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An egg cream is a beverage consisting of milk, carbonated water, and flavored syrup (typically chocolate or vanilla). The drink contains neither eggs nor cream.

Egg cream
Egg cream.JPG
Type Fountain beverage
Country of origin United States
Ingredients flavored syrup, milk, soda water

The egg cream is almost exclusively a fountain drink. Although there have been several attempts to bottle it, none has been wholly successful, as its fresh taste and characteristic head require mixing of the ingredients just before drinking.


Origin theories and speculationsEdit

The ingredients of an egg cream: chocolate syrup, seltzer, and whole milk

Most writing on the egg cream assumes that it originated in New York City and most often that it originated among Eastern European Jewish immigrants. This has led to a variety of claims meant to explain the widely noted paradox that the New York City egg cream is made with neither eggs nor cream.

Stanley Auster, the grandson of the beverage's alleged inventor, has been quoted as saying that the origins of the name are lost in time.[1] One commonly accepted origin is that "Egg" is a corruption of the German (also found in Yiddish) word echt ("genuine" or "real") and this was a "good cream".

Food historian Andrew Smith writes: "During the 1880s, a popular specialty was made with chocolate syrup, cream, and raw eggs mixed into soda water, In poorer neighborhoods, a less expensive version of this treat was created, called the Egg Cream (made without the eggs or cream)."[2]

Darcy S. O'Neil, author of the book Fix the Pumps,[3] a historical look at soda fountains, claims that the "New York Egg Cream" is a variation of the original milkshake served at soda fountains throughout America in the late 19th century.[4]

Around 1885 the milkshake became a popular item at soda fountains. Unlike today's thick, ice cream-like consistency, the original milkshakes were made with sweet cream (sometimes frozen as "ice cream"), a whole egg, flavored syrup, and soda water. The egg, cream, and syrup were shaken in a cocktail shaker until light and frothy, then poured into a glass where the soda water was added.

Another explanation comes from reports that it grew out of a request for "chocolat et crème" from someone, possibly the actor Boris Thomashefsky[5] who had experienced a similar drink in Paris, which name morphed phonetically into the current version.

Similar beveragesEdit

Other sweet soda- and milk-based beverages include the Vietnamese soda sữa hột gà, a beverage prepared with sweetened condensed milk, egg yolk, and soda water.

In Indonesia, a Soda Gembira (literally, "happy soda") consists of soda water, sweetened condensed milk, and grenadine. It can use cola instead of soda water as a Mega Mendung ("Rain Clouds").

Milkis, a beverage made by the Korean Company, Lotte Chilsung, is also a sweet-soda-milk drink. It is a citrusy soda base mixed with a little milk. Milkis comes in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, orange, and muskmelon.

A Smith and Curran (or Smith and Kearns) is an alcoholic beverage, developed in North Dakota during the mid-20th-century oil boom, made of coffee liqueur, cream, and soda water. Other alcoholic cocktail variants that make use of eggs include the sour, the fizz and the flip. Rompope is a similar type of beverage from Mexico.

World's largestEdit

In June 1980, Stuart Grunther and Ron Roth owned a siphon seltzer distributing company in New York called Seltzer Unlimited. They were responsible for creating the world's largest chocolate egg cream in Central Park. It was 110 gallons and the contents were given away. Major media coverage included the AP wire services. The event was sponsored by Fox's U-Bet syrup and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[6][7][8]


To celebrate the egg cream and the many handmade drinks of the soda fountain, a group of independent soda fountain operators have declared March 15 as National Egg Cream Day.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ John F. Mariani (1999), Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, Lebhar-Friedman:New York 
  2. ^ p. 111 Smith, Andrew F. "New York City: A Food Biopgraphy, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014
  3. ^ Fix the Pumps
  4. ^ New York Egg Creams - An evolution of the original milkshake.
  5. ^ p. 203 Gould, Jillian Candy Stores and Egg Creams in Jews of Brooklyn UPNE, 2002
  6. ^ New York Post, June 6, 1980, page 35
  7. ^ Village Voice Centerfold, Week of June 4–10, 1980
  8. ^ The SoHo News, June 11, 1980, page 5
  9. ^

External linksEdit