I know summer’s here when I hear our red-and-white ice-o-matic cranking, and three horn blasts from the SodaStream filling a liter of carbonated water. We’re both devoted to homemade …
I know summer’s here when I hear our red-and-white ice-o-matic cranking, and three horn blasts from the SodaStream filling a liter of carbonated water. We’re both devoted to homemade sodas, but like everything else, we have our own idiosyncratic preferences.
My husband likes crushed ice, while I prefer the clink of cubes in the glass. Speaking of glasses, for me, it’s drinking from an eclectic assortment of vintage treasures — he’ll always choose the highball tumbler that holds a mountain of crushed ice. I love my colorful stainless steel straws, but he has too much integrity to be a strawman.
What we have in common is an affinity for carbonated water.
I bought him a SodaSteam for his birthday nine years ago. At first, he thought it was one of those I-bought-you-what-I-wanted presents. It kinda was, but he ended up loving it. We order and recycle our CO2 canisters through The Green Eyeshade.
Living off the grid for a decade, ice and freezers are still a thrill for me, and a refrigerator that makes ice without filling trays — what a luxury! When we had that freak heat wave last summer, I started making ginger ale ice in 8-ounce paper cups. The ice went in a tumbler with fizzy water poured over, and as it melted, made a great soda.
2 quarts water
¼ cup fresh ginger chopped
Sweetener to taste.
Bring the water to a boil with the ginger. Turn the heat off and allow it to infuse for
Sweeten to taste, and pour into 8-ounce paper cups allowing 1 inch of headroom. Freeze the cups and use them with carbonated water.
I use homemade sodas as a reward for myself and as refreshments for guests.
At their simplest, I add ice and carbonated water to a glass, with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 15 drops of liquid monk fruit. I like the 100 percent liquid monk fruit, because it’s sweet without an aftertaste, yet sugar-free. I also use it for iced tea and lemonades.
Shrubs are old-fashioned drinks made with infused vinegars.
We used vinegars for cold drinks long before lemons.
Infusing vinegar is an easy and rewarding culinary process. Fill a pint-size mason jar with ripe fruit, flowers, and/ or leaves and pour in raw apple cider vinegar to cover. Cap the jar, and let it infuse in a cool, dark spot for a while.
I say a while because it depends on how strong you want your shrub to be. A few days to six months are both acceptable.
I recently made a delicious shrub with red rugosa roses and infused it for only a week before I used it. I didn’t strain it, so it’s continuing to develop the flavor.
Both the drink and infused vinegar are called shrubs; to make the drink,
I fill a tumbler with ice and carbonated water, then add 1 to 2 teaspoons of the rose shrub, and 15 drops of monk fruit. If you have rose petals to float on the top, all the better.
Raspberries, peaches, cherries, black berry, citrus, lemon balm, mint, basil, fennel.
Chai Ice for Black Tea
Makes eight 6-ounce ice cups
6 slices fresh ginger, unpeeled
1 tablespoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons green cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon allspice berries
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 quarts water
Sweetener to taste
Grind dry spices.
Bring spices and ginger up to a boil in a large pot with 2 quarts of water. Turn the heat off and infuse for 1 hour.
Pour into 8-ounce paper cups, leaving headroom. Freeze the cups.
Make black tea of choice and cool. Add the ice cup to a large glass, add sweetener, black tea, and a splash of milk. As the ice melts, it will flavor the tea. Enjoy!
(Sidonie Maroon is the culinary educator at the Food Co-op.)
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