‘Take a Boost’ — People love to hate on this original NJ beverage
I get it. If you didn't grow up drinking the local Burlington County drink Boost, it may seem strange.
As a kid living in South Philadelphia, my friend and his mom took me on the bus to Riverside, NJ to visit family when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I was a city kid and this old small town, and its inhabitants seemed strange to me. We went for a long bike ride and when we returned the family offered me a Drink Atoast or Boost.
It was summer and I was dying of thirst, so I drank it down. It seemed a little strange, but I liked it enough to quench my thirst. I remember thinking it seemed like a cross between iced tea and flat coke. Fast forward two years and we moved to the neighboring town of Delran.
All the kids I knew growing up there, and their families always had Boost in their fridge. It was just part of summer growing up in that part of Jersey.
It's very strange that you'll only find this drink in some parts of Burlington County, most along the river towns. I live in the other part of the county and once in a while you'll see pizza shops or convenience stores that will display a sign that says, "We Sell Boost."
Some even have it in the slushy form, which is amazing. The local supermarket sells it in big jugs, and I always have one handy every summer.
Recently some guys with a podcast called New Jersey Is The World tried it on their show and of course had to take shots at it.
It is unusual and VERY, VERY LOCAL. If you didn't grow up with it and don't know how to mix it properly, you probably won't like it. But if you grew up on the western side of Burlington County you know Boost and probably love it and will defend it fiercely.
The locals here take their love of Boost very seriously. It's called 'Drink Atoast,' 'Take A Boost,' or just plain 'Boost,' and was developed by a pharmacist named Ben Faunce around 1913. He was looking to formulate something for his ailing son and came up with this formula.
If you do a Google search, you'll find no shortage of articles in which people love to trash the local treasure. But if you're curious and you like sweet drinks, order some and see what YOU think.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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