Since 1912, Hosmer Mountain has been bottling the finest sodas in a state that still boasts a handful of independent soda bottlers. Low carbonation and lip-smacking flavors attract fans from all over New England, but residents of Connecticut’s Quiet Corner have a special advantage: home delivery. Just like milkmen of yesteryear, Hosmer route men will pick up a case of empty bottles once a month and refill it with your choice of over thirty flavors of soda, seltzer, and spring water. For those who like to marvel at the selections, Hosmer’s main branch in Willimantic is a soda-only grocery store. (A second store is located at 15 Spencer Street in Manchester.) Grab a flatbed cart and an empty case, and fill it at your leisure.
Hosmer’s premium Antique line features cane and brown sugars and includes their award-winning root beer, clear birch beer, and a dark crimson sarsaparilla. Fabulous fruit flavors count peach, orange, pineapple, strawberry cream, raspberry, grape, and the occasional Lime Rickey among its ranks, but the clincher comes with Hosmer’s taste-alikes. Cola-Blue and Cola-Red (their versions of Pepsi and Coke, respectively) are utterly phenomenal and, in our estimation, make their mega-label cousins lose their fizz. The delicious Orange Dry resembles Orangina, Lemon-Clear tastes like 7-Up, and they even carry an equivalent of Moxie, Maine’s bitter cola, called Buddie.
Hosmer always uses recyclable glass bottles, both in twelve- and twenty-four-ounce sizes. There is a certain gratification in purchasing locally made products, and at about thirty-five cents per bottle (per case), Hosmer makes it easy to think globally while drinking delicious soda. Hosmer sodas are also available in area restaurants and businesses.