Inspired by the soda fountains of her mother’s Brooklyn childhood, Gina Chersevani created this delicious egg cream soda, which starts with her own homemade chocolate syrup spiced with cardamom, black peppercorns and cinnamon. One old-school touch: a pinch of citric acid, for tartness. Plus: Superb Comfort Food Classics 

February 2013


Credit: © Marcus Nilsson

Recipe Summary

1 hr
15 mins
makes enough syrup for 7 drinks


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a small saucepan, toast the cardamom, peppercorns and cinnamon over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and return to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Cool the syrup, then strain it into a glass jar or plastic container.

  • For each soda: In a tall ice-filled glass, stir 1/4 cup of the syrup with 1 tablespoon of cream and a pinch of citric acid. Top with seltzer, stir and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The chocolate syrup can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.


Citric acid is available at vitamin shops, well-stocked grocery stores and online at