216. Brandy and Soda

216. Brandy and Soda - Hero

I guess it’s just because these are the first cocktails, really, but they seem (to me) to hardly count as cocktails. Oh well. You do you, Jerry, you do you.

So news is also really tough for drinks that are only named after the ingredients they have in them… Here’s something about someone getting murdered over a bottle of brandy. In Namibia, apparently.

216. Brandy and Soda - Ingredients

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229. Drink for the Dog Days

#229 Drink for the Dog Days

This would probably be better suited for another time in the year, given the title, but I wanted to try out another of his “Temperance Drinks” because they’re usually relatively interesting. And it was!

Well, for the news that keeps dogging Trump, the Comey business will not end! Now the Senate Oversight Committee (both Republicans and Democrats) is requesting all records of any conversations President Trump and former FBI Director Comey had, whether or not they involved threats, loyalty pledges, coercion, state secrets, etc… Hopefully something good will come of this.

#229 Drink for the Dog Days Ingredients

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115. Soda Cocktail

2-Soda-Cocktail

After having five different more-or-less terrible light beers (more on that to come!), I decided to tone it down a little with the next – non-alcoholic – mixture from Mr. Thomas. This is actually a variation of his 114. Jersey Cocktail, which is the same thing but with cider (presumably alcoholic cider) instead of soda water, but we’ll get to that at a later point.

The following came up in a Google News search for bitters, so while it is not news, it’s actually pretty fascinating and therefore I think it counts. Everything you ever wanted to know about Angostura bitters. Check it out! Also I really want to try that Angostura Sour they mention, but I’ll need to buy another bottle for that.

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228. Soda Nectar

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This was a very exciting drink for me, less for the particular flavors and mix itself, and more for the interesting technique it allowed me to learn. In short, if you put a little baking soda into an acidic drink, it makes it bubbly! Which totally makes sense, but it’s not something I had ever thought about before. Who needs a SodaStream when you have baking soda? (But note that I still do have one.)

The Soda Nectar is also notable for being non-alcoholic. Thomas actually has a number of non-alcoholic concoctions in his book — a lot of various lemonades, among other things — and I’m excited to go through those as well. Especially the orgeat lemonade, but that’s another entry.

One note about this one: he uses “carbonate of soda” which is technically different from baking soda (Na2CO3 versus NaHCO3) but may not actually be edible? Obviously it’s basically edible (you can actually make it just by heating up baking soda for a while) but there were enough conflicting sources online that I chose not to use it. Also it’s hard to find. “Washing soda” is the other name for it.

In a surprisingly relevant piece of soda news, Pepsi is going to be opening a restaurant in New York Meat Packing District this spring called the “Kola House,” with cuisine “inspired by the exploration of the kola nut.” Which actually sounds kind of cool, as long as they’re open to serving Coke instead of Pepsi.

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228. Soda Nectar

(Use large tumbler.)

  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • ¾ tumblerful of water.
  • Powdered white sugar to taste. [I probably used about 3 tablespoons, which shows you how sweet sodas are.]
  • ½ teaspoon of carbonate of soda. [Again, I used baking soda here.]
  • Strain the juice of the lemon, and add it to the water, with sufficient white sugar to sweeten the whole nicely. When well mixed, put in the soda, stir well, and drink while the mixture is in an effervescing state.

Soda Nectar Fizz

Tasting Notes:

BN: As I mentioned before, the drink itself was not super fascinating; it’s basically just bubbly lemonade. However, I just can’t get over the baking soda thing. It kept it bubbly for a while, too — it wasn’t like a grade-school volcano — and I definitely want to try it again in other circumstances!

PiC: It was cool! It was basically like a lemon soda — it’s a cool way of doing that and it didn’t taste like baking soda which was good. Let’s try it with other flavors! (And can we do it with non-acidic flavoring? SCIENCE!)

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The Summer Sun – Heat Wave

Sometimes, I am thankful that I live in Southern California. You would think that most of those times would be in the winter, but no! I’m much happier here in the summer than I was on the East Coast, because it gets really hot and humid really easily. So, in honor of the recent heat wave I didn’t have to deal with, I give to you The Summer Sun.

I was recently in a soda shop searching for ingredients for another, upcoming drink, and I happened across a bottle of sweet corn flavored soda. And I figured, well, why not? (This was after deciding not to buy the buffalo sauce or ranch dressing flavored drinks…) After a few sips, I quickly decided that it was so sweet and so corny that I needed to cut it with something. I looked around, and what did I find? Whiskey! Hurray for whiskey!

The following drink is what came out of it. You’ve got corn for the summer, and chili for the heat. Now, I don’t expect anyone really to be able to make this, since sweet corn soda is probably pretty rare, but it was a nice departure from the usual. Good luck, East Coast! Chill out.

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The Summer Sun

  • 2.5 oz bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark; the soda is so strong though that you shouldn’t waste a good whiskey on this drink.)
  • ~8 oz sweet corn soda (I got mine at a place called Rocket Fizz, which is a chain at least in LA, maybe nationwide?)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ~6 shakes cayenne

Another easy one. Pour the whiskey over ice into a rocks glass, put in the lime, fill up the rest of the glass with soda, and add the cayenne. Depending on your soda, the proportions could vary widely (I put a lot of the lime and chili in because the soda’s flavor was so overbearing.) So, to taste!

The Summer Sun

Tasting Notes:

BN: I enjoyed this a lot more than the soda on its own. The corn and the whiskey blended incredibly well together, the sweetness getting toned down and gaining depth. It was a very refreshing drink for the summer (even without a heat wave). The most interesting thing I learned while making it was that if you shake spices onto an ice cube, they stick — a technique I’ll be experimenting with later on, because it could lead to some interesting things…

Partner in Crime: I don’t really like whiskey or that soda, but together it actually worked pretty well!