Inspired by a writer from New Zealand who said years ago all soft drinks were called fizzy drinks, I remembered Fizzies. Fizzies were small flavored tablet that you dropped in a glass of water. Then you watched them fizz and turn the water the flavor’s color. I read about their history before I posted this and sure enough they were invented by a drug company which added flavor to Bromo-Seltzer. They used saccharine to make the drink sweet and had to change the formula when the effects of saccharine on mice were troubling.(I guess they never worried about the effect on kids of drinking this stuff!) My siblings and I really couldn’t stand the taste even though we really enjoyed watching the tablets dissolve.
The other novelty we insisted our mother buy for us was Flav-R-Straws. These paper straws had a core of either strawberry or chocolate powder. As you sipped your milk, it was flavored by the powder. The ad above amuses me as it promises to get children to drink more milk. I laugh because I have a very distinct memory of getting violently ill after two strawberry Flav-R-Straw glasses of milk. I swore off Flav-R-Straws for good and even avoided milk for quite a while. It turns out Flav-R-Straws also used saccharine.
We stuck with Kool-Aid, sweetened with the real stuff–sugar. Who could resist a tall glass of sweet red water?