Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda

Seeing Dr. Brown’s soda on the shelf is a blast from the past – I remember having Dr. Brown’s soda occasionally when I was a kid (Cream Soda was my main pick), and the packaging alone really stood out. Dr. Brown’s is a long-running NYC soda brand with flavors like Root Beer and Black Cherry associated with the classic NYC Jewish deli (where it was sold exclusively until the 1980s). Though it is now more widely distributed, Dr. Brown’s is still the kind of thing you won’t see in every shop, so I was really surprised when I came across their Cel-Ray flavor in a little shop in town. Cel-Ray soda is their most famous and most unique drink, made from celery seeds. Cel-Ray debuted in 1868 and was marketed at the time as a quasi-medicinal “celery tonic.” Serious Eats has a great history on the soda if you would like to learn more. So onto the soda itself – the drink was fizzy and pale champagne colored, and it tasted nothing like celery, and was more akin to a crisp, light ginger ale. I liked it – and can definitely see how it would pair well with fatty deli sandwiches. Alton Brown even has a recipe to make your own!

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2 Comments

Filed under Reviews

2 responses to “Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda

  1. Never heard of the stuff, I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

  2. Wow! Cel-Ray is from way way back! I used to get it when I was a kid from Block’s Bagels in Bexely, OH since the other Dr. Brown flavors tasted too sweet.

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