Bootleg Soda: Soda Fountain Formulas

Another entry in our series of excerpts from Bootleg Soda, our book of soda syrup recipes, which also includes more than 50 old timey soda fountain drink formulas, and a bit about the history of soda fountains. 

The Smart Aleck’s Guide to Bootleg Soda: 100+ Homemade Soda Syrup Recipes, plus 50+ classic fountain drink formulas. 

Just $2.99 on Kindle

Now and then you come to a town or a neighborhood that still has a really good old-fashioned soda fountain (or, more often, an ice ream parlor, though they generally have sofa fountains attached). There’s the Brown Cow in Forest Park, IL, Margie’s Candies in Chicago… we think of soda fountains as a bygone relic of another era, but there really are plenty of places left where you can still order a cherry phosphate. 

But what if you went in and asked for a Midnight on the Midway? Or an Odd Fellows’ Special?

If you’ve made some of the other recipes in the book and found yourself with a lot of leftover odds and ends of bits of syrup, you have two options. One is to make up a good glass of what kids in our town called Suicide (old time soda fountains called it a Don’t Care, and we call it an Out of Order). Another is to mix them up more carefully into some of these old fashioned drinks that we found in old-timey soda fountain guides!

Old soda fountains served a LOT of things that you probably don’t see much anymore, even at the best of the modern soda fountains. Drinks with a raw egg mixed in - such egg phosphate and the egg-and-almond Pike’s Peak - were very common in the early 20th century (see our whole section on them in Bootleg Soda). Hot sodas with flavors like beef and clam also used to come up a lot - it was basically a glass of carbonated soup. 

These recipes for special drinks are modified somewhat for ingredients you can’t find anymore, but are about as authentic as we could make them, so you, too can whip them up for the little whippersnappers who are waiting on the Wells Fargo Wagon!  Most of these came from issues of The Spatula and The Dispenser’s Formulary from 1900-1920.  If it wasn’t already in the syrups, add a dash of citric acid to any to make them closer to proper “phosphates” (substituting for the phosphate acid used at the time).  
Most of them are just mixed together and then added to carbonated water, unless otherwise noted.  Serve them at your next party and make sure your friends know that a vote for Roosevelt is a vote for progress!

A few of the 50+ formulas in the book: 

Princeton McAlpin
1 part orange syrup
1 part raspberry syrup
1 part grape JUICE
1 spoonful of crushed pineapple
1/2 slice orange
2 cherries

(Serve with spoon and straws)

Taft Phosphate:
2 parts blood orange juice
1 parts raspberry base/juice
1 parts of grape juice
1 part orange juice
Dash of citric acid
(Mix juices together then make a syrup out of them with 1 part sugar to 1 part juice, then be like Taft in 1909 and wish you were a supreme court justice instead of president).

Baseball Special
2 parts raspberry syrup
2 parts strawberry syrup
2 parts heavy cream
1 part pineapple syrup
1 part cream soda (vanilla) syrup
3 dashes of orange bitters

August Special Rickey
2 parts grape juice
1 part vanilla syrup
1 part pineapple syrup
Lime juice
Shaved ice

Brunswick Cooler
1 part lemon syrup
1 part cherry syrup
1 part orange syrup

Rex Phosphate (aka The 20th Century Phosphate)
2 part orange syrup
1 part pineapple syrup
1 part strawberry syrup
Citric acid
(Unlike most recipes, this one actually called for adding caffeine. Not as big a deal in an era when you could also probably legally ask the soda clerk to add some cocaine to your drink!)

See 50+ fountain formulas, plus more than a hundred syrup recipes in 
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