If you’re looking for sodas on Founding Farmer’s menu, look in the Farmacy section.
That’s where the Potomac, Maryland, restaurant lists its house-made scratch sodas like lemon-lime, hibiscus, and vanilla, as well as New York egg creams, a Manhattan-style pop perked up with coffee and espresso, and a rotating cast of old fashioned phosphates.
The only commercially produced options are Coke and Diet Coke, which are not as popular here as their multibillion dollar advertising campaigns would lead you to guess.
Chief mixologist Jon Arroyo—you could call him the other king of pop—estimates that his handmade bubblers account for 70 percent of all soda sales.
Over at Washington, D.C.’s modernist Italian hot spot Elisir, seasonally inspired house-made sodas like rosemary-pear and strawberry-rhubarb sell at a three-to-one ratio compared to their commercial counterparts.
General manager Justin Kraemer oversees the pop program, which he views as an extension of the restaurant’s craft bar approach and a philosophical obligation.
“It’s a cop out to sell mainstream sodas if you have the ability and knowledge to make something better,” he says.