These old fashioned baking soda drink recipes were used to make refreshing sodas in 19th-century homes and by village pharmacies when they could not afford the luxury of a marble soda fountain to manufacture soda water.
Baking soda beverages known as Effervescent Sodas and Fizzes were popular thirst quenchers, and they were promoted as "medicinal sodas" for young and old alike. It's really a thrill to taste the actual sodas that were once sold by village pharmacies in the early 1800s.
You are about to try some of the earliest soda fountain recipes ever published. These fizzy beverages are very easy to make, and although they do seem unusual, you'll be surprised at how refreshing they actually taste. Prepare to be surprised.
The typical baking soda drink recipe calls for an acid base (lemon juice or orange juice) and bicarbonate of soda (common household baking soda) to create bubbles of carbon dioxide gas that give an instant effervescence or fizz to the beverage.
When a customer ordered an Effervescent Soda, the old time druggist would add several tablespoonfuls of "effervescent soda syrup" to a glass of ice-cold water — effervescent soda syrups are acidic and tend to be more watery than the regular soda syrups.
He would then stir in a very tiny amount of baking soda, just enough to make the beverage foam. A fizzy Effervescent Soda doesn't stay bubbly in the glass for very long, so you must drink it immediately, within seconds after mixing.
Effervescent Sodas are surprisingly delicious and as there's no fermentation, there's no taste of yeast nor is there any possibility of alcoholic content.
While the thought of putting household baking soda in a beverage might seem a bit odd or downright weird, I believe you will be pleasantly surprised with the taste results.
Enjoy experimenting with these old fashioned baking soda drink recipes. Maybe you'll acquire a taste for them as I have. It's a unique taste, and one that's very refreshing.
© 2004 by Don Bell
Here's my interpretation of an old fashioned Effervescent Soda. Try it, as it's really quite refreshing, and its texture is velvety smooth.
For a single serving, I sometimes mix 1 to 3 teaspoonfuls of sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful of white flour, and 1/4 teaspoonful of baking soda in a glass of ice-cold water until it's completely dissolved. (If you're wondering, the flour holds the bubbles longer.)
Then, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls of lemon, lime, or orange juice, and drink it immediately while it's still frothing. Adjust the quantity of sugar and juice to your own taste.
Aunt Babette's Cook Book (1889)
Take three pounds of granulated sugar and one and one-half ounces of tartaric acid, both dissolved in one quart of hot water. When cold add the well-beaten whites of three eggs, stirring well. Bottle for use.
Put two large spoonfuls of this syrup in a glass of ice water, and stir in it one fourth of a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda). Any flavor can be put in this syrup. An excellent summer drink.
The White House Cook Book (1913)
Imagine. This sparkling effervescent soda beverage was once made in large quantity and enjoyed by the President and First Family of the United States, and served to White House guests.
Coffee sugar, four pounds; three pints of water; three nutmegs, grated; the whites of ten eggs, well beaten; gum Arabic, one ounce; twenty drops of oil of lemon, or extract equal to that amount.
By using oils of other fruits, you can make as many flavors from this as you desire.
Mix all and place over a gentle fire, and stir well about thirty minutes; remove from the fire and strain, and divide into two parts; into one half put eight ounces of bicarbonate of soda, into the other half put six ounces of tartaric acid.
Shake each half well, and when cold they are ready for use by pouring three or four spoonfuls from both parts into separate glasses, each one-third full of cold water.
Stir each and pour together and you have a nice glass of effervescent cream soda, which you can drink at your leisure, as the gum and eggs hold the gas.
Lee's Priceless Recipes (1895)
Two ounces tartaric acid, 2 ounces cream of tartar, 2-1/2 pounds white sugar, 1 quart water, whites of 4 eggs well beaten, 2 tablespoonfuls fine wheat flour.
Put all in a tin dish and heat, but not to boiling point; add 2 drops fine oil of lemon or other flavoring if preferred, and that will complete the syrup.
When ready to use, pour 3 tablespoonfuls of the syrup into a tumbler 2/3 full of water, add as much baking soda as can be held on a dime and drink immediately after stirring. A cool, refreshing summer drink.
Dr. Chase's Third, Last and Complete Receipt Book (1891)
Sugar, 2-1/4 pounds; citric acid, 2 ounces; juice of 1 lemon; water, 3 pints.
Directions: Dissolve by heat, and boil 5 minutes; when cold add the beaten whites of 3 eggs, beaten into a small cup of flour; and then stir in the extract of lemon, or the extract of ANY other flavor you desire; bottle and keep cool.
