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Coffee Milk: Oficial drink of Rhode Island

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

My next Art Show will be “The Wickford Art Festival at Wickford, Rhod Island (July 8th - 9th, 2023).

For this reason I investigated and found some culinary curiosity about this state. That’s the why I decided to created and bring my new set of pictures of Coffee Milk: the official drink of Rhod Island State.

Coffee milk is a drink made by mixing coffee syrup or extract with milk, in a manner similar to chocolate milk. Since 1993, it has been the official state drink of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

I learned the recipe of Coffee Syrup, and recreated my pictures with real recipe, which I really enjoyed when finished the photo shoot.


While the precise origin of coffee milk is unclear, several sources trace it back to the 19th century Italian immigrant population in Providence, Rhode Island. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, approximately 55,000 Italian immigrants traveled to Providence, introducing their traditions and customs to Rhode Island; this included drinking sweetened coffee with milk, which is believed to have led to the creation of coffee milk.

Coffee milk originated in American diners and soda fountains in the early 20th century. The first coffee syrup is thought to have been created by a soda fountain operator who sweetened leftover coffee grounds with milk and sugar to create a syrup, then mixed it into glasses of milk. In the 1930s, coffee milk was regularly served at pharmacy lunch counters, targeted toward children and youth as an alternative to the hot coffee served to their parents.

Due to the popularity of the product, coffee syrup was eventually bottled and sold by merchants. The first mass-produced coffee syrup was introduced by the Silmo Packing Company of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1932. In 1938, Warwick, Rhode Island-based Eclipse Food Products began heavily promoting its own coffee syrup product, with Lincoln, Rhode Island's Autocrat Coffee coming to market in the 1940s. Autocrat purchased long-time competitor Eclipse in 1991 and today produces both brands of syrup. Autocrat is claimed to be the most popular brand of coffee syrup in Rhode Island. Newer brands such as Dave's Coffee and Morning Glory offer coffee syrups with desired customer qualities, such as no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors.

In 1993, the Rhode Island General Assembly opted to change Rhode Island's state drink, with the two potential choices being coffee milk and Del's Lemonade. Coffee milk ultimately triumphed, and was officially named the state drink on July 29, 1993.

Have you tried this drink? Are you a resident of Rhod Island?

Thanks for reading this article and for loving my Art.

Enjoy the Coffee Milk.


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