Tuesday, October 11, 2011
TAK-A-BOOST ! Cola Style Soft Drink Syrup
TAK-A-BOOST also known as BOOST ! aka Drink-A-Toast Cola Type Drink Syrup
Click above link to check out the Take a Boost company web site. What is Tak-A-Boost?
My dad grew up in Riverside New Jersey in the thirties and forties. He grew up drinking a home mixed soft drink called Take A Boost or Boost for Short. A brown syrup slightly reminiscent of cola but different, unique. You bought the syrup and mixed it with water to have an economical (if bubbleless) soft drink. It's also prepared and served economically at Deli's, restaurants, etc. in Southern New Jersey. It's sold in grocery stores and other outlets in Burlington County mostly, the headquarters is in Riverside NJ.
Some people did and do use tonic water or seltzer or club soda etc. to make a fizzy version, but most people drink it flat, or in a "slushy" form. If you mix it according to the stated formula, I think it's a little strong. Some people mix it weaker, some stronger, it's up to you. When my mother met my father during his basic training in Missouri during WWII, and went with him to Riverside and they married and she stayed there while he went to fight Germany and Japan, she drank Tak-A-Boost. So when I was an adult, and she and I drove there from Missouri, she had me buy a couple gallons of Boost syrup to take back home. I didn't like it at first, but developed a taste for it, and we almost drank it all. The company says not to use the syrup after 3 to 4 months, so I guess I can't use that last little bit I have that's twelve years old. Better head back to NJ.
If you've never tried a drug store invented soft drink invented in the past that you mix yourself, you should give Boost a whirl! I understand some people have been successful in having it shipped. It was invented at the turn of the century as a cough syrup and wart remover, and originally had cocaine in it. During prohibition they made them remove that. The druggist inventor tried diluting it and selling it as a drink in his drug store. You can read about the history on the net. Other local specialties in Riverside are Charle's Chips, Tastycakes, Scrapple and Cheesesteaks.