The Egg Cream
by Remy Tumin
It’s not an egg cream unless it’s made with Fox’s U-bet syrup.
That’s what die-hard egg cream drinkers will preach to their grave. The soda fountain drink has to be pumped with the Brooklyn based chocolate syrup, no questions asked. But Jamie Langley, owner of the Right Fork Diner in Katama, has news for you.
“I’m a vanilla egg cream drinker,” she says.
Those are lofty words for a diner owner, some may even say sacrilegious. But for Jamie, an egg cream is an egg cream no matter the flavor of syrup—and nothing hits the spot on a summer day like an egg cream. The frothy beverage is made from three ingredients: chocolate (or vanilla) syrup, milk and soda water. No egg. No cream. It’s a drink that leaves the soda pop tingle on your tongue, with the body of a milkshake and the lightness of a fizzy summer drink.
“For people who are not ice cream eaters, who don’t want a heavy frappe, having an egg cream is the most refreshing thing ever,” Jamie says. “It’s so pretty to look at when you stir it up—it gets this frothy look like you have egg whites on top. It’s a very pretty, creamy look.”
Soda floats were always a part of Jamie’s childhood growing up in Boston. In fact, just a block away from her home was an old-time drugstore with a luncheonette counter and soda fountain that served, you guessed it, egg creams. Jamie and her friends would hang there after school before jumping on the T.
So when Jamie came to the Vineyard and opened up the Right Fork Diner in 2006, a soda fountain was a must.
“An egg cream was a no brainer,” she says. “Everybody looks at you like, what’s an egg cream? Sometimes I make people have one—just try it, here ya go.”
Jamie has a soft spot for all things nostalgia and is only encouraged with the 1940s biplanes dipping in and out of Katama Airfield nearby. The diner is an ode to times gone by, with airplane memorabilia, a long lunch counter, and classic diner items.
Behind the counter, Jamie pumps two ounces of Fox’s U-bet syrup into a bubbled bell glass, which has a wider rim and narrower base to allow for the head to froth. She then adds 3 to 4 ounces of whole milk and tops it off with soda water, stirring vigorously with a long iced tea spoon as she adds the fizzy water to create the creamy top. She finishes it off with a straw.
“Some people think you put the syrup in after the soda water, I personally don’t like to do that because I like some bubbles in mine and feel it flat- tens the soda water too much,” Jamie says.
She also prefers whole milk for her egg creams. Go big or go home, she says.