Some people say that Kenny Gomberg was born with seltzer running through his veins. We’re not sure if that’s true (or even possible) but we do know that Gomberg, heir to his family’s Canarsie-based seltzer dynasty, is one of the last remaining seltzer bottlers in town.
The dwindling presence of the seltzer trade — once a touchstone Brooklyn industry employing hundreds — doesn’t discourage Gomberg. “We are Brooklyn history,” he said. “As long as there are still people [buying and] selling seltzer, we’re still here.” This, despite the fact that you can score a bottle of Vintage for less than a buck, compared to $25 or so for a 10-pack of Gomberg’s bubbly.
Gomberg applies a time-honored process to the science of bottling. Using hand-blown bottles from Eastern Europe, he personally checks that the pressure is properly calibrated for each bottle, making for greater carbonation. It’s this pressure that distinguishes Gomberg’s products from the mass-produced plastic seltzer bottles found in chain grocery stores.
The same grocery stores, he told GO Brooklyn, that are taking a chunk of his business.
“It’s not the way it was,” he said. “[People] stopped staying at home to accept delivery, we lost a lot of customers.”
As for the egg creams in which his seltzer plays such a crucial role, Gomberg advises home mixers to keep recipes spontaneous.
“It’s all a matter of taste; make it to your own,” he recommended. His own personal recipe? “Just wing it.”
©2007 Community News Group