Ski Citrus Soda/Gem Beverages
SKI Pop. Ahh the sweet, sweet nectar of Jackson County. I remember when I was young, every Sunday we would visit my Great Grandma Brannon in Jackson. Before we would head back home, my mom and I would always stop and get us one in the little glass bottles. I can remember how excited we were when our local gas station started carrying SKI and everyone else became as crazy about it as we were.
When I was in High School, I was lucky enough to represent Parade of the Hills and travel the state of Ohio. We got to meet other girls from all over the state and myself and some of the girls from Vinton & Jackson Counties had introduced SKI to our friends from Columbus and Northern Ohio and they absolutely loved it. After that they always stocked up on it when they would visit Southeast Ohio. I have so many fond memories that include SKI it’s kind of crazy and I probably just make a whole other post for those.
If you’ve never heard of SKI Citrus Soda you are totally missing out! It’s a refreshing citrus soda made with real orange and lemon juices and is hands down my favorite soda. The Double Cola Company first introduced SKI in 1956 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Double Cola company held a contest for employees to name the new product. An employee named Dot Myers was inspired by a weekend ski trip on Chickamauga Lake and submitted the name “SKI” and the rest is sweet lemon and orange history.
It wasn’t until a few years later that SKI made its way to Southeast Ohio to be bottled by Gem Beverages in Wellston. If I understand correctly, Gem Beverages first distributed SKI in Vinton County and it quickly became popular and a spread to Jackson Country. Gem Beverages has been a family owned and operated business since 1923. How cool is that!? Due to changes in the industry and other factors, they were forced to make the tough decision in 2006 to discontinue their bottling division and turn their focus to distribution. Gem Beverages distributes brands like Ski & Diet Ski, Cherry Ski, Gem Cream Soda, Double Cola, Jumbo Orange, , Tropical Ski, Blood Orange Ski, and most recently, Strawberry Lemonade Ski.
Stories of The Rolling Hills of Southern Ohio