For over 70 years, the “phosphated soda” ruled the soda fountain and then in the late 1950s, the Phosphate disappeared. Fifty years later Acid Phosphate, the ingredient that made the phosphate unique, has returned. The tongue tingling sensation and pure sour flavour are what make Acid Phosphate distinct from other soda acids.
Some of the most popular soda fountain drinks included the Cherry Phosphate and Chocolate Phosphate, while the local saloon touted the Angostura Phosphate as the perfect remedy for the previous day’s excesses. There are literally hundreds of phosphate style drinks that haven’t been tasted for decades, waiting to be rediscovered.
Acid Phosphate is more than just diluted phosphoric acid, it’s actually a partially neutralized solution made with salts of calcium, magnesium and potassium. The solution has a pH between 1.8 and 2.0, or about the same as freshly squeezed lime juice.
Acid Phosphate can be used in cocktails to enhance the sour character. Because most cocktails use lemon or lime juice to balance the sweetness, there is a tendency for many drinks to taste similar because of the fruity character of the citrus juice. Acid Phosphate is a perfect way to change the character of a drink and in many cases can be used as a full or partial substitute for lemon or lime juice.
A soda is not a phosphate unless it uses Acid Phosphate.
Size: 250ml (8 oz) bottle, which is enough to make 60 to 100 drinks.
Usage: ½ to 1 tsp of Acid Phosphate per drink (as low as $0.08 pour cost per drink).
Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.