Nostalgia in Glass: Keeping Egg Cream Alive

In the lobby of Manhattan's criminal courthouse, alongside metal detectors and snaking lines of jurors, Ray Lonergan whips up a frothy mix of seltzer, milk, chocolate syrup and nostalgia.

“The older people say, ‘You really have authentic egg creams here?” said 60-year old Mr. Lonergan, who sells about 15 of the $3 drinks each week. “It brings them back to their childhood.”

The egg cream is making its last stand. The New York drink, traditionally made with chocolate syrup, seltzer and milk, has neither eggs nor cream. Its fans say the fizzy concoction tastes like magical afternoons spent perched on Brooklyn pharmacy stools and childhood trips to candy stores on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Its critics counter that it tastes like a milkshake gone horribly wrong.

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