TypeSoft drink
ManufacturerDr. Brown's
DistributorJ and R Bottling
Country of originBrooklyn, New York, U.S.

Cel-Ray is a celery-flavored soft drink from Dr Brown's. It is fairly easy to find in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and in South Florida, but rather obscure elsewhere.[1]


Dr. Brown's sodas are kosher, are often sold in Jewish delicatessens and restaurants, and can also be found in specialty grocers and grocery stores that specialize in American food in Israel.[2] The flavor, derived from celery seed extract, is reminiscent of ginger ale but with a pronounced celery flavor that is more pungent or peppery than ginger ale.

Dr. Brown's Celery Tonic was, according to the company, first produced in 1868 in Brooklyn, New York. It was served in New York delicatessens starting in 1869 and sold as a bottled soda starting in 1886.[3] The Food and Drug Administration objected to its being called a "tonic," and in the 1900s the name was changed to Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray (soda). Cel-Ray was so popular in the 1930s among New York City's Jewish community that it earned the nickname "Jewish Champagne." Dr. Brown's briefly produced a diet Cel-Ray, but it was discontinued due to low sales. Other "celery tonics"/"celery sodas" were produced in the 1890s, but only Dr. Brown's celery product remains today.

In popular culture

Cel-Ray was mentioned in:

See also


  1. ^ "Celery Forever: Where America's Weirdest Soda Came From and How It's Stuck Around".
  2. ^ Popik, Barry (February 12, 2009). "Celery Soda or Celery Tonic (Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda)".
  3. ^ Nickell, Joe (2011). "'Pop' Culture: Patent Medicines Become Soda Drinks". Skeptical Inquirer. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. 35 (1): 14–17.