Phosphates, Fizzes and Frappes
August 9, 2014 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Switchel, previously.


More recipes.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2014

OH this reminds me I was going to go get a cherry phosphate today.
posted by elizardbits at 10:48 AM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pretty much the man when it comes to old soda fountain techniques, recipes and ingredients is Darcy O'Neil.
posted by slkinsey at 11:45 AM on August 9, 2014

Let us not forget to include the ice milk (not cream) Fribble from Friendly's. Original recipe of course.
posted by 724A at 12:53 PM on August 9, 2014

Interested. There was a soda fountain that served phosphates when I was a kid, but I never knew what they were.

I make my own ginger syrup, because American ginger ales are far to sweet (and mild) for my taste. It is possible to find some good stuff (Blenheim), but it's very pricey.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 1:07 PM on August 9, 2014

This is wonderful! I want to try out some of these now.
posted by darksong at 1:15 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Put a portion of cantaloupe in a sundae cup and in it place a mound of vanilla ice cream, and cover with crushed pineapple."

Oh boy yes!
posted by marienbad at 2:26 PM on August 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

One of these days, I need to transcribe my huge collection of non-alcoholic cocktail recipes and make a PDF of it for mass distribution.

I am, at best, an unenthusiastic drinker, since I'm already pretty comfortable blathering in public without a stiffener and because alcohol really just makes me tired, which life already does well enough on its own, and so my signature drink is the Parisette (milk, crushed ice, grenadine). At the local straight/gay/military/codebreaker/drag/automechanic/sports/bingo bar in town, the mean drag queen waitress has mellowed in her eye-rolling to my request for a Shirley Temple with extra cherries, though she'll make a scene if I'm ordering it on bear night.

I love those old mixtures, though, from my childhood visits to Thomson, Georgia, where my grandmother and I would sit at the soda fountain and get elegant sugar-rich cocktails served up by the Southern-glamorous Miss Mary Kate. I've made shrub and had fondue parties with exotic solvent-free cocktails (I refuse to dignify the awful neoslobism "mocktail"), and while I think sugary drinks are something to be enjoyed on rare and special occasions, I also think one should go bug-nuts fucking wild in breadth, diversity, and complexity of ingredients.

When my fabulousness mentor had a near-fatal bout of viral pancreatitis, and a recovery that came with a dire medical warning to stay away from alcohol for years, if not forever, I gathered up all my recipes for solvent-free cocktails, researched new ones and other regions of the realm, and wrote up, typeset, printed, and bound a slim volume of recipes for my friend (and made a less-luxurious binder version for myself). There's some amazing stuff out there, spread out from the distant past to the space age future.

I don't regret a lot of lost opportunities, but when the august old fashioned soda shop on Main Street in my town, Gavriles, shut down after seventy-nine years, I did one of the few non-flaky things I have done in an awfully flaky life and presented my father with a business plan. He was game, and a skilled businessman, and set about the task of trying to buy the establishment and going into the soda jerk trade with his difficult, complicated kid who never seemed to follow through with anything…but in the end, we crashed headlong against the mighty phalanx of cranky elderly Gavriles, who were already set on just selling off the place for peanuts and getting out of Dodge.


I still occasionally daydream of what the last twenty-five years might have been, with my semi-grizzled self polishing glasses behind the old well-worn surface of the soda fountain, serving up flips and bicarbonates and shrubs and egg creams with eighty cent tuna sandwiches and rambling tales and suspect advice, but in the end, the old place was dispersed to the memorabilists and speculators, the store sold and turned into a real estate office, and maybe it was all just a fever dream, fizzing away into the past.
posted by sonascope at 3:12 PM on August 9, 2014 [17 favorites]

Prompted by this Collector's Weekly article, I recently read the 1894 book Saxe's new guide, or, Hints to soda water dispensers and really enjoyed it.
posted by jocelmeow at 4:01 PM on August 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yup, that one is among my sources. Good stuff. (Phosphates, Fizzes and Frappes is my blog. Well, one of 'em.)

I gotta tell you, this is a dangerous project. I'm sitting here with a very tasty but very sweet beverage right now, one that will appear in the blog in a few days. It is difficult to taste test it and then stop without finishing it.
posted by litlnemo at 5:28 PM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Tumblr wants me to download their particular application to read this page on on iPhone. It floats a large "OPEN IN TUMBLR" notice on top of the page, which expands to fill the screen if you try magnifying an image. So it looks like a great resource, but it's let down by its platform. As usual, if you're not paying for it, you're the product.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:34 PM on August 9, 2014

Hmm. I'm sorry about that. They are being lame. For what it's worth, it doesn't seem to do that on my iPhone. I still get an Open in Tumblr thingy, but it gets out of the way when I magnify images.

I might try mirroring it on my self-hosted blog, but it's not set up to do that yet.
posted by litlnemo at 6:05 PM on August 9, 2014

My late father used to reminisce about ammonia Cokes from his boyhood. Since the only experience my siblings and I had with ammonia was as a floor cleaner, we dismissed it as some sort of tall tale. But thanks to the internet I see that ammonia Cokes are a real thing, and now I want to try one!
posted by TedW at 7:47 PM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

As usual, if you're not paying for it, you're the product.

The tumblr app, while possessing of a terribility that is difficult to describe with mere words, is nevertheless free to install.
posted by elizardbits at 7:57 PM on August 9, 2014

I'll definitely have to try a few of these out at home. The photos of turn of the century fountains remind me of a somewhat pricey gem of a shop in old city Philadelphia called Franklin Fountain. The line to get in goes a ways down the block in weekends, but I'm lucky enough to work about two blocks away, and it is far more accessible during the week.
posted by Leviathant at 8:33 PM on August 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Frappé was my favorite button on the Osterizer.
posted by Tube at 11:23 PM on August 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

OH this reminds me I was going to go get a cherry phosphate today.

I didn't realize one still could.

When I was a child, I could bike to Braun's Apothecary (pharmacy), which in addition to selling comic books and Mad, had a soda fountain with the works.

I don't recall how much they cost (this is over 50 years ago now) but when I had the coins, I'd get either a root beer float or a cherry phosphate. I probably haven't had one since like 1968.

If not for the nostalgia factor, can you imagine anyone introducing a beverage today called a phosphate? Sounds like you're gonna drink laundry detergent.
posted by Herodios at 10:52 AM on August 11, 2014

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