Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Let Us Drink To My Childhood With New York Seltzer

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with New York Seltzer.  My two flavours of choice were Root Beer and Black Cherry.  I couldn't get enough of this clear pop.  I got hooked on the stuff from my sister.  She was three years older than me, and I think she was in 7th and 8th grade while I was still in 4th or 5th.  She discovered this stuff with her cool friends, so I figured I wanted to drink what the big kids were drinking. I can tell you that the marketing certainly didn't attract a kid of my age.  At that age all of my sweet stuff had to bold, bright and outrageous.  New York Seltzer was classy, subdued, and clear. The thing is, once I took a sip of this crazy drink I was hooked.  Sure the appeal of being like the big kids got me interested, but something else got me hooked.

I think the first thing that fascinated me about New York Seltzer was the fact that it was clear.  In my childhood mind I couldn't figure out how something that was clear could have flavour, except maybe 7up. New York Seltzer didn't just come in lemon\lime, it came in all kinds of flavours, and none of them should have been clear.  It boggled my mind enough that it made want more.  This is also likely why the root beer flavour was one of my favourites since root beer should never be clear.

The thing about all good things is that they must come to an end.  I'm not sure when New York Seltzer disappeared, but as a teenager it certainly wasn't a thing. As many things do, New York Seltzer became a memory for me, and something I never thought I would get to drink again. The thing is, while I still remember my fascination about the fact it was clear, I can't really remember why I liked drinking this stuff. Was it a unique flavour, was it sweet or not, how did it feel going down?  I just couldn't remember anything specific about this drink that I was totally obsessed with.

Then a few months back I was wondering through a 7-11 in Toronto (as one might do), and I came across something I never thought I would see again, a selection of New York Seltzers.  I was face to face with a part of my childhood that I never thought I would see again. You might say it was like seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World again, but imagine you not only saw Mickey, you saw him again as a child.  It had been so long since I tasted New York Seltzer that I couldn't remember why I liked it so much, all I remembered was happiness.

The two problems I had facing this selection of sodas were as follows. First of all they were expensive, and while I was keen on remembering my childhood, I was also feeling pretty bad for paying more than 3 bucks for a tiny bottle of soda. The second problem came about with picking a flavour. I only wanted to buy one bottle since it was so expensive, but I wanted to make sure that I got a flavour I would enjoy and would bring me back some of my youth.  I was obviously torn between root beer and black cherry.  I remembered black cherry being my sister's favourite, and so I figured it was likely the flavour that I first tried, and the flavour that hooked me in the first place.  So black cherry it was.

It's taken me more than a month to get the courage to open this bottle up.  I've been thinking about it a lot, but unable to find the right time to drink it.  Should I wait for a special occasion, or wait till I was alone. I wanted to remember this, and have the ability to think about it as well.  I wanted to remember why it made me so very happy.  After a great deal of debate in my head, I decided that this week's taco night was the perfect time.  It wasn't a very special night, but it is one of our favourite meals that we have.

I opened the bottle, took a couple of pictures (for this blog) and took my first sip.  It was very interesting.  I began to remember this drink all over again, and I think I found out why I loved it so much. Granted the fact that it was very flavourful and clear did interest me, Pepsi Clear pretty much made this not as interesting as it used to be.  There were two things that really appealed to me about this drink.

First of all the flavour, it's not too sweet at all.  In a world where sweet and drinks are often tied together, it's nice to have a drink that isn't super sweet at all.  It was a deep cherry flavour, and that flavour was allowed to shine without being covered in sugar. But the thing that hit me off guard was the bubbles, the tiny, tiny bubbles. I've never had a carbonated drink with bubbles like this. The only way I could describe them is to say they're little. They tickle the throat like no other bubbles, and they left me wanting more.

Unfortunately for me, I don't have a 7-11 near my house right now, and it looks like I won't be near a Canadian 7-11 for a few years now.  I fear that I may never have an opportunity to try it again. I'm not sad at all though, because I can look back at this blog and remember, I can remember how it felt to drink it, and I can remember a slice of my childhood once again.


1 comment:

Lia Pierce said...

When you told me you found it in 7-11, it took be 3 months finding it here in Windsor, Ontario. This article is exsctly how I felt seeing the bottles in the store and finally being able to taste the wonderful flavour of the soda in my mouth again.