American Drinks Mediterranean

Cel-Ray (drink)

Cel-Ray is a soft drink with a distinctive celery flavor, produced by Dr. Brown’s. Known for its kosher certification, it is commonly found in Jewish delicatessens, restaurants, and specialty grocers in Israel, as well as American food specialty stores. The flavor, extracted from celery seed, offers a unique taste akin to ginger ale but with a more robust, peppery celery profile.

Originally introduced in 1868 in Brooklyn, New York, as Dr. Brown’s Celery Tonic, it gained popularity in New York City delicatessens from 1869 and was later bottled for wider distribution in 1886. The name was altered to Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray (soda) after objections from the Food and Drug Administration in the early 1900s. During the 1930s, it became so beloved in New York’s Jewish community that it earned the affectionate moniker “Jewish Champagne.” While a diet version was briefly produced, it was discontinued due to poor sales, leaving Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray as the sole remaining celery soda from that era.

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