A Cooler Coke: Dry Soda

One of my favorite cocktails at Hearsay Gastro Lounge contains a mixture of vodka, champagne, and dry lavender soda. I like to try a drink at a restaurant or bar and then later try to recreate it at home, and though I could clearly figure out the first two parts of the drink, the dry lavender soda completely eluded me. That was until I found it sitting on a shelf at Randall's.

Dry Soda is a Seattle-based brand of beverages that come in very cool, simple glass bottles. They look like fancy, uber-modern water bottles, and there are a variety of refreshing flavors like cucumber, lavender, juniper berry, vanilla bean, lemongrass, kumquat and rhubarb. They were on sale for $1.25 a bottle, so I splurged on a four-pack of vanilla bean, lavender, juniper berry and lemongrass.

Dry Soda starts with a base of carbonated water, flavors it with actual fruit, vegetables and herbs, and lightly sweetens it with pure cane sugar. The all-natural drink contains only 45-70 calories per 12-ounce bottle. I popped one open up to pair with popcorn for movie night. The taste was clearly present, but very light--sweet enough to be delicous, and no cloying aftertaste I often experience when drinking a too-sugary soda.

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Vanilla bean is the most flavorful and familiar-tasting--lighter than most vanilla sodas. Lavender is extraordinarily airy and doubles as a great cocktail mixer. Juniper berry is the perfect thirst-quenching summertime afternoon beverage, while still offering up a treat for your palate. And the lemongrass soda, of which I was most skeptical, blew me away. It was so tangy and zesty; I savored every sip.

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