Original New York Seltzer Naturally Flavored Raspberry Soda

On a table, center stage, are a number of bottles of Original New York Seltzer Raspberry Soda, a tray, and a stack of small disposable cups. 

Kate enters the stage and walks up to the table

Kate: Do any of you remember New York Seltzer? Would any of you who’ve had New York Seltzer before like to have some again?

Kate takes note of those who have raised their hands/indicated yes. She opens and pours samples of the soda into the small cups. She takes the cups to the audience members. She returns to the stage. 

If they haven’t already done so, Kate encourages audience members to take a drink.

Kate: How is it? 

Kate solicits responses from the audience. 

Kate picks up one of the bottles of soda, opens the cap, and takes a drink. 

Kate: It doesn’t taste like I remember. There’s something metallicky about the raspberry flavor. Or powdery? I thought it would be sweeter, because I loved this soda when I was a kid. 

Kate takes another drink of the soda. 

Kate: Definitely an old school interpretation of raspberry. I like the sudden sharpness of the sprizzle. The smallness of the bottle. The styrofoamy label. 

I remember the feeling of excitement at finding it somewhere and being allowed to have it. It was a favorite, rare treat. I remember feeling it was exotic and sophisticated with the Art Deco New Yorkness of the design. I usually had it when we ate at a gyro restaurant in the Virginia town where my grandparents lived. It was always either summer vacation or Christmas. Those conditions probably contributed to the excitement. 

The thing is, I don’t think I have an actual memory of the taste to compare this to.

Kate takes another drink of the soda. 

Kate: It’s unfamiliarity is a total surprise each time I drink it. I keep looking for some hint of recognition, some connection with my pre-teen self that has stayed with me. 

Kate takes another drink of the soda.  

Kate: It’s not here. 

Kate takes another drink of the soda.

Kate: It doesn’t taste like I remember.