Soda

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]

Lactart

Acid Phosphate may have been all the rage during they heyday of the soda fountain but that didn’t mean it was the only alternative beverage acidulent. There were actually a number of competitors, most of them trying to cash in on Acid Phosphates popularity. Some used hydrochloric acid, a not so great drinking option. Another one was called Lactart and it was a much better option for consumption… [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]

Classic Cuban Mojito

mojitoThe Mojito (pronounced: moe-hee-toe) is a classic Cuban cocktail most closely tied to Cuba's famous La Bodeguita del Medio bar. This drink is extremely refreshing and is a great cocktail to order on a hot summer day or when hitting the dance floor. The basic drink is remotely similar to… [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]

Egg Creams

Robert over at Off the Presses has a piece, actually a couple, on the rise of New York Egg Creams, which is more a rebirth than a rise. The interesting part is that the vast majority of people think the Egg Cream was invented in New York around 1920 but that’s probably not the case. And as I type that I realize… [Continue]

Peach Blow

Digging up old cocktails, or in this case fizz recipes, has led me to this interestingly named drink called the Peach Blow. The article is from the May 2nd, 1909 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. A reader asked for the recipe of the Peach Blow and the Lilac Fizz. The newspaper was happy to oblige. Now, almost 100 years later, and right in the middle of peach season, I'm… [Continue]

Bartenders Root Beer Recipe

Bartenders Root beerWhen you work behind a bar you'll get the occasional odd request. Sometimes it for some bizarre drink, other times it for an odd ingredient and then there is the request for items that usually are not stocked in a typical bar, like root beer. Most bars have a… [Continue]

Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail

Ramos Gin FizzOn any given day, if I were offered a properly made Ramos Gin Fizz I would never turn it down. This is a drink with a long history, dating back to 1888 and a unique taste and consistency that is hard to find in almost any other drink. The trick to the Ramos Gin Fizz is… [Continue]

Angostura Phosphate

Even though phosphates were closely associated with the soda fountain, the ingredient acid phosphate did crossover to the saloon and made it into a number of cocktail books. The one cocktail that often shows up in these guides is the Angostura Phosphate. This drink was a pick-me-up used to cure hangovers, settle the stomach and clear the head. Many of these drinks haven't been properly made… [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]

Scotch & Soda

The Scotch & Soda is a very popular drink for those neophyte imbibers who appreciate the flavour of Scotch, but don't enjoy it enough to drink it neat or on the rocks. Obviously, you can use any type of Scotch you would like, but for most people a blended type like Johnnie Walker Red or Black and Famous Grouse do just fine.

This drinik is also a great way to ease a person to the… [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]

Red Moon Cocktail

Red-moon-3There are some classic cocktails that use bitters as a key ingredient, the Negroni being a primary example. The problem is with the modern North American palate and its fixation on sugar laden drinks. Sweet, salt and sour seem to be fine but most North Americans shun bitter flavours. There is a small,… [Continue]

Sodatender or Barjerk

With Tales of the Cocktail 2011 a mere 90 days away (or less) it’s time to start getting your flight booked, hotel reserved and sessions picked. This year I am a co-presenter on two session, one of them being “Sodatender or Barjerk” with the esteemed David Wondrich. With my book on soda fountains (Fix the Pumps)… [Continue]

Soda Fountain

The world of soda fountains.

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Chocolate Phosphate

The Phosphate was the defining category of drink during the soda fountains golden era and the Wild Cherry Phosphate was the most popular, but not far behind in popularity was the Chocolate Phosphate. That's right, chocolate soda. This wasn't an egg cream or chocolate [Continue]

Announcing the “Jerk Off”

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first ever "Jerk Off" which will be held during San Francisco Cocktail Week (Sept. 17th to 23rd). If you've read my book, Fix the Pumps, you might understand why this competition is called the Jerk Off, and if not let me explain. A few months ago drinks genius Russell… [Continue]

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]

Fix the Pumps Intro

Print Edition is now available on Art of Drink for $10.95 plus it included a free eBook edition - Fix the Pumps

This past October marked the 4th year I've been posting on Art of Drink, this being the 459th post. Last year I decided that I should do something a little more cohesive, like write a book.… [Continue]

Cognac Oil

The world of alcohol is fraught with risks and great bartenders know how to manage them. One method is to insert a low or non alcoholic drink into the mix. Unfortunately, most non-alcoholic drinks suck, though things are getting better. One area that offers a lot of potential is essential oils and soda fountain techniques. The actual "Holy Grail" would be a drink that tastes like an alcoholic drink… [Continue]

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