Discover the rich and original history of the first Tonic in the world...

Jacob Schweppe


Jacob Schweppe invented the world’s first soft drink

After 10 years of experimenting Jacob Schweppe invented the first industrial process to capture and bottle bubbles (the process of carbonation). His invention , Schweppe’s Soda Water was an immediate success and was endorsed by leading doctors and sold (mainly in pharmacies) as a treatment for a variety of ailments. By founding Schweppes in 1783 in Genova, he founded the modern industry of soft drinks as the creator of the bubble.


Schweppes received the royal warrant of appointment by his majesty the king from King William IV.

Only half a century after its invention, the brand became the official  supplier of the UK Royal Family including the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria, who fell in love with Schweppes.


Schweppes is the official drink of the Great Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace, London.

Schweppes was the official drink of the Great Exhibition in London in 1851: a million bottles were sold. It was hosted in London in a building specifically constructed for the purpose called the crystal palace. Visitors from all around the globe passed the entrance gates. Schweppes supplied its soda water throughout the day. The fountain, situated directly at the entrance, became a fundamental part of the brand’s design, and has been echoed on Schweppes packaging ever since.


Launch of the iconic Indian Tonic Water

In this year Indian Tonic Water and Ginger Ale were launched that still exist today. The unique taste of Indian Tonic is inspired by the Britain colonial practice of preventing malaria in India by using quinine as and antidote. As quinine gives a bitter taste to the drink, the English colonists who settled in India mixed it with lime and gin. On returning home, they continued this practice and the drink became popular in the UK.


Communicating with the audiences…

Around the 1900s, Schweppes began advertising on a more frequent basis, using different visuals to support its range of high quality products. Schweppes receives the Gold, Silver and Bronze medal for its iconic soda water at the Paris Universal Exhibition.



Schweppes plays with sensuality

In the roaring 20s the business continues to expand both at home and abroad.

During this period of brand growth, Schweppes kept informing its customers about its products, using sophisticated and stylish advertisements to promote the brand making use of an attractive advertising tool; pin-ups!



Adding fruits to the range…

The 1920’s and 30’s saw the proud launch of its fruit juices: sparkling Orange, Grapefruit, and Lemon.


World War II impacting Schweppes

Due to the war and the subsequent concentration scheme Schweppes (and all its competitors) were rationed, and even disappeared from the market; by abandoning individual labels. But that did not stop Schweppes from advertising. The consumers had to be reassured that one day their established favourite would be back, and life would return to normal.



On June 8, 1946 during the Victory Parade, Schweppes launches its Schweppervescence campaign: Schweppervescence lasts the whole drink through. A complete new word…


Back for good…

As of February 1st 1948, after the war,  free trade returned; and Schweppes was finally available again. Under its own brand name and with its own individual label.


Continuing the unconventional advertising

‘In the 50s comes the Schweppshire campaign. Schweppshire was that wonderful thing – brilliant individual advertisements that built up to a long running campaign. In the United States though, Commander Whitehead came along. He was a tall and handsome English gentleman, with a red naval beard. He would air here for almost two decades and firmly establish the Schweppes brand. In other countries, Schweppes engaged itself with major creative people like Siné, Stephen Potter, George Him, and Leupin.


Extending the bitter range…

On May 1st, 1957 two new flavours were launched Bitter Orange and Bitter Lemon, enabled by new knowledge of processing fruit within carbonated soft drinks. Especially the latter became a huge success and created substantial new business for the company.


Launching another Classic..

As the Scandinavians were looking for an ideal mixer to their home-brewed moonshine vodka; Schweppes took on the challenge to create the best mixer to please the consumer. Ultimately creating Russchian – a mysterioulsy rich blend offering a bouquet of berries, herbaceous notes and hints of the authentic bitter sweetness. Russchian, a truly Schweppian creation.


Are you Schwepping?

The new Schwepping Campaign was launched in the 80s, and it was a great success!



“Release the Schhh… in you”


Clive has arrived..

In 1998, the famous Clive campaigns are launched: The world discovered Clive the Leopard’s fur. By showing this traditional emblem of England, symbolising pride, competence, and strength, Schweppes proclaimed its return to origins and amazed everybody.



Nicole Kidman as brand ambassador for Schweppes

Launch of pan European brand ambassador campaign with beautiful Nicole Kidman as brand ambassador for Schweppes. The spot was shot in India by Indian film director Shekhar Kapur.


The new brand ambassador.

A new chic and glamorous muse: Uma Thurman. Schweppes makes the Hollywood star sparkle in a fresh and sensual ad campaign, created by David LaChapelle. “Hey.. what did you expect!”



Meet the Makers of Today

Building on its long heritage of originality and mixing expertise Schweppes launches the Makers of Today campaign. Celebrating our own maker – Jacob Schweppe – as well as inspiring the makers of today’s world; whether in food, drinks or fashion. Inspiring them to leave their mark.