In the 1950s the soda fountain was the place to enjoy friends, a cute date and ice cream treats. These shops offered children, teens and adults a place to relax and have fun, and have since become a classic symbol of retro nostalgia. The most important part of a good soda fountain party is to keep the ice cream, fizzy drinks and 50s kitsch in steady supply, and you’re sure to enjoy yourselves.
Soda Fountain Supplies
Sundaes, malts and floats are classic soda fountain items. Keep guests happy by securing a hefty supply of ice cream in three standard flavors: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. The fun of a soda fountain party comes in creating elaborate mixes. Buy many flavors of syrup and toppings, including lots of whipped cream. Fruit is essential for many soda fountain treats like the banana split. Bananas, crushed pineapples and maraschino cherries are a must, but feel free to buy other items like strawberries and blueberries if you want to whip up your own concoctions.
No soda fountain is complete without the soda itself. Club soda or seltzer water will form the basis of many different drinks. Some of the ice cream syrups will double to make a soda, but buy special beverage syrups such as the kind used to flavor coffee and Italian sodas. If you’re going to mix up some egg creams, you’ll also need milk.
Assembling the Treats
If you’re running your party as the sole soda jerk, be prepared for the amount of time it will take to create the sundaes, sodas and other desserts. Spread the pleasure and the work by setting up your soda fountain party as an assembly line. Keep ice cream tubs on ice next to a stack of bowls and spoons. Then send guests down a buffet line of syrups, sprinkles, fruit and other goodies. End the spread with whipped cream and a jar of cherries. Guests who want to make floats or special flavored sodas can be given cups of plain seltzer water and sent to a table full of flavors.
An endless array of ice cream goodies can leave anyone feeling indecisive. Help guests get into the 50s soda shop mood with posted recipes. Print out pictures and ingredients for classic items such as the banana split, the chocolate egg cream and the ice cream float.
Once you know your guests’ stomachs will be satisfied, set the mood with nostalgic decorations. Serve treats with straws in retro glasses. Black, white, teal and hot pink are the essential colors of this theme, as are checkerboard patterns. Hang pictures of classic 50s icons such as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean around the room. Keep the mood going by playing classic 50s music from artists like Elvis Presley. Dress in the 1950s style and tell guests to do the same. Ladies can pull hair into swingy ponytails, don their best poodle skirt, and dance in saddle oxfords. For men, slicked back pompadours, white T-shirts, jeans and leather jackets make the look.