This is one of those days that got very exciting because I decided to read about food. Food makes the world go round. And if I was a hippie, I’d say food can bring even the worst enemies together and bring peace to a table. With food, comes drink. More specifically in this case, soda! But not just any soda. A soda that hasn’t touched my lips in two decades. I’m talking about Original New York Seltzer!!
I happened to stumble upon this article on Eater today and I gasped when I saw the picture. We’ve all gotten nostalgic over old food brands and drinks we grew up with that don’t exist anymore. For me, I remembered this soda so vividly. Growing up, my parents were pretty big health nuts, and we didn’t have a lot of money so we didn’t splurge on eating out or frivolous things like soda pop. We ate a lot of roast, chicken breast, and milk. But every once in a while, my mom would bring me home a candy bar (Rocky Road was my favorite!) and sometimes at the store I got to bring home a soda. My favorite was Original New York Seltzer, specifically the Vanilla Cream flavor. Now looking back, I realized this wasn’t even what we consider soda today (I’m thinking Coke, Pepsi), but to me, it was the best soda in the world and I passed up all the colas in the store for this. I loved it. It was so bubbly, and the flavor was so creamy and delicious. The bottle felt so heavy and big in my hands, that I felt special carrying it around.
And now it’s coming back. I’m more excited than I probably should be but I am. Memories start to flood in and I swear I can taste the reminiscent flavors of Vanilla Cream on my tongue.
I don’t remember the commercials but they sound amazing. Here’s an excerpt from Eater about their commercials.
During the 1980s, the company’s original owners became well-known for their colorful, often over-the-top personalities and antics. During public appearances, the duo wore the kind of Miami Vice inspired suits that would make Don Johnson blush, riding into events on roaring motorcycles with their flowing, David Lee Roth-style locks blowing in the breeze.
I’m definitely going to have to get on Youtube and see if I can find these commercials.
In one particularly notorious advertisement, a shredding guitar blares with ear-piercing wails as Randy Miller stands perched on the side of the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, ready to take a flying leap for the sake of seltzer and stunt. A Tiffani Amber Thiessen look-a-like grabs a bottle (hair flip!) and—woosh!—Randy jumps from the building towards the ground below as a Whitesnake-sounding seltzer jingle blares in the background.
Smash cut! The paparazzi are swarming around Randy as he lands.
Smash cut! Randy is pouring seltzer triumphantly over his head.
Smash cut! Randy is walking a tiger on a leash.
Man, that just sounds amazing. The fact that they described their commercials with descriptions like “David Lee Roth-style locks” and “Whitesnake-sounding seltzer jingle”, I’d buy it just because of the commercials. Yeah, I’m like that.
*I’m editing this post just now because I found….the video. This….is…epic….
What’s also amazing about this is that this soda brand was way ahead of its time. Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew, and the like, had taken over in the 90s with their dark brown and anti-freeze green colored sugar drinks, but once people realized what they were doing to their bodies after 20 years of consumption, they became conscious about what they were consuming and started thinking about alternatives. What big soda brands are doing now (taking out preservatives and artificial flavors), these guys did all of that 20 years ago. The Original New York Soda brand were hipsters before the term was invented.
This is great timing for the brand to come back, with people becoming more health conscious and watching the ingredients they eat. What’s hopeful about this if they market it well, is that people will latch onto its healthy aspect and get the brand revved up again.
I know that when I see it in stores, I’ll be buying it up.
What food brands do you remember from childhood? Any you’d want to bring back?