Chapman Pharmacy's Lime Sour

The original Chick-fil-A isn't the only old-school treat in Hapeville just outside Atlanta

The old-school, non-alcoholic lime sour drink at Chapman Pharmacy in Hapeville, Ga.
The old-school, non-alcoholic lime sour drink at Chapman Pharmacy in Hapeville, Ga.

There was a time when the words lime sour didn't first bring to mind a cocktail mixer. And at Chapman Pharmacy in Hapeville, Ga., about 10 minutes outside Atlanta, that time is still now.

Not far from Hapeville's big claim to fame, the Dwarf House Chick-fil-A (the chain's original location), there in a small, yellow brick building on North Central Avenue across from some sleepy train tracks and underneath a white neon sign with blue and red trim is a small, family-owned, full-service pharmacy that has been there since 1921. And like the pharmacies of days long passed, Chapman features a soda fountain at the front of the store.

Inside, it's not much to look at. In glass cases along the wall are brown pharmaceutical bottles that remind you of snake oil salesman from tales of how the West was won. There's a small greeting card section, and old Coke signs above the counter.

You can get malts, ice cream sodas, floats with Coke or IBC Root Beer, sundaes, and cones. And under the heading "Fountain Drinks" there are are "Sodas" (Coke, Sprite, Dite Coke, and Mr Pibb as wells as "Real" Cherry Coke and "Real" Vanilla Coke) and "Smashes" (cherry, grape, orange, and strawberry), but the two big sellers, according to the friendly woman working the counter, are the Blue Bell milkshakes and the "Lime Drinks." The latter are the real stars of the menu, which is dominated by the image of a bucket of limes and the proclamation, "Fresh Limes Squeezed Daily."

There's Limeade and a Lime Ricky, but the bigger seller is the Lime Sour. For a small lime sour, two limes get sliced and juiced over a cup of crushed ice, and then filled to the top with soda water from the fountain. That's it. No sugar, no artificial flavorings, just lime juice, soda water, and ice.

It's tart, refreshing, ice cold, and the recipe for this lime sour couldn't be more simple. "Some people like to shake a little salt over the top," suggested the counterwoman. You can see why. Somehow that salt makes the drink even more thirst-quenching — like an old-school Gatorade.

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