Now that everyone and their mother has a Sodastream, the creation of carbonated beverages seems a lot less mysterious. But soft drinks in America have a fascinating and surprisingly sordid history. You have likely heard about Coke’s original, scandalous ingredient, but perhaps not how it made use of the African kola nut. The Masters of Social Gastronomy, AKA historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman and scientist Jonathan Soma, are here to enlighten you with Caffeine, Cocaine, and the Sodas of a Nation, a soft drink-centric installment of their lecture series. They take a look at Coca-Cola’s strange evolution, the popularization of root beer (or is it sarsaparilla?), and NYC’s signature soda, Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray. The talk is free for those 21 and over—maybe the Masters can suggest a good mixer.
Tue., Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m., 2014