The American soda fountain met its heyday in the 1940s, with customers clamoring for fizzy drinks mixed with ice cream or sweet syrups. Today, Anton Nocito of P&H Soda Co. is reviving the retro craft with an artisanal take. In the back of a food shop in the eastern district of Greenpoint, Nocito is melting, measuring, scraping, juicing, and stirring inventive syrups for use in sodas or cocktails, at home or in bars, all by hand. All by him.
The inventive flavors and use of all-natural ingredients shows off Nocito’s culinary skills. He began his career as a butcher in the Navy, passed over for the job of a mechanic. But the position was a perfect match. Now after a long working life in the food industry, and with halcyon memories of the soda shops he used to visit as a kid, he’s reinventing the wheel of soft drinks and syrup mixers.
Check out Nocito at work, and hear more of his story in the video below. And don’t miss the cocktail recipe from Bobo using Nocito’s Sarsaparilla syrup.
Sarsaparilla Soda Cocktail
by Michael Cecchi-Azzolina at Bobo Restaurant
1.5 oz Old Overholt
0.75 oz Sarsaparilla syrup
0.5 oz Lemon
Stir together Old Overholt, syrup and lemon over ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass. Top with soda and serve.
Produced and Edited by Erik Spink & Amitabh Joshi.
Special thanks to Michael Cecchi-Azzolina and Bobo Restaurant.