Fountain

Cherry Phosphate

Soda phosphates are a class of drink the has disappeared from the beverage world. Yes, many places claim to sell “phosphates” but they really aren’t the original article. To be considered a true phosphate the drink must include “acid phosphate” and not citric acid or lemon juice. The problem is acid phosphate stopped being produced decades ago. But, when I was researching… [Continue]

Acid Phosphate

The most popular drink in the world was once made using Acid Phosphate. Today, Coca-Cola no longer uses this unique ingredient, instead they have simplified their formulation by using phosphoric acid, which still makes it a phosphated soda, but not the classic version. The “phosphate drink” was the most popular… [Continue]

They Thirst for Cocaine

The title of this post may sound like something out of a fictional tabloid you get at the grocery store checkout, but it comes from the Los Angeles Times (February 25, 1902 edition). I’ve posted the newspaper article because it is an excellent example of what soda fountains were really like at the turn of the 20th century. Plus it is a very interesting read when compared to the “evils”… [Continue]

Italian Soda

Ask most people what an Italian Soda is and they’ll usually describe a combination of flavour syrup and carbonated, or seltzer, water. If you search its origin on the Internet, the majority of the results describe it as an invention created by two Italian immigrants, who made the drink popular in San Francisco around 1925. But the reality is very different, and I find it odd that Americans… [Continue]

Champagne Smash

In the world of drinks, a smash is usually a drink that contains a spirit, mint, sugar and sometimes lemon or lime. The Mint Julep and Mojito are technically smashes. From this basic recipe you can make a wide variety of drinks that encompass a corner of the cocktail… [Continue]

Ammonia Coke

Adding things to Coca-Cola is a time honoured tradition, two that immediately come to mind are cocaine and rum. Another is Aromatic Spirits of Ammonia. Now this isn't kitchen cleaner ammonia, which would be a big mistake, this is a pharmaceutical preparation that has been used for over a century, even before Coke was invented. For druggists, this preparation was an over-the-counter medicine… [Continue]

Homemade Soda

The idea of making homemade soda from scratch sounds like fun, but it still requires a lot of attention to details. This is especially true when making the base flavour concentrate because 21 ml (2/3 of an ounce) of flavouring oils will end up making about 120L (30 gallons) of soda-pop! If you are okay with being accurate then you’ll find that homemade soda formulations are an awesome way… [Continue]

History of the Soda Fountain

Naturally carbonated waters, from volcanic springs, were well known throughout history and prized for their unique properties. The effervescing nature of the water was an attractive quality, and was thought to be a natural tonic. The problem was that capturing and transporting these mineral waters was costly. Only a few places stocked mineral waters, with pharmacies being the most common.

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Fix the Pumps

Fix the Pumps tells the real history of the soda fountain, starting with its invention, through its golden era of creativity and into its dependance on patent medicine and narcotics. The history of the soda fountain is as vibrant as any other period in American history.

Fix the Pumps provides a wealth of information on techniques employed by soda jerks. The recipes span the spectrum of… [Continue]

Soda Fountain

The world of soda fountains.

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SF Jerk Off - Details

Everything has been finalized for the San Francisco Jerk Off, the first ever soda jerk competition. The competition is being held on September 23rd starting at 9:00PM at The Tempest in San Francisco and is the closing event at SF Cocktail week, so expect it to be great. The winner of the Jerk Off will get $500 plus the title of the Worlds… [Continue]

Detroit Soda Fountain

This photo is a great example of what a classic soda fountain / pharmacy looked like around 1910. The picture was taken by the Detroit Publishing Company around 1910, but no information was provided on where it was taken, though it assumed to be in Detroit. Sandy Levine of The Oakland bar in Detroit suggested that it looks similar to the space of the… [Continue]

From Soda Fountain to Bar

The soda train keeps on rolling and this time it stopped in Antwerp for the 2013 edition of the Belgian Bar Show. The show is a fun 2 day event with presentations spread through out each day. I was the opening act for Ian Rum-Ambassador Burrell, on Tuesday. Below you will find a slightly modified edition of my presentation. So if you are curious… [Continue]

Murder, Soda and Intrigue

We all know the history of alcohol's prohibition, but did you know that the soda fountain also had its own prohibition? When I was writing Fix the Pumps, and detailing the effects the Pure Food & Drug Act of 1906 had on the soda fountain, I wondered what effect pulling all those drugs from circulation had on the mood of the country. I didn't dig into… [Continue]

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@apaulmitchell Sammy's as well as all other agricole or white rums. It's hard to go wrong.
.@apaulmitchell it goes well with lime and sugarcane juice.
Wisdom should be shared, so read this: "How to Run the World's Best Bar" drnk.ca/1AgwnwA Via @diffordsguide
Only in Las Vegas would PR people call a 2750 square foot bar "intimate".
.@mnmsplease that was the same tour and I was just listening to SRV earlier tonight :(
.@BeerAndAShot Did you wear parachute pants?
Found a stash of my old concert ticket stubs. I saw Eric Clapton on August 22, 1990 for $17.50 at Pine Knob Music Theatre in Detroit.