When Vito Gerasole bought Natrona Bottling Company in 2010, he also bought over 100 years of American soda making. NBC opened under the name Natrona Bottling Works in 1904, just outside of Pittsburgh. The first soda they made, Red Ribbon Cherry Supreme, would be one of many Red Ribbon flavors, which have now expanded to include chocolate, orange, grape (the PA Punch), bitter lemon, almond and more.
Vito, the self-proclaimed “Sultan of Soda”, was determined to bring Natrona Bottling Company back to its early days of success using the same machinery and soda-making methods the company has used since the 1940s. Red Ribbon Soda’s calling card is its pinpoint carbonation process, which uses dry ice to carbonate the soda instead of forced CO2. This method creates the smaller, smoother, more intense bubbles that make Red Ribbon sodas so unique. The company uses only 100% pure cane sugar to sweeten their products. The sodas are generally less sweet than other craft sodas on the market, making for a drier finish.
“We’re making true, old school American soda pop,” says Vito. “We value quality over quantity and flavor combinations that really sing.”
A large part of NBC’s revival has been its appeal as a small-batch product to bars, small markets and cafes. The company built out a line of bar products such as seltzer, tonic, as well as it’s signature Jamaica's Finest ginger beer and mint ginger ale.
At Adda Coffee and Tea House, we use Red Ribbon seltzer, tonic and mint ginger ale to heighten our beverage services. “We serve espresso with a tiny glass of seltzer because we’re fancy,” says general manager Eryn, with a smile. The seltzer helps to cleanse the palate between each sip of espresso, helping you taste the coffee’s full expression. Tonic and mint ginger ale top some of our lighter, summer drinks to give them an extra lift.
If you want to stock your own kitchen, order a few from us!