Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, the small-scale soda manufacturer upgrading its Williamsburg operation, is not the first soft-drink-maker to set up shop in the borough.
Manhattan Special has been making its famous coffee-soda drink on Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint since 1895, when an entrepreneur had the cool idea of developing a cold beverage for espresso-addicted Italians to drink on hot days.
“Italians love their espresso,” said Aurora Passaro, co-owner of the company founded by her ancestor Michael Garuco. “We gave them a new way to drink it.”
Manhattan Specials’ coffee-drink flavors are cappuccino, French hazelnut, and mocha. The sodas also come in cherry, orange, sarsaparilla, vanilla cream, and Italian gassosa (lemon-lime) varieties.
Across town in Cobble Hill, a new business is serving up carbonated beverages the old-fashioned way — at a soda fountain.
Brooklyn Farmacy only opened in 2010, but it harkens back to the days when soda was a drink young Brooklynites nursed at a bar while gabbing with friends and poring over the latest comics.
“We’re celebrating the origin of sodas in soda fountains and pharmacies as a concept that was big in a really great time in America,” said co-owner Peter Freeman.
Only in this day and age, homemade syrups and seltzers like the Farmacy’s are not the norm and the place wears its old-timey vibe as a badge of honor. Server Justin Rubin whips up egg creams wearing newsboy outfits and the Farmacy hosts folk music performances and throwback events such as silent-movie nights and live disc-jockeying — on a phonograph.
©2014 Community News Group
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