You’re sitting there, thirsty…cottonmouth. You’re probably hung-over. Yeah, you’re hung-over. And you have a rash creeping down on your…well that’s another story. I would go for a Boost! with no ice. Some might go for a Boost! Slushie. Others like a half and half. And still many more people are like, “What the heck is Boost!?” My cousin from Long Island, NY, thought Boost! was street slang for some drug. Close Joe, close. I won’t mention what he thought a hoagie was…
Some people say it tastes like watered down Coke with no fizz. I say it tastes like Tinker Bell tap-dancing on your taste buds. Come on, just add more syrup! Since 1913, Boost! has been the tasty “Concentrated Blend of Citrus Fruit Syrup” originating in Riverside, NJ. It makes for a great summer drink and soda alternative. A lot of outsiders don’t know about this phenomenon and the town’s unbridled love for the drink. I used to tell my wife, “I love you even more than Boost!” (with my fingers crossed behind my back, of course). I think Boost! is truly one of those things that you just have to experience for yourself, like Russian roulette.
One day, I walked into the kitchen and my uncle said he had poured me a glass of Boost!. Okay, sounds good. So there on the counter, was a glass filled with that familiar black color I’m used to. I didn’t waft it. I didn’t study my uncle’s face for a possible smirk. I didn’t think twice about the beverage so ‘kindly’ laid out before me. So I grabbed the glass, took a huge gulp, and instantly gagged. The jerk put ice cubes in the glass and filled it full of black olive juice!!! I kind of have an aversion to black olives. So, lesson learned kids. Never trust your uncle. And smell first, then taste.
I remember when you could get Boost! syrup for $7 a gallon. It was back in the day when you could bring a signed note to the corner store to buy your parents a pack of cigarettes (in my case, Marianne’s store). Back then I used to mow her lawn for $5. And man did her dog crap all over the place! Anyway, the idea of buying the syrup itself is to make your own drinks to the consistency you like, and/or I guess to save some money and trips to the store. The label recommends a four-to-one ratio of water to syrup. Yeah, right. At least for me, I like it more on the sweeter side. But don’t go too heavy on the syrup, or you might end up sitting on the pot again with your head down reciting those infamous words, “Diarrhea, grrreat…”
Learn to swim. And if you ever come through Riverside, NJ (check out some locations here) make sure to stop and try a Boost!, the best summer drink there is! I guess it’s like going to Philadelphia and stopping for a cheesesteak, Chicago for a deep dish pizza, or Mesa for, for uh, African lion burgers? As far as using Boost! as a tonic, you may want to approach that idea with caution. When my wife was a child, her mother called the doctor because my wife had an upset stomach. He told my wife’s mom to give her just a teaspoon of Boost! syrup straight up. Bad idea.
Annalyn Censky Hunting the lion burger butcher cnn.com