The Soda Fountain
Floats, Sundaes, Egg Creams & More--Stories and Flavors of an American Original
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
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A collection of 70 recipes celebrating the history and stories of the classic American soda fountain from one of the most-celebrated revival soda fountains in the country, Brooklyn Farmacy.
A century ago, soda fountains on almost every Main Street in America served as the heart of the community, where folks shared sundaes, sodas, ice cream floats, and the news of the day. A quintessentially American institution, the soda fountain still speaks of a bygone era of innocence and ease. When Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain opened its doors in 2010, it launched a revival of this great American original, capturing the hearts of a new generation.
Featuring abundant full-color photography and vintage illustrations and advertisements, The Soda Fountain explores a rich history—from the origins of seltzer in the nineteenth century, through the transformation of soda during Prohibition and the Depression years, right up to today’s fountain renaissance. Featured recipes range from classics like the Purple Cow and Cherry Lime Rickey to contemporary innovations that have made Brooklyn Farmacy famous, like The Sundae of Broken Dreams (topped with caramel sauce and broken pretzel bits) and Makin’ Whoopie! Sundae (with hot fudge and mini chocolate whoopie cakes).
Recreating beloved treats like egg creams and milkshakes with local, seasonal, and artisanal ingredients, Gia Giasullo and Peter Freeman, the sibling cofounders of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, teach you how to resurrect the proud American soda fountain tradition at your own kitchen counter. With its fascinating anecdotes, mouth-watering pictures and easy-to-follow steps,this nostalgic cookbook proves that the soda fountain is a culinary and cultural institution that continues to delight.
PETER FREEMAN (aka Head Jerk) is the cofounder of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. His degree in sociology and his love of egg creams led him to the perfect career: as a soda jerk in his own soda fountain. He lives happily above Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain with his cat, Mr. Pickles.
GIA GIASULLO (aka Big Sister) is the cofounder and creative director of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain. She is the daughter of a Greenwich Village shopkeeper, and it is no surprise to her that after spending twenty-plus years practicing graphic design she is now runs a corner store in Brooklyn. She and her family live happily above Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain.
“The Soda Fountain is a treat for old-time Brooklynites like me who cut our sweet tooth on egg creams. Along with recipes and scrumptious photographs, the book taps into the nostalgia of the classic soda fountain counter, where generations of Brooklynites past and present found ice cream heaven in favorites like the Cherry Lime Rickey and the Chocolate Malt. Thank you, Gia and Pete, for showing all those who visit or live here how sweet Brooklyn truly is!”
—Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
“Pete and Gia have restored the soda fountain ideal and breathed new life into the old tradition of local food shared in local places.”
—Slow Food NYC
“Nostalgia reigns within the pages of this invaluable book. In it, the history of the soda fountain comes to life with throwback desserts such as egg creams, ice cream sodas, shakes, and sundaes. Dynamic tales of Brooklyn’s past root the egg cream in present time for the next generations to come.”
—Alain Ducasse, chef-creator and author of J’aime New York
“The guys at Brooklyn Farmacy are a bunch of jerks! They're also experts at creating classic treats from yesteryear that should not be forgotten.”
—Clinton Kelly, host of ABC's The Chew and author of Freakin' Fabulous on a Budget
“What a crazy story behind the coolest hangout in Brooklyn. What insanely delicious sundaes. And what chutzpah Gia and Peter showed by saving the soda fountain from a premature demise!”
—Eric Demby, Brooklyn Flea & Smorgasburg
"Along with some pure Brooklyn farming-hipster style, the book offers fascinating historical tidbits, postwar snapshots and a treasure chest of easy syrups and blends to get you started. Where else are you going to learn about the great carbonic acid explosions of the Jazz Age? Or why they call them "soda jerks"? There's something for everyone: classic egg creams for the nostalgic, sundaes for the sweet-toothed, and, yes, syrup-based cocktails for those who just have to have them."
—T. Susan Chang, National Public Radio