Jolt Cola

Jolt Cola

“All the sugar and twice the caffeine.”

While most soda companies tend to downplay their caffeine content, a new soft drink popped up in the 80s that not only didn’t shy away from mentioning the ingredient, but proudly touted its enormous quantities on the side of every can. Jolt was a cola with a purpose, offering twice the stimulation for anyone who looked to soda pop for a quick pick-me-up.

Jolt was first manufactured in Rochester, NY, the creation of C. J. Rapp. Upon its introduction in 1985, it received significant media attention and, as a result, flew off of store shelves. The company shrewdly aimed their marketing at the college crowd, who could always use a little extra bit of alertness for those late night study sessions, and the strategy worked.

It also benefited from some significant product placement in 1993, when the product was prominently featured in such popular films as Jurassic Park, Hackers, Men at Work, Deep Impact and Wayne’s World 2.

The Jolt Cola Company eventually changed its name to Wet Planet Beverages and began diversifying its product line to include a wide variety of Energy Drinks. They introduced a whole new spectrum of flavors, licensed their name to a line of chewing gum, and started offering smaller cans of the product to compete with the uber-successful Red Bull craze.

Today, unless you live in California, your chances of finding an actual Jolt Cola are slim, although the line of Jolt energy drinks are still sold worldwide, including the “Power Cola” flavor. Still, these aren’t the same as the original soda, which actually wasn’t a bad tasting soft drink.

If your late-night study sessions were fortified with a can or two of Jolt, or if you bought a can just to see what all the ruckus was about, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section. Tell us what you remember about this infamous soda from the 80s that everyone was talking about.

14 Responses to “Jolt Cola”

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  1. Gotta love that Jolt Cola!

  2. Gavin says:

    I didn’t realize Jolt had been around so long, I thought it was from the 90s. I can’t begin to remember how many late night gaming sessions gallons of Jolt got me through

  3. Rod Whitenack says:

    They stocked Jolt Cola in a vending machine in the lobby of my dorm at Western Kentucky University (Go Hilltoppers!), and in those days I wasn’t the greatest or most responsible student that ever lived. Thus I wrote many research papers and studied for many exams on the last night after midnight under the power of Jolt. Thankfully, I became a much better student eventually, but I had the greatest time of my life at good old WKU.

  4. The Big Bon says:

    When I was working in Florida, the place I worked in was getting updated with a robotic system and that meant longer hours to get things finished. It was pretty much a straight month of working anywhere from 12-14 hours a day to get things done. I remember how I used to toss those back to stay alert. Even after that month was over, I was still buying them all the time. It pretty much tasted like mountain dew to me with twice the kick. I can’t find them anywhere now and I do miss my Jolt cola.

  5. Jorge Reyna says:

    I remember drinking Jolt cola to keep me up during my graveyard shift days. It tasted like carbonated coffee, but it worked.

  6. Beau says:

    I remember first drinking Jolt cola around 1986 or ”87 when I was a kid. It was always hard to find — even then, so whenever I saw one available, I would pick one up. I vividly remember those days and as a kid. Garbage Pail Kids, New York Seltzer, Zeltzer Seltzer, Jolt Cola, baseball cards, “Jerkey stuff” (shreaded beef jerky in a can), Cherry Chan (later Cherry Chan… until it was decided that it was “racist”… unggg) and the beginning of the California lottery (I was to young to play but back then, but I could buy cigarettes for my parents!), Max Headroom & Spuds McKenzie…

    I have fond memories of those days…

  7. Natasha says:

    I started drinking Jolt when I started high school in South Amboy, NJ. There was a little grocery store a block up from the high school and I use to buy 2 cans-one to drink right then and the other to drink later in the day to wake me up.

  8. c. russell says:

    Jolt cola went bankrupt, however it is still being made, and it has been switched back to the original formula and comes in glass bottles. It is just as I remember it. I just finished a 12 pack over the past week and will be ordering a few cases later today!

  9. L.Bingaman says:

    Loved this stuff! Worked in a drive-thru in Lima,Ohio, and it was the only place to find it. Myself, and one customer, kept that stuff coming to the store all by ourselves. However, the happiness ended. Wish I could try it again…

  10. Edgar Shugars says:

    I used to buy the stuff by the half-rack and filled my refrigerator with it in 1988. I used to “slam” a six pack every morning at 5am just before riding my bike 7 miles to work. I miss this stuff, I wish a maker here in the US would get together with the company in Australia to start producing it here.

  11. J Johnson says:

    I found a few places you can order original jolt cola, & beverage direct .com, not cheap by any means, but if money is no object…….get your fix

  12. Johnny C. says:

    I was already in my late teens or early twenties when this came out but I loved it. About 7 years ago, 2008-2009 I could still buy it in huge 32 oz cans with reusable lids from Walgreens in San Francisco. I stocked UP on the stuff. I once bought a few cases. I think my gmail pic is actually my refrigerator full of only Jolt Cola…no food. I can still get glass bottles here but I miss the metal bottles or cans. Them too, there are so many gourmet cola competitors now. Even Mexican Coke comes close flavor-wise as its also made with sugar instead of corn syrup like American soda.

    Still, with “all the sugar and twice the caffeine”, how can you go wrong?

  13. David Ray says:

    I was fortunate enough to be going to college in Rochester when Jolt was first introduced. WOW!! I drank it more for the taste than the 2x caffeine. Sure wish it was readily available…

  14. Keith P says:


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