Old Fashioned Soda Fountain Treats

Close your eyes and come with me, a trip down memory lane to the place where red and white checked dreams come true. Many of us from the older generation can remember going to the local soda fountain for a burger and a shake or to have an egg cream or homemade French fries. Many were decorated with black and white floors and big old juke boxes where you could dance. For you youngsters, think "Happy Days". Many of the great recipes for our best frozen confections have been lost to us and, since I just love ice cream, it lead me to research many of the old fashioned treats of the past on the internet and in my travels.


Just about every summer, we go to Oklahoma City to visit with my son and we travel on Old Route 66. When we get hungry, we stop for food at the revived Mom and Pop diners. I don't hesitate to ask for an ice cream confection recipe if they have something I have never seen before. With the advent of frozen yogurt, many of these can be made better for you by using it. Being a purist, I love using old fashioned ice cream.

To complete your trip here are some terms you have not heard in ages, the language of your favorite soda jerk. Yes, they had their own language, calling out our orders as they made them. It was part of the fun, part of the atmosphere.

  • Baby: glass of milk
  • Bottom: ice cream in a drink
  • Bucket of . . .: several ingredients combined
  • Chicago: pineapple juice or soda
  • Ad
  • Cow Juice: milk
  • Crash: cookie crumbs
  • Crowd Three: (two's company, three's a crowd)
  • Draw One: coffee
  • Draw One From The South: strong coffee
  • Forty-One Lemons: lemonade
  • Freeze: ice cream
  • Fuzzy: peaches
  • Gravel: nuts
  • Hot Cha: hot chocolate
  • In The Hay: strawberry milk shake
  • Java: coffee
  • Mash One Strained: (mashed) banana
  • Mud: chocolate ice cream
  • Natural: 7-Up
  • One On The Country: yogurt or buttermilk
  • Patch: strawberries
  • Sand: sugar
  • Shake One: milk shake
  • Spit In It: raspberries or blueberries
  • Spit On It: raspberries on top
  • Squeeze One: orange juice
  • Through Georgia: chocolate syrup added
  • Van: vanilla ice cream
  • White Cow: vanilla milk shake

Brings back great memories, doesn't it? In most soda fountains, ice cream was divided into 4 categories, sodas and floats, sundaes, shakes and malts and the ever popular banana split. Here are some recipes you can make at home to bring those memories back and to relive with your kids.



For frosted glasses, rinse in HOT water and place in freezer for 1/2 an hour.

Despite the name, egg cremes are not made with either egg or cream. Some of the recipes do call for raw egg, which we now know can be dangerous. If you clean the eggs with bleach, you can minimize your risk. Make these at your own risk.

  • Cherry Coke: Into a glass filled with ice, pour 3/4 oz. of cherry syrup. Fill the glass with Coca Cola. It will take you right back to your childhood!
  • Bronx Egg Creme: 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, 5 ounces milk, 3 ounces seltzer water. Mix the chocolate syrup and milk together. While stirring, add the seltzer and continue stirring.
  • Black And White: chocolate syrup, seltzer, vanilla ice cream.
  • Bodacious Black and White: chocolate syrup, seltzer, French vanilla ice cream
  • Canary Island Special: vanilla syrup, seltzer, chocolate ice cream
  • Black Cow: root beer afloat with vanilla ice cream, holding the whipped cream
  • Brown Cow: Coca-Cola, 1 tablespoons chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate Soda: 3 Tbsp. chocolate syrup, 1 Tbsp. milk, 1 scoop ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, or other) soda water (carbonated water - not club soda) - Put the syrup and the milk into the glass. Stir well. Add the ice cream. Fill the glass with soda water. Stir again.
  • Strawberry Soda (In The Hay): 1/4 cup strawberry syrup, a splash of milk, seltzer, and vanilla or strawberry ice cream
  • Hoboken: 1/2 cup pineapple syrup, a splash of milk, seltzer, and chocolate ice cream
  • Boston Cooler: dry ginger ale with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, holding the whipped cream
  • Catawba Flip: 1 scoop vanilla ice cream, 1 large egg, 2 oz. grape juice shaved ice, seltzer - Put all the ingredients in a blender, except the seltzer, and blend until smooth. Pour into the glass and fill with seltzer water.
  • Caramel Egg Cream: Into an iced filled glass, pour 1 1/2 oz. caramel syrup. Add 4 oz. a"cold" milk and stir. Add ice. Fill with seltzer (seltzer has no sodium), leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top of the glass. Top with 1/2 oz. vanilla syrup. Stir again.
  • The Apple Blossom: 1 1/2 oz. apple syrup; 1 tablespoon whipped cream or ice cream or 1 1/2 oz. coffee cream and 2 dippers of vanilla ice cream are added to a soda glass. Add carbonated water 3/4 full. Garnish with a spoon of whipped cream and a slice of fresh apple.
  • The California: 3/4 oz Pineapple syrup; 3/4 oz orange syrup; 1 tablespoon ice cream or whipped cream and 1 dipper each of orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream are placed in a soda glass. Add carbonated water 3/4ths full and garnish with whipped cream and a half slice of fresh orange.
  • Black Raspberry Passion: 3/4 cup sparkling water, 1/2 cup raspberry juice, 2 tablespoons almond flavored syrup, 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, 1 cup raspberry sorbet - In blender container, combine all ingredients; blend at high speed until smooth. Serve immediately.

