7-Up has been consistently popular since the 1920’s, so while you might think that you already know all there is about this popular lemon-lime blend, the soda actually has a long, storied, and occasionally sordid history. Let's start with what you've probably already got covered, knowledge-wise: chances are that your mom gave you 7-Up when you were feeling sick as a kid — it’s been a popular folk remedy for upset stomachs since it first came on the market.
We’ll also bet you played the rainy-day classroom game "Heads Up 7-Up" when you were a kid. Although in retrospect, this game involves a lot more blind trust than we think reasonable. If you were one of the lucky kids who had a Sega or Game Boy, it’s likely that you had a copy of the completely awesome "Cool Spot" video game back in the late 1980’s, which featured 7-Up's odd little red-dot mascot (who flexed his inexplicable arms, sneakers, and sunglasses). You probably tried Cherry 7-Up when it came out, and you might have given the 7-Upside-Down a shot when it debuted in the early ’00’s.
Remember Fido Dido, that super chilled-out cartoon with the killer hairstyle? If you ever owned a "Fido is for Fido, Fido is against no one," t-shirt, then you definitely remember he’s been schilling for 7-Up since the height of his popularity. Live-action endorsers include the famously difficult-to-impress McKayla Maroney (who was reportedly quite impressed with the bubbly beverage) and musician Cee-Lo Green.
You may also be familiar with the popular cocktail 7 and 7, which refers to a blend of Seagram’s Seven Crown Whiskey and 7-Up. Known as a toothachingly oversweetened "girly" drink, the 7 and 7 got a hilarious shout-out in a scene of the movie Bridesmaids. When Becca (the young ingénue) and Rita (the older, experienced cousin of the bride) begin to bond as they sit next to each other on a long flight, Becca begins to tell Rita about her adorably naive bedroom problems with her husband, and then innocently asks the flight attendant, "Could I have a glass of alcohol, when you get a chance?"
Rita briefly gives her seatmate a look that says, "Oh, you poor, uninitiated thing," and tells the stewardess knowingly, "Two double seven and sevens."
Becca blanches a little at the order and asks, "—is that?" before Rita cuts her off, waves her hand in Becca’s direction, and dimisses her with a curt, "You’ll like it; it’s sweet."
And so another girl becomes initiated into tipsiness on the syrupy blend.
So you might already feel like you’re up to speed on even the more mildly risqué aspects of 7-Up. The soda may have a cute-meets-cool image now, but did you know that this popular kids' drink used to be packed with a mind-altering drug? True story. Take a look below to find out more.
1. Good for Baking
7-Up can be used in baking to make your cake light and fluffy: popular recipes include 7-Up-infused pound cake, biscuits, buttercream sugar cookies, pie crust, fruit salads, and brownie glaze.
2. ...And Cooking!
Even crazier, 7-Up has been featured in plenty of savory recipes: everything from basting a turkey to marinating pork chops to stir frying shrimp. We can’t vouch for the tastiness of these culinary concepts, but they do exist.
3. Packed With Mood Stabilizers
The drink contained Lithium Citrate until 1950. Yup, the same pharmacalogical lithium that’s used to treat people with bipolar disorder. Sounds like a great thing to give to kids, right?
4. Curative Properties
Back then, though, it wasn’t exactly a kids’ drink. Originally, the soda was sold as a hangover cure.
5. It's 7-Up, It's Uncola
7-Up cultivated a countercultural air in the late 1960’s and '70's, and the "Uncola" enjoyed renewed popularity.
6. Tongue Twister
The original name of 7-Up was "Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda." Rolls trippingly off the tongue, doesn’t it?
More from The Daily Meal