years the competitors held their recipes in strict confidence.
It is believed that not even the factory workers knew how Pepsi or Coca-Cola were made. It’s not surprising, because in addition to water and burnt sugar,eight-liter sealed containers were supplied to the Union… This fact was subsequently used to advertise Baikal, which was considered healthy for consumption, while on the contrary the American beverages were suggested to be harmful.
There are several interesting facts about Baikal. At one time, dentists argued that it should be drunk only through a straw so as not to damage tooth enamel. Legend has it that foreign companies tried to establish its composition, but were unsuccessful.