Sour Cherry Italian Cream Sodas

Sour Cherry Italian Cream SodaItalian cream sodas were near and dear to my tweenage heart. I used to hop on the bus and make my way over to the Factory Outlets–which you would likely recognize if you have ever driven the stretch of Highway80 past Vacaville, CA, between Sacramento and San Francisco. Those outlets and the public library were where I would spend many of my weekend days (I was REALLY cool guys). At the library I would read Fear Street books and freak myself out but, at “the outlets” I would spend all my babysitting money on junk from the Sanrio store (Keroppi 4-lyfe!) and then treat myself to an Italian soda…which made me feel incredibly sophisticated in only the way creamy-syrupy soda, a few bills in my Hello Kitty wallet, and tweenage freedom could. Then I would call my mom from a pay phone (yes, real life) and she would pick me up in her minivan. 90’s livin’.

Sour Cherry Italian Cream Sodas

I’m a grown-up lady now (though the Little Twin Stars pen in my purse would say suggest otherwise) and I like to make my own dang Italian sodas. If you’ve never had an Italian soda, that’s totally okay because many iterations are way too sweet with syrups that only suggest fruit flavor. My version uses sour cherries and a good squeeze of lime to temper the sugar. The syrup is layered into glasses with ice, sparkling water, and cream making the prettiest, effervescent layers for a fancy-ass interpretation of my middle school favorite.

Sour Cherry Italian Cream Sodas

Sour Cherry Italian Cream Sodas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You can totally make these with sweet cherries! I would reduce the sugar by a tablespoon or two and add a little extra lime juice for some extra zing.
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • for the cherry syrup:
  • 1 cup pitted sour cherries (I used frozen)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • juice of ½ large lime
  • for the sodas:
  • ½ cup sour cherry syrup
  • 1 cup unflavored sparkling water
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half & half
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan combine the sour cherries and sugar, heat over medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Pour into a jar to cool.
  2. Once the syrup is cooled pour about ¼ cup of the syrup and a few cherries (more or less depending on your preference) into 2 glasses. Add a generous amount of ice and nearly fill each glass with sparkling water. Top each soda with about 1½ tablespoons of cream. Add a straw and enjoy!
Notes
This makes 1 heaping cup of cherries in syrup, store any leftovers in a lidded jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

You can either just use the syrup for the sodas or use both syrup and cherries. I like to fish the cherries out with my straw and eat them at the end. But, any leftover cherries are great to save and use as a topping over ice cream!

 

Grapefruit & Sage Bees Knees

Last week I brought you a decadent, rum-laced, coffee drink–perfect for dessert or an indulgent, fancy-ass brunch. But, this drink is something else. It’s refreshing and herbal, bright with a floral sweetness. Something you might sip on a hot day on the patio…which is exactly what we did. We, FINALLY, finished up our patio project (do you guys wanna see it?! I took pictures of the process) and celebrated with these cocktails. I used some of the sage from my new herb garden–fingers crossed I don’t murder it all–and made a syrup with it using equal parts honey and water. It’s easy and refreshing and will maybe make a repeat appearance in the coming days because my pal, Megan (aka Take a Megabite!), is visiting! She lands tomorrow night and I am pretty sure there will be some cocktails, in addition to pink wine, donuts, froyo, and she’ll be meeting Casper for the first time! We’re attending the Indulge conference this Saturday, so on the chance that you’ll be there…say “hello!!” CHEERS!

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Grapefruit & Sage Bees Knees

Okay, I know this isn’t a true Bees Knees–besides the addition of sage, there’s grapefruit in place of lemon and I’ve topped this off with tonic and ice. But, I promise, this drink lives up to it’s namesake–it really is the bees knees!

for the syrup:

1-2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup water

for the cocktail (makes 1):

1 ounce grapefruit juice

1 ounce honey-sage syrup

2 ounces gin

a dash or two of bitters, if you have them

tonic

ice

To make the syrup, add the sage leaves, honey, and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute, and remove from the heat. Pour into a heatproof jar and cool. Strain out the a sage before using.

For the cocktail, shake or stir the juice, syrup, and gin together with a few dashes of bitters (if using). Pour it into a glass over ice, and top with tonic.

[/recipe]

Rhubarb Mint Julep

UGH, guys. This morning I ventured out to the dreaded DMV. As far as DMV excursions go, this one was relatively painless. I was the 4th person in line and was there for only about an hour and a half. The pain came with the photo-taking. I mean, WHY is it always so awful? Some things that go through my mind post-drivers-license-photo-taking:

“Why is my face so huge?!”

“Is my right eye always squintier than the other?”

“UGH!”

“I need a drink.”

Good thing I made this little number and have the ingredients to whip it up, if need be. It’s a rhubarb-laced version of a mint julep. Which, I have only recently realized, is pretty much a bourbon-sno-cone and pretty much amazing. Click on over to the lovely Fashionable Hostess blog for the details and recipe for this DMW-blues killer, I mean…springtime libation.