Saturday, March 12, 2011
About a dozen years ago, I was walking home and I saw an old panel truck and an old black delivery man delivering old bottles of seltzer in old wooden cases. When the delivery man had put down his load of bottles I asked him for a business card. I decided I wanted seltzer delivered to my apartment in antique siphon bottles as it has been virtually every Thursday since that day so many years ago.
The seltzer comes in thick glass bottles, most times they are clear, other bottles are tinted blue, more rarely, they are tinted green. The coolest among them have their original provenance etched into their sides. "National Seltzer Bronx NY, 25 cent deposit," "Jacob Cohen 7 Summit Street, Newark New Jersey." And so on.
The siphons are the only thing modern on these bottles. While some of them are the old metal ones, with the lever shaped like the curve of your thumb, more of them are aerodynamic and brightly colored plastic--yellow or orange--with "Made in Argentina" imprinted on their side.
I was thinking the other night about our seltzer delivery, how odd it is to have a "seltzer man" to kibbitz with--to tip at Christmas--and how much better seltzer in these antique bottles is than any other soda pop drink you can buy. The seltzer is actually better than what you get in the supermarket. It's carbonated under higher pressure. It's fizzier.
From an environmental point of view I need to say only this. The bottles and crates my seltzer comes in are probably 100 years old.
Some times, I'll be blunt about this, old is better. Most people don't know this, have never experienced real seltzer in a real, old siphon bottle. It's just better. And no one even knows.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 10:24 AM