The Boys Who Won’t Let Seltzer’s Local History Dissolve

The Brooklyn Seltzer Boys deliver the beverage as a specialty drink for restaurants, bars and events throughout New York.

When Alex Gomberg joined the family business, he committed to making sure the fourth generation of Gomberg Seltzer Works would not be its last. The Brooklyn-based seltzer manufacturer had suffered the loss of a lifestyle, as seltzer delivery (and in many homes, seltzer itself) faded into history books. Although their factory in Canarsie still supports a handful of octogenarian “seltzer men” and their delivery routes, Gomberg is establishing a new business model for a product so old-fashioned that the bottles used to contain it are up to a century old.

Re-branding his operation as the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Gomberg now delivers seltzer as a specialty drink for restaurants, bars and events throughout New York. One of his leading tactics for getting people excited is to serve them a perfect egg cream. That classic Brooklyn drink — made from milk, Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup and the best seltzer you can find — has won Gomberg awards. Yet, the real prize he’s looking for is the moment that customers realize that they’re tasting a piece of Brooklyn history.

Read our 2006 story on the Brooklyn Seltzer Boys — complete with their egg cream recipe — here. Love 1 Minute Meals? Watch more here.

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James Boo is a multimedia journalist based in Brooklyn. As Editor-in-Chief of Real Cheap Eats, an independent filmmaker, and a freelance food writer, James has devoted his storytelling career to the intersection of food and culture. You can see more episodes of this web series at oneminutemealfilms.com.