In summer, I like something to drink that's cold and refreshing, but I don't want added caffeine and excessive calories. By accident, I discovered how to make "cranberry soda" and "blueberry soda," both delicious.
Cranberry soda: Fill a large glass one-third full of ice. Add cranberry juice (see other options below) to fill the glass halfway. Fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. Ta-da--"cranberry soda."
Blueberry lemonade or soda: Use a ratio of one part blueberry syrup to five parts lemonade or sparkling water.
It seems simple, right? Think of all those lovely flavorings available for Italian sodas and coffee drinks. I tried it with orange juice, but it was a bit tart, so next time I'll try orange syrup. I also plan to try it with grape juice, mango nectar and maybe apple juice.
suggested garnishes: small frozen fruits--blueberries, strawberries, grapes, blackberries, raspberries--lemon or orange slices, mint sprigs. Use your imagination and have some fun with it.
A note on the sparkling water: Sparkling water is available in the soda section of the grocery store, and I found it to be the best. It offers a little zip without adding any flavor on its own. Club soda is also good but contains some salt, so it adds a slightly bitter flavor. Tonic water contains quinine and definitely has a bitter flavor that I didn't like at all. Maybe it's okay for a gin and tonic (I don't drink that), but not in my soda.
I’m having fun--come on along!