The Soda Fountain
Floats, Sundaes, Egg Creams & More–Stories and Flavors of an American Original
by Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman
A collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.
A century ago, soda fountains on almost every Main Street in America served as the heart of the community, where folks shared sundaes, sodas, ice cream floats, and the news of the day. A quintessentially American institution, the soda fountain still speaks of a bygone era of innocence and ease. When Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened its doors in 2010, it launched a revival of this great American original, capturing the hearts of a new generation.
Featuring abundant full-color photography and vintage illustrations and advertisements, The Soda Fountain explores a rich history—from the origins of seltzer in the nineteenth century, through the transformation of soda during Prohibition and the Depression years, right up to today’s fountain renaissance. Featured recipes range from classics like the Purple Cow and Cherry Lime Rickey to contemporary innovations that have made Brooklyn Farmacy famous, like The Sundae of Broken Dreams (topped with caramel sauce and broken pretzel bits) and Makin’ Whoopie! Sundae (with hot fudge and mini chocolate whoopie cakes).
Recreating beloved treats like egg creams and milkshakes with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients, Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, the sibling cofounders of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, teach you how to resurrect the proud American soda fountain tradition at your own kitchen counter. With its fascinating anecdotes, mouth-watering pictures and easy-to-follow steps,this nostalgic cookbook proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution that continues to delight.
I had recently gone to Zaharcoe’s Soda Fountain in Columbus IN. We had a great time with hamburgers, soda, malts, and ice cream. Besides reminding me of my youth, I forgot how good a milkshake with malt in it tastes. This book takes you down memory lane and shows you how easy it is to be a Soda Jerk yourself. It also contains an in-depth history of the soda fountain that’s a pretty big section of the book.
I followed all of these recipes exactly as written.
Syrups and Sodas
The only syrups I have ever made were simple syrups for cocktails. It never occurred to me that the sodas I buy at the store are nothing but flavored syrup and and seltzer. You think that working in fast food as a teen would clue me in about that! For the fountain drinks we had two tanks, the syrup, and the carbonated water. Anyway, this book shows you how to make a huge variety of syrups like the two I made here and all the fun you can have using them. I initially used them in sodas as the book mentioned but they now have ended up on my pancakes and waffles, ice cream, cocktails, cereal, and coffee. I even made my own Malibu Mango Syrup (That’s right, Malibu Rum) using a similar recipe I could find in the book and it turned out great.
To make this recipe as the book states I had to make the three other recipes for the toppings. Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream on a crumbly bed of gram crackers topped with Nutella and whip cream. Making the gram cracker crumble was neat but I’m not sure I would make it very often. I think store bought gram crackers are lighter and not as dense as this turned out. The Nutella was very easy to make but entirely too much of a recipe for little old me. The recipe made 5 cups of that chocolaty good-stuff. I mean really good. It tasted more like a natural made Nutella instead of that smooth creamy version you get at the stores. I already knew how to make whipped cream so no surprises there but their recipe is easy to follow.
Brooklyn Egg Cream
Adding seltzer to what is basically a chocolate milk really perks the drink up. For me it wasn’t sweet enough but I can see how some people like this. Careful you don’t fill it to the rim before adding the syrup or you will overflow!
Peanut Butter Milkshake
A few of my favorite things all in one glass. They give you the option to use chocolate ice-cream, vanilla ice-cream or a combination of the two to make this. Add in homeade peanut butter and you are slurping happily for the next few minutes. Careful of brain freezes!
Most of the recipes were perfect for just one serving. Like making egg creams, shakes, and Sundays but many of the homemade toppings were way too much. The Nutella recipe for example made 5 cups. Evey recipe I tried tasted amazing and took me back to my childhood, there is nothing like digging in a Banana Split and remembering what it was like eating it with your front teeth missing. Overall the recipes are quite simple and easy to put together so pretty much anyone who knows how to operate a stove and blender can make most of these recipes. I say get it! You can try the Doris Seymour recipe by following the link here.