Manhattan Special

Manhattan Special

Manhattan Special

Most of you probably never heard of it but Manhattan Special is a espresso flavored soda. It’s not sold all over and is typically only available in Italian delis and grocery stores although lately it’s been turning up in some high end food stores. They’ve been in business for a long time (1896) and I remember drinking it when I was a kid in Manhattan’s Little Italy. It tastes like the best iced coffee you’ve ever had – only made from espresso and with a fizz. When we were kids we’d sometimes have it with a splash of milk, the way you would drink iced coffee.

Manhattan Special

A while back I found a vintage Manhattan Special bottle, empty of course. It didn’t hold much, just 6 ounces and it has their old Brooklyn telephone number on it with an “Evergreen” exchange. What I liked most about the old bottles is that instead of paper, the label is painted on. Spaces are left blank so that the man and woman are outlined in black (the color of the soda) and when the bottle was empty those spaces became transparent.
Manhattan Special
The new paper label and the old painted one.

 

Manhattan Special Homepage and Facebook Page

From the New York Times

 


2 thoughts on “Manhattan Special”

    1. A good question and I’m sorry that I don’t have the answer. The older painted label shows a woman serving a man a Manhattan Special. The new paper label has a Jazz-Age looking couple that seem to be ready to kiss. Their must be a good story behind all that. Please let me know if you ever find out.

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