Faygo Original Rock & Rye
Ben and Perry Feigenson opened the Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works in Detroit in 1907. The three original fruit flavored sodas sold well and the company expanded its facilities and line-up over the next decades. In 1921 the brand name was shortened to "Faygo". Rock & Rye flavor was added in the early 1920s along with "Ace-Hi" and several others which have since been discontinued.
"Rock & Rye" is also the name of a popular cocktail from the late 19th century made from rye whiskey sweetened with rock candy and flavored with citrus fruits and herbs which was renonwned for its medicinal benefits. Faygo's cherry-cream-soda version of the drink does not seem to have much relationship to the alcoholic version of the drink aside from its sweetness. Was it meant to evoke lost memories of the cocktail during the Prohibition years of the 1920s? Or was it meant as a ready-made mixer for cheap Canadian whiskies which were easy enough to come by in Detroit during those years?
Rock and Rye cocktails have made a small comeback in the past few years, but for anyone living in Michigan or familiar with Faygo, the name evokes this unique and subtle flavored soda pop foremost.
Faygo has been made at the same Gratiot Avenue bottling plant since 1935. The brand created many well-known and beloved advertising campaigns, commercials and characters in the 1960s - 80s. The family-owned company was sold in 1985 to National Beverage Corporation, a holding company which also owns Shasta, La Croix, Big Shot and several other soda brands. Nowadays Faygo produces over 50 different flavors of carbonated and uncarbonated drinks.
This has a refreshingly cool flavor, something in between a cherry pop and a cream soda. The taste is fleeting, difficult to place. Its not strongly cherry or vanilla enough to seem wholy one or the other. It has a bit too much citric acid sour punch to be a dreamy cream soda, yet the cherry flavor isn't strong enough to really call it a cherry soda either.
It almost has a cola-like dry bitters taste, like a fruity cola. Dr Pepper-ish, or more like Mr. Pibb. A complex and intriguing drink.
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, caramel color, potassium benzoate (as preservative), FD&C Red #40, artificial flavor, gum arabic.
Faygo Beverages, Inc.
Copyright 2016 Matt Bergstrom • about Delicious Sparkling Temperance Drinks