Do you ever feel somehow lost in your current era?
When I was a teenager, a psychiatrist that I went to made the comment, “Your values are quite old fashioned, as if you belong to an earlier world.”. It rang true, as I felt out of touch with not only my peers, but also the trends of the 80s. I was part of a generation gap, except my generation hadn’t been at the helm since 1938.
It has been a blessing throughout my life, to meet others who, lost or not, find connection in past times and collections of yore. So when Shaners and I heard of an authentic soda shop opening in Cole Valley, it became number one on our agenda. Old fashioned and delicious? Let’s go!
Sarsaparilla, now difficult to purchase due to it’s carcinogenic properties, used to be the main ingredient in real root beer. Nowadays it’s made with artificially flavored syrup.
In the 1800s, tonic drinks were all the rage. Sarsaparilla. Sassafras. Swamp Root. Mix it with sugar and spice, cool it down and bubble it up with soda water. Your root beer float…it’ll cure what ails ya. If it doesn’t kill you first.
But how about Candy Cap mushroom? Acid phosphate? Lactart? Egg cream soda with actual egg? Add a scoop of ice cream? You’ve got moxie, kid!
Moxie was the first carbonated soda sold in the US, and it is still sold in Maine. I used to drink it once every summer, just to reconfirm that it’s positively nasty.
Harking back to a different time, the new Ice Cream Bar has thrown out the snake oil, but has kept some of the tastier medicinal ingredients for their soda fountain. Add to the mix an ice cream counter, with (what has become typical SF) unique flavors, vintage uniforms, big band music, and you have me shaken and stirred. Where’s my spoon?
Upon entry, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck while something tight within me kicked back. Putting up its feet, my heart sighed, “Home”. Look through the door at the hat that fella is wearing. Swoon.
I borrowed this one from the website. Step right up.
I perused the elaborate menu, while Fern clamored for “Cone! Cone!”. She enjoyed a scoop of Honey Buttermilk ice cream while I made tough decisions…Chocolate and Raspberry? Pink Peppercorn and Pineapple? Or Rye Butterscotch with malted cream and blackstrap molasses? Life can be so cruel sometimes.
The soda jerk was a coveted position in department stores in the early twentieth century. A quick google search tells me that they were called jerks for the way they manipulated the handle of the soda dispenser, jerking it forward and back.
I finally decided on a Raspberry Chocolate Crush, while Shane got the “New Orlean’s Hangover”…a float with chicory coffee syrup, golden eagle tincture (sarsaparilla), sweet cream ice cream and soda. He fell in love and I had a bad case of soda envy.
Fern finished her ice cream and began hollering for more. The giant advertisement for sugar was not helping.
The mixologists for the soda bar have included “extinct” ingredients, like the afore mentioned sarsaparilla, as well as “acid phosphate” (gives a citrus zip) and “lactart” (a yogurt-y tang). Their specialties are based on the research in the book, “Fix the Pumps” by Darcy O’Neil. Here’s the full menu, if you would like to wet your whistle with anticipation.
Planning your trip yet? Drop me a line when you go and I’ll join you…I have 12 drinks, 75 tinctures, 24 extracts, 14 syrups and the endless variety of combinations to try. Next up? A “Touch of Grey” — Candy Cap mushroom syrup, acid phosphate, cream and soda.
Next time I need to dress the part too. Jacket, dress, belt and purse — thrifted. Leg warmers (yes, I do wear them every day) –gift. Tights — Target.
Since this post is about delight, here’s a close up of that new-to-me belt.
Just make sure you take your sweetheart with you when you go.
Have a lovely weekend!