Put 2 tablespoonfuls more or less as you prefer into a tumbler, of cold water, and stir in 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoonful of baking soda, and drink at your leisure, as the eggs and flavor hold a frothy cream on top.
You've got to try these old fashioned baking soda drink recipes for Fizzes. Fizz Drinks are flavored using soda syrups and the natural juices of lemons, pineapples, oranges, and other citrus fruits, and served while at the peak of effervescing.
Their unique "fizz" effect is gained by injecting or pouring the carbonated soda water in a rapid series of quick dashes (amounts), OR by the addition of a tiny bit of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and shaking in a closed container.
Sometimes, not always, the old time pharmacist added an egg to the standard Fizz drink formula to lend richness to the beverage and to hold the sparkling effervescence longer.
There's no doubt about it, Fizzes are unique AND refreshingly delicious!
The Dispenser's Formulary or Soda Water Guide (1915)
A Fizz is refreshing and so good tasting you'll want to down it in seconds. And for non-alcoholic drink recipes, you can't beat these. Why not set up an old time soda fountain for your next party? Fizzes would be a conversational hit with all ages.
1-1/2 ounces cherry syrup, juice of 1/2 lemon (1/2 ounce). Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon in cherry syrup in mixing glass half-full of carbonated water.
Strain into 12-ounce glass, add a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) from end of spoon and fill glass with carbonated water. Price—10 ounces, 10 cents.
1-1/2 ounces cherry syrup, 1/2 ounce lemon juice. Pour into a mixing glass half-full of cracked ice, stir well, strain into a fancy glass that has previously been filled about one-third full of fine ice, add a little sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the end of a spoon, stir well, add a slice of lemon and orange, or a cherry, and a slice of orange. Price—10 ounces, 10 cents.
Into a 12-ounce glass put: 2 ounces strawberry syrup, 1 ounce orange syrup, juice of half a lemon, 1/4 glassful shaved ice. Shake, strain, and fill with carbonated water. Price 10 cents for 10 ounces. —Martin S. Meyer
1/8 ounce lemon juice, 1 ounce pineapple syrup, 1 dash (several drops) Angostura® aromatic bitters, enough shaved ice.
Place in glass, fill with carbonated water, top off with a slice of orange and cherries, and serve with spoon and straws. Price—10 ounces, 10 cents.
Sometimes the old time pharmacist added an egg to the standard Fizz drink mixture to lend richness to the beverage and to hold the effervescence longer.
If the white of an egg is added and the beverage is shaken, it becomes a Silver Fizz. If an egg yolk is used and the drink is shaken, it becomes a Golden Fizz. Enjoy an old time Fizz today!
For this Silver Fizz, fill a glass half-full of shaved ice, add white of 1 egg, 3 spoonfuls powdered sugar, 3 dashes Angostura® aromatic bitters, 4 dashes lime juice. Shake well, pour into 12-ounce bell-top glass, and fill with soda water in short dashes to make fizz.
Whenever a baking soda drink recipe calls for "soda," simply add a pinch (1/4 teaspoon) of ordinary household baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to taste per serving, and it will turn out just fine.
Pharmacists sometimes added a tiny amount of fine, white flour to their effervescent soda syrup mixture as it helps to retain the bubbles and prolong the carbonation.
Remember, always drink your effervescent soda immediately after mixing while the effervescence is at its peak. Just mix it and drink it. It's that simple!
The effervescent soda syrup recipe quantities can be greatly reduced to make smaller amounts. Don't worry about being too exact when measuring. Mix to your taste.
Bottle any unused effervescent soda syrup immediately for use later, and refrigerate to prevent spoilage, as it will not keep long, just a day or two. The old time pharmacists used to make their soda syrups daily in hot weather to ensure their freshness.
Carbonated Water (soda water) can be found for sale in the soft drink section of most food and convenience stores.
Torani Soda Syrups can be found for sale at Amazon in dozens of flavors ranging from Classic Root Beer to Watermelon.
If you purchase a product through a link on this page, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I recommend only products I have purchased or would purchase myself, products I think you would like. See my FTC compliance policy for more information.
CAUTION: Baking Soda Drinks should be drunk in moderation because of their sodium content.
If you're on a salt-restricted diet or have to monitor your sodium intake, or if you are at all unsure, please do not consume beverages containing bicarbonate of soda without first consulting your physician or other qualified health provider.
Always use "pasteurized egg products" whenever old time baking soda drink recipes call for the use of raw eggs. Read my Eggs and Salmonella article for more information.
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