While I am old enough to need to look at the arches in shoes before I buy them, I am not old enough to remember the days of fountain shops, and my world has always included canned sodas conveniently available in my fridge. Tab, anyone? That said, I’ve always loved the idea of fountain shops, and Savoy’s new drive-through drink stop Ginger Ale’s promised a septillion different drink combinations on their website, so I knew I needed to load up the fam and try it out.
Ginger Ale’s uses septillion on their website, but sextillion is also used in lots of places. When I looked exactly how many those were, it required math and powers, so I immediately tapped out. Friends, you need to prep for this menu. The first time I went, I bailed out of the drive-through line due to stage fright. They have an app you can download that is very helpful. The website link listed on their Facebook page has never worked for me, but you can use to order delivery or pickup and see the full list of their offerings. They do advertise a lot of fun drink combos on their Facebook page, but you have to remember the names of those drinks because they aren’t listed on the app. Math and memory!
Once we all decided what we were getting, we got in line and ordered. They have an interesting three-window system: one to pay, one to get your drinks, one to get your food. That said, they were only running two windows when we were there, so pay attention when they tell you where to go. I didn’t, and an employee was forced to come tell me to pull up to the third window, and we were both embarrassed for me.
First up was the Belgian chocolate frappé ($4.75). It looked wonderful; the drink itself was a dark, rich chocolate color with a nice hat of whipped cream. Definitely get the whipped cream. The frappé itself was sweet, but not overly so, and the chocolate flavor was excellent. It had a nice, smooth texture, too.
The most complicated drink we got was a butter beer cream ($4.27): icy root beer with butterscotch and vanilla flavors served in a styrofoam cup, topped with cold foam and a caramel drizzle. It was absolutely delicious! My eleven-year-old could not be convinced to try anything else after having it once. I admit to being skeptical about root beer and butterscotch together, but it absolutely worked.
Middle kid, fifteen, went totally on-brand for a teenager with a frosted blue Dew ($3.83). This was a Mountain Dew with blue raspberry flavoring, made into a slushy drink. He gave the slushy part high marks as it was a soft, cohesive slush and not the tiny ice pellets some places serve. The blue raspberry flavor was distinct but not overpowering.
I decided to be less adult-y than usual and got the signature Ginger Snap ($2.90), which was a fizzy, fruit punch-flavored drink topped with Pop Rocks. This was so fun. They handed us the drink, and my eleven-year-old said, “Is it raining?” He was hearing my drink pop! I really liked the flavor of the drink itself, and it was very entertaining to open my mouth afterward and make everyone listen to the candy still popping in my throat — at least for me, anyway.
The final drink we ordered was for my husband, a vanilla protein shake with lemon flavor and real fruit strawberry added ($6.74.) While this sounded really good, something went very wrong here, and we still aren’t sure what. The drink itself was a strange color, kind of a muddy greenish-beige, and after taking a sip, my better half said, “Taste this.” Turns out, he did not mean it in a, “Wow, you have to try this!” kind of way. None of the expected flavors — lemon, vanilla, or strawberry — were identifiable, and I’m somewhat convinced we didn’t get the right drink.
In addition to the drinks, we tried out two of the snack offerings: a cinnamon sugar pretzel and a classic salted pretzel ($3.95 each). The cinnamon sugar pretzel came with a frosting dip, and we got nacho cheese for the salted pretzel. The cinnamon sugar pretzel was the clear favorite, although the salted pretzel was also delicious.
Served warm, these were generously sized, enough to share with another person — if that other person isn’t your brother.
We also ordered a pup cup, which was free, but we didn’t realize we hadn’t gotten it until we pulled away. Our rescue pup was very disappointed when we arrived home empty-handed.
Also relevant is that they’re closed on Sundays. We had a failed launch by trying to go on a Sunday the first time to Ginger Ale’s of Savoy, so learn from our disappointment.
There are a few other drinks I’d really like to try, particularly some seasonal offerings like browned butter syrup and apple cider slushies, so I’ll definitely be back. Ginger Ale’s of Savoy offers delivery including scheduled regular weekly deliveries to your office, which sounds like a great idea. And if the number of drinks to the eleventy-billionth power is too much for you, use the app, select a basic drink, and then click “Surprise me” on any of the drop-down menus. You might discover something wonderful.
Ginger Ale’s of Savoy
405 S Dunlap Ave
M-Sa 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.