5 Great Sodas in NYC
An egg cream from Brooklyn Farmacy
Now that the days of dropping five bucks on a jumbo, movie theater Coke will be going the way of smoking in bars, New Yorkers might want to consider a carbonation contingency plan. Despite Mayor Bloomberg's approved soda ban, plenty of NYC restaurants are crafting their own sodas in-house. Although they might not have the Yellow 5 punch of an original Mountain Dew, most of them do have super fresh, often seasonal, and generally better-for-you ingredients.
Here are five NYC spots putting their own spin on soda:
ABC Kitchen Local? Check. Organic? Check. The ability to lust over an expensive cashmere throw after lunch? Check. ABC Kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ode to fresh-from-the-greenmarket fare, is home to a menu of sophisticated, in-season dishes and a bar that follows suit. While the offerings change often (we weren't kidding about seasonality), a recent favorite is the Cherry Citrus Soda. The drink is like a tangy, grown-up, bubbly Hawaiian Punch. 35 East 18th Street, 212-475-5829
Back Forty West When Savoy, the charming neighborhood favorite, shuttered for good, its longtime Soho fans feared that their days of farm-to-table everything were over. Fortunately, Peter Hoffman turned the spot into Back Forty West. Although not exactly billed as soda, the house-made lemonade is a tart blast of fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, and sparkling water. The drink isn't always on the menu, but the bar is usually happy to make a fresh one on the spot. Grab side-by-side seats in the downstairs dining room as you sip and people-watch the afternoon away. 70 Prince Street, 212-219-8570
Pok Pok Ny As Andy Ricker's Thai spot continues to gain momentum, so does its drinks menu. Pok Pok Ny serves sodas doused with house-made vinegars: apple, honey, tamarind, and pomegranate. Although you might cringe at the thought of drinking something so sour, when diluted correctly, the vinegars are sweet with a mild, vinegary finish. If buying a bottle to drink at home, mix your beverage as they do at the restaurant: four ounces of soda water to one ounce of vinegar. An ounce of Bourbon wouldn't hurt either. 127 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, 718-923-9322
Brooklyn Farmacy Hipsters aren't the only jerks alive and well at this kitschy Carroll Gardens hangout. Brooklyn Farmacy is a throwback to old-fashioned soda fountains and features a regularly rotating menu of sodas, as well as these always-listed options: coffee, lemon, lime, cola, ginger, cream, and hibiscus. Crafted from a house-made simple syrup, the offerings are as straightforward as they sound (i.e. that coffee soda is made from freshly brewed beans, that syrup we mentioned and a shot of soda water -- and nothing else ). We love the Cherry Lime Rickey: Cherry juice serves as the drink's sweet base, topped off with a squeeze of lime and a shot of bubbly seltzer. It's what might happen if a Shirley Temple and a Lime Fizz got married. 513 Henry Street, Brooklyn, 718-522-6260
Bubby's Tribeca Imagine Grandma's kitchen got hit by a wave of post-spin-class locals and a dozen strollers, and you'll be left with a pretty on-point vision of Bubby's Tribeca. The almost 24-hour spot (it closes on Mondays at midnight) reads like a New Yorker's version of farm living with beaten-up wooden benches, a few carefully arranged sprigs of hay, an outdoor molded cow and enough exposed brick to remind you that you're definitely not in Kansas. But while the atmosphere can be overly sweet, the homemade sodas are not. The best on the list is the ginger beer, a sharp, spicy mix of ginger, simple syrup, and soda water. Enjoy it with a Sicilian lamb-meatball sub, just like grandma's. 120 Hudson Street, 212-219-0666
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