Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Plethora of Newfangled Sodas

Along my travels the last few months, I've managed to collect quite an array of fairly unusual and hard-to-find flavored sodas. Some of them have potential as cocktail ingredients, while some of them are really more just for drinking on their own. I figured I had better get started on writing about them (and drinking them) before they entirely take over my counter top & refrigerator.

I'm going to start with one of the first ones I acquired, which I really like. I haven't found a lot of cocktails for them yet, but they're fun to drink in
place of juice or soda.

Fizzy Lizzy Sodas

I found these sodas in San Francisco at the Village Market in the Ferry Building originally, and I had a couple of them there. I wrote down the information, and researched them a bit online when I returned. Low and behold, they are available here in Chicago at one of my favorite gourmet grocery stores, Fox & Obel. So I bought all the flavors they had in stock, and brought them home to try.

What's cool about these is they're not like the mainstream sodas (or should I say pops), they are just fruit juice and seltzer water, that's pretty much it - no added sugars, no flavorings, etc. They're refreshing, bubbly, and not too sweet, kind of like a glass of juice cut with soda water, only its already cut for you in a nice proportion. Maybe folks with kids could convert their kids to these, they're definitely healthier than sugary sodas (although of course a piece of fruit would be even better).

Here are the flavors I tried, with some tasting notes & ingredient details:
  • Northern Lights Cranberry - nice, fizzy with a fruity but tart & crisp flavor. It's made with more grape juice than cranberry juice, and you can taste that, but I enjoyed it. Very refreshing after a long day of walking all over SF. I think this has potential for light summertime cocktails, although you'd need to be careful not to overwhelm its flavor. I'm not sure why the bottle I bought here in Chicago has a different label than the other ones and than what's on the website, but it tasted OK, so I just went with it.
  • Costa Rican Pineapple - Very pineapple, seems like it might be fun in cocktails in substitution for pineapple juice - its not as sweet, but still tastes like fresh pineapple. I wish this one had more carbonation, it seems a bit watered down.
  • Yakima Valley Grape - Very reminiscent of grape soda, but not as sweet and with a more genuine grape flavor. I liked this one a lot, mostly because I drank a LOT of grape soda when I was kid, but don't think it has much potential for cocktails. No one else who tasted it liked it, but they didn't love grape soda back in the day, either. More for me.
If you find yourself out and about where you can find Fizzy Lizzy, check 'em out and let me know what you think! And let me know if you have any creative cocktail recipes using them.

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