- Canned by Canada Dry Bottling Co. of New York, College Point, N.Y.
- Since 1869
- Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, extract of
celery seed with other natural flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative)
and caramel color
- Can you believe this? Celery soda? I had never
seen anything like this. I haven't seen anything like it since either.
I picked this up in Manhattan, at some small deli/grocer. Not surprising,
eh? Well, it's just what it says, celery soda. Not terribly carbonated,
which is a good thing as I wouldn't want celery coming back up. It tastes
like ginger ale mixed with celery. It even looks like ginger ale. I
tried to give some to my wife and she was about to take a drink, but
then she smelled it. After that there was no way she was going to try
it. Great, more for me. At first I thought this stuff was just funky.
I like celery and the celery seed definitely gives it a celery taste.
However, I prefer my celery seed in something like hot
german potato salad, not a cool refreshing drink. After most of
the can, I can say conclusively that I don't like this and I'm not going
to drink it again. It also has a funny aftertaste...kind of leaves a
little burn in my mouth. So try it at least once - buy a can to share
among 3 or 4 friends so you can say you drank celery soda then don't
buy it again.
- Steve K writes in to add:
- Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray isn't your thing, but it has a following. It's
the One True Beverage to have with that pastrami or corned beef sandwich
on rye with mustard, for instance. The only other permissible soda in
such situations is Dr. Brown's Black Cherry. They have a decent cream
soda and forgettable root beer and orange soda, too. Find a good Jewish
deli anywhere in the US, and you'll find Cel-Ray, sometimes referred
to generically by old-timers as "celery tonic".
When I spent some time living in Ukraine about ten years ago, I finally
understood how Cel-Ray came to be. The western portions of the former
Soviet Union (Russia, Ukraine and the Baltics in particular) abound
in vegetable-y-tasting carbonated beverages, with kvass as the linchpin,
a brewed drink made from fermented rye bread and honey that tastes like
a cross between that sweet, dark non-alcoholic malt beverage you find
in the Latin-American food aisle of your supermarket, beer, and Cel-Ray.
Also, some of the local sodas there have vegetable-y or floral flavors,
so I imagine Cel-Ray is some sort of American version of some kind of
celery drink from the Old Country.
You can find a wide variety of kvasses (kvasses?) in any Russian-immigrant
grocery store. Most, unfortunately, are made from a syrup base these
days instead of being brewed, but you can still find a couple of real
brewed ones here and there.