This post is part of our series ranking the top 25 bygone products and trends we'd like to see return.

Devotees of M*A*S*H will remember Radar O'Reilly's devotion to the purple soft drink Grape Nehi, a soft drink that has sadly disappeared from shelves of American grocery stores. Since the mid-1920s, it was iconic of rural America, the America of ice-chest coolers where bib-overalled farmers parched from the fields dropped a couple of pennies on the counter and fished an ice-cold Nehi from the icy water depths.

To tell the truth, cold was the salient word, because the flavor of Grape Nehi was to real grapes as lightening bugs are to lightning (Thanks, Mark Twain.) The flavor was much closer to summer-camp bug juice, cloyingly sweet. Cold, though, it poured down a boy's throat like ambrosia.

Nehi changed its name to reflect the popularity of its premier brand, RC Cola, many years ago, Grape Nehi is still available from Hometown Favorites, but unless they deliver it in its own floor cooler, it just won't taste the same.

What sodas were part of your childhood?


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