Next week: Shakes and Malts. Future weeks will cover sundaes and homemade toppings.

Editor's Note: What is your favorite soda fountain memory?

Here are the other parts of this series

About The Author: Debra Frick is a mother of 5 and a grandmother to 7 grandsons. She is a published author and poetress. Born in California, she now lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and many pets. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading, arts and crafts and bargain hunting.

July 5, 20070 found this helpful

Debra, this is a charming article, with lots to enjoy and remember. While I may never take the time to actually whip up any of the recipes, I truly loved reading them.

My favorite soda fountain memory is the time my friend Sandy and I -- in our preteen years -- went to the local soda fountain in the drugstore. We thought we were big stuff, and decided it would be very funny to leave without paying! So after we drank our cherry Cokes, we got up and left, giggling the whole way like a couple of two-year-olds. We no more than walked out the door till we decided we'd better go back in and pay!

No one said a word. People were more polite back then. Nowadays, a childish trick like this would land a girl in the juvenile detention center!

Thank you for the nostalgic article.


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July 6, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you for writing this article. I own an old fashioned ice cream shoppe in Panguitch, Utah where I serve old fashioned burgers, fries, shakes, malts, ice cream cones, sundaes, and sodas. I have tried to recreate the old soda shop feel. This article has some great information. Thank you!


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July 9, 20070 found this helpful

I loved cherry phosphates. They cost about 10 cents back then(too long ago to say!!) Black and whites and red and whites were among my favorites too mostly red and whites as I do not like chocolate ice cream!

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July 9, 20070 found this helpful

My fav soda fountain memory was visiting my cousins in NJ and going to a real soda fountain. I was told in advance what to order and to keep quiet lest their 'coolness' rub off.

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July 9, 20070 found this helpful

I loved the article. I am just wondering what you use to make the phosphates. Like Jane, my favorite was a cherry phosphate.... but I also liked chocolate and I'm not even much of a chocolate fan.... The phosphate added the appeal that I really loved!

Editor's Note: I remember these, too. Here's a link with an explanation of phosphates: http://www.jamesbeard.org/old/eatTheseWords/words/phosphate.html

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July 9, 20070 found this helpful

In the 50's and 60's in the New Orleans area, the old K&B Drugstore Fountains used to serve Nectar Creme Sodas. They were just awesome. I can make them now, but there are still not the same. Mix 2 litre's of Red Creme Soda and one can of condensed milk. Soooo Gooood!!


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July 10, 20070 found this helpful

Milk shakes have other names and are made different from other places in the country. For example in my area a milk shake is just that,milk and a syrup. Add ice cream and it was known as frappe.In a neighboring state it was known as a cabinet in other areas I guess they called it a milk shake.. Ice cream and syrup with whipped cream and nuts I believe is universally called a sundae.

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July 12, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for the memories! You might still find some here in our old fashioned Drive Inn restaurant, where you can still park at the curb and someone will come out to take your order and serve it up on a tray that hooks on your window. Or you can get takeout orders or eat in our dining room. We have the BEST malts and shakes around - 40+ flavors made from real hard ice cream!! YUMMY!! We tried one at another drive in about 75 miles from here today - NOT the same!! I've been in business 27 years but now my daughter has taken over management. Visit us at www.larsonsdriveinn.com for a look - or drive on over!

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July 16, 20070 found this helpful

Old fashioned root beer float made with bottled Barq's root beer, which originated here on the Miss. Gulf Coast by the way, not in New Orleans as widely thought.

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January 2, 20150 found this helpful


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