Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink

Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink

by Barry Joseph


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Throughout history and across America today, seltzer's fizzy flavor has attracted a loyalty and passion that often defies logic. Seltzer is more popular now than at any time in history, reflecting the cultural desires of those who partake of its bubbles. How did such an ordinary drink become so extraordinary?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874419757
Publisher: Behrman House, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/15/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,203,835
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: Why Write a Book about Seltzer? 1

Part 1 The World According to Seltzer 11

1 The Birth of a Modern Seltzer Man 13

Bottles of Death 13

Seltzer for Sale 18

The Science of Seltzer 21

The Open House 23

The Invention of Seltzer 29

2 The Elysian Fields of Bottlers Literature 37

"No Bottles, No Business" 37

History Written on Bottles 40

The Accidental Collector 42

"By Our Works Ye Shall Judge Us" 49

Temperance Drinks 58

3 Seltzer Works 65

The Pittsburgh Seltzer Works 65

The Seltzer Doctor Is In 71

The Benzini Baptism 77

The Signing 82

4 Becoming a Seltzer Man 85

Man versus Machine 85

The Blizzard of 2010 93

"Bring Me Your Empties" 95

The Seltzer-Man Philosopher 107

Seltzer and Cookies 122

Part 2 Give Me Seltzer (and the People Who Crave It) 125

5 How Seltzer got Healthy 127

The Seltzer Wars: Cage Battles, Part 1 127

Water: An Origin Story 132

Spa Culture 135

A Town Called Seltzer 138

America Gets a Spa 144

Materia Medica 147

The Seltzer Wars: Cage Battles, Part 2 151

6 How Seltzer got Tasty 155

The Rise of Soda Fountains 155

For 2¢ Plain 157

The Egg Cream Mafia 163

U-Bet It's Good 167

Reinventing the Egg Cream 172

7 How Seltzer got Religion 178

Sunday at the Brunch with Seltzer 178

Mineral Water, American-Style 186

Before Perrier 193

8 How Seltzer got Funny 200

The Carbonated Comedy of the Three Stooges 200

No Clowning Around 205

Badchans, High Jinks, and the Spread of Aggressive Love 211

Seltzer versus Salsa 213

Part 3 Seltzertopia 217

9 How Seltzer got its Groove Back 219

The Rise of Original New York Seltzer 219

At the Top 228

The Competition 233

The Fall 240

The Resurgence 243

10 A Passion for Seltzer 254

A Magic Simplicity 254

A True Seltzer Man 259

Seltzer Works: The Next Generation 262

Epilogue: A Community of Seltzer 271

Appendices 278

Discussion Guide 279

Seltzer Drink Recipes 281

Afterword 285

Acknowledgments 287

Bibliography 290

Notes 292

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Seltzertopia: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary Drink 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
JHPalmer More than 1 year ago
Barry Joseph's in-depth research and extensive interviews lend an air of authority to this book, while his writing style and sense of humor makes it an enjoyable and compelling read. It put me in the mind of some of Mark Kurlansky's writing (author of Salt: A World History) and of Rich Cohen's writing (author of The Fish That Ate the Whale, and Sweet and Low). At moments Joseph's narrative style transported me from my surroundings, always a sign of a good read, and more than anything made me want to find a deli that serves a real egg cream!