Updated at: 16-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Are you a soda aficionado looking for an adventurous twist on the classic cherry flavor?

This vintage soft drink is making a comeback and we’re here to help you create it right at home! Curious yet? Let’s dive into the fizzing world of Cherry Phosphates.

What is a Cherry Phosphate

What is a Cherry Phosphate (1)

History and origin

The cherry phosphate first burst onto the scene in the late 19th century. Soda jerks, as bartenders were known back then, created this tangy drink by mixing phosphoric acid with fruit syrup and club soda.

Its unique taste quickly made it a hit among customers. The name “phosphate” comes from the phosphoric acid used in its preparation. This ingredient was believed to have health benefits during that era, contributing to its widespread popularity.

As time went on, cherry became one of the most loved flavors for this fizzy beverage.

Though it originated in America’s soda fountains of yesteryears, the Cherry Phosphate continues to refresh palates today with its sour-sweet magic.

Ingredients and flavor profile

Cherry phosphate is a delightful soft drink with a tangy and sour taste that combines the flavors of cherry syrup, phosphoric acid, and other fruity ingredients.

This classic beverage is made by mixing cherry syrup with soda water or club soda, creating a refreshing and citrusy flavor profile.

Some variations incorporate additional fruit flavorings like raspberry syrup or even a splash of lemon juice for an extra zing. To sweeten the drink, sugar is often added to balance out the tartness.

Overall, cherry phosphate offers a unique blend of flavors that make it a beloved choice at retro soda fountains and specialty stores alike.

Variations and recipes

Cherry Phosphate comes in various flavors and can be made using different recipes. Here are some popular variations:

  1. Raspberry-Cherry Phosphate: Add raspberry syrup along with cherry syrup for a fruity twist.
  2. Cherry-Lemon Phosphate: Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the cherry syrup for a tangy flavor.
  3. Cherry-Orange Phosphate: Mix orange juice or orange extract with the cherry syrup to add a citrusy taste.
  4. Cherry-Malt Phosphate: Incorporate malt into the mixture for a creamy texture and unique flavor.
  5. Cherry-Vanilla Phosphate: Add a dash of vanilla extract or vanilla syrup to enhance the cherry flavor.

How to Make a Cherry Phosphate

What is a Cherry Phosphate (2)

Step-by-step instructions

To make a Cherry Phosphate, follow these simple steps:

  1. Pour 2 ounces of cherry syrup into a glass.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
  3. Fill the glass halfway with club soda.
  4. Stir the mixture gently to combine the flavors.
  5. If desired, add a dash of raspberry syrup for extra sweetness.
  6. Taste the drink and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar if needed.
  7. For a tangy twist, squeeze in some citrus juice like orange or lime.
  8. Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice.
  9. Stir again to mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
  10. Garnish with a maraschino cherry on top for added flavor and presentation.

Necessary ingredients

To make a Cherry Phosphate, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Cherry syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Club soda
  • Raspberry syrup
  • Sugar
  • Citrus flavor (optional)
  • Malt (optional)
  • Maraschino cherry for garnish

The Popularity of Phosphate Drinks

What is a Cherry Phosphate (3)

Rise and decline in popularity

The cherry phosphate, like many other soda fountain drinks, experienced a rise in popularity during the early 20th century.

It was widely enjoyed by people of all ages and became a favorite among soda fountain goers.

However, as time went on and new flavors emerged, the popularity of the cherry phosphate started to decline. Other fruit-flavored phosphates gained more attention and began to overshadow this classic drink.

Despite its decline in popularity, the cherry phosphate remains a nostalgic beverage that is still enjoyed by those who appreciate its tangy and sour taste.

Other popular phosphate flavors

Other popular phosphate flavors include lemon, raspberry, and orange. These fruity concoctions offer a refreshing twist on the classic cherry phosphate. Lemon phosphate brings a zesty citrus flavor that pairs well with the tangy taste of phosphoric acid.

Raspberry phosphate adds a sweet and tart raspberry syrup to create a mouthwatering combination.

Finally, orange phosphate combines the bright notes of orange extract with the fizzy goodness of soda water for a delightful beverage option.

These alternative flavors provide plenty of options for those looking to explore different tastes while still enjoying the nostalgic charm of old-fashioned sodas.

Where to Find Cherry Phosphate

Soda fountains and retro establishments

Soda fountains and retro establishments are the perfect places to find a classic cherry phosphate. These nostalgic venues bring back the charm of old-fashioned soda jerks, who expertly whip up delicious drinks behind the counter.

With their vintage décor and traditional ambiance, soda fountains provide an authentic experience for those seeking a taste of the past.

Whether you’re in search of an ice cream float or a refreshing phosphate drink, these retro establishments offer a delightful array of beverages that transport you to simpler times.

So step into one of these time capsules and savor the tangy flavor of a cherry phosphate while taking in the nostalgic atmosphere.

Online retailers and specialty stores

Online retailers and specialty stores are great places to find cherry phosphate if you’re looking to enjoy this classic beverage at home.

Many online retailers offer a wide selection of cherry syrup, phosphoric acid, and other necessary ingredients for making your own cherry phosphate.

You can also find specialty stores that stock retro soda fountain supplies, including cherry syrup and other fruit flavorings.


Cherry phosphate is a classic beverage that has been enjoyed for many years. With its tangy and sour flavor, it offers a unique and refreshing taste.

Whether you find it at a retro soda fountain or make one yourself at home, sipping on a cherry phosphate is sure to bring back nostalgic memories of simpler times.