First off, let’s get one thing clear — there are no eggs in an egg cream. And it’s not like steak tartare or Caesar dressing, which are supposed to incorporate raw eggs, but often don’t because of health concerns. There was never egg of any kind in egg creams.

So what IS in an egg cream? Three things: milk, seltzer and chocolate syrup – Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup specifically, if you’re a purist. That’s it.

The result is a classic case of something being more than the sum of its parts. What sounds as if it might taste like fizzy Yoo-hoo, or worse, watered down chocolate milk, somehow manages to be rich, creamy, chocolatey and refreshing all at once. And while living in Brooklyn doesn’t necessitate knocking one back on a nightly basis, there are a few great spots to get your hands on an authentic egg cream.

Photo by Barnaby Dorfman via Flickr