Make Your Own Soda
Iâ€™m a small-batch soda artisan on a mission. I want America to enjoy satisfying, all-natural sodas with flavors so sensational that one taste will blow your mind. No preservatives, no corn syrup, no artificial colors. I founded P&H Soda Co. on the idea that people want to travel back to a simpler time, when the seltzer man delivered to your home, a movie cost pocket change, and enjoying a soda was a way for people of all ages to kick back and celebrate.
In sodaâ€™s early days, in the nineteenth century, a glassful was a tonic for what ailed you. It was used as a health food, in many ways. People would blend seltzer with herbs, fruits, and other natural flavors into a delicious, refreshing drink. But over the years, as big business took over, soda became a different thing altogether: chemicals swimming in sugar water, too-sweet fake flavors, guzzled down with no thought. But nowâ€”with increased interest in taking foods back to a simpler, fresher, more natural stateâ€”Iâ€™m taking soda back.
Some of my fondest memories are of going to Rumplemeyerâ€™sâ€”an ice cream parlor that used to be on Central Park South, in Manhattanâ€”with my dad and brother before a ballet or a Broadway show. Weâ€™d get so excited to indulge in a scoop of ice cream with a triangular pizzele-style cookie perched at the edge or to dig a long silver spoon into a tall glass to scoop out the first frothy mouthful of a creamy, bubbly ice cream soda. Deciding on my soda flavor was exquisite torture. The waiter would stand patiently by while I considered wild combos like pistachio ice cream with strawberry syrup, or orange sherbet with cherry syrup. More often than not, I chose the classic black and white, bubbling with rich chocolate and fragrant vanilla. Iâ€™d alternate between slurping the chocolatey beverage through my straw and digging into the melty vanilla scoop floating and bobbing in my glass. And I remember sitting at a soda-fountain counter with my grandpa Anthony, a jokester with a legendary sweet tooth. Weâ€™d sip on sodas while watching the ritual of the soda jerk pulling the gleaming silver handles, pouring syrups into fluted glasses with all the flair of a serious mixologist.
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