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Bibi Soda

Sodas, Italian-style: not too sweet but packed with flavor. Photos by B.A. Van Sise | THE NIBBLE.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 

July 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

BibiCaffè Bubbly Espresso Soda

And Four More “Adult Soda” Italian Soft Drinks

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:
We regret that this line is no longer available in the U.S.
If you find that it has returned, please use the Contact Us link to let us know.

 

CAPSULE REPORT: Love espresso? Love ”adult” soft drinks? The Bibi line from Calabria, “the boot” of Italy, bubbles up with personality in a spate of flavors not found on these shores. The popular espresso soda, made since 1904, has several siblings, all worthy of attention. Most are on the dry side (lower sugar), all double as cocktail mixers and are a great gift for sophisticated soda lovers.

A Taste Of Italy

When you think of drinking in Italy, you think of espresso, of wine, of mineral water...but soda? Actually, the soda in Italy is delicioso. The Italians know their food and drink, and they only like the best. Fine Italian craftsmanship extends to soft drinks as well.

Now, four delicious soft drinks from the Calabrian firm of De Sarro and Torchia are available in the U.S.: The famous BibiCaffè bubbly espresso and three siblings. BibiCaffè has been produced since 1904, based on an old recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation within the De Sarro and Torchia families, cousins who united in 1930 after working in the soda business for their uncle.

The line is made with natural ingredients and quality craftsmanship. Cane sugar is used (no high fructose corn syrup); there are no chemical preservatives, no artificial flavors or colors. All flavors are meant to be chilled and served over ice or incorporated into a cocktail or mocktail—although if you insist on drinking them straight from the bottle, no one will revoke your right to enjoyment.

BibiCaffè Espresso Soda

 

Made with Neapolitan espresso and tinged with flavors of vanilla and caramel, this is a sweet, fizzy glass of coffee soda, delivering lip-smacking flavor. While we wish it delivered slightly less sugar, who are we to fight 103 years of success? Enjoy it straight, on the rocks or in a cocktail (recipes below)—and don’t overlook our favorite application, the Bibi Float: two scoops of vanilla, chocolate or coffee ice cream floating in BibiCaffè.

Virgin Bibi

  • Bibi Bomba: Pour a shot of espresso over ice, add BibiCaffè and cream to taste.
  • Urban Camper: Pour BibiCaffè over ice with a splash of cream.

With Alcohol

  • Bibi Alexis: Serve BibiCaffè with a shot of brandy and a splash of Irish cream.
  • Coffee Martini: Shake 2 ounces of vanilla vodka and 2 ounces BibiCaffè with 2 to 3 ice cubes.
  • Roma Libra: Pour BibiCaffè over ice with an ounce of dark or light rum and a squeeze of lime.
  • White Sicilian: Pour BibiCaffè over ice with an ounce of vodka and a splash of cream.

BibiCaffe Espresso Soda
BibiCaffè: Enjoy this espresso soda by itself, in
an ice cream float or in a cocktail.

Other Bibi Flavors

Bibitter Italian Soda
Bibitter: not at all like “bitters,” almost a
“Virgin Cosmo.”

While the company built its reputation on BibiCaffè espresso soda, don’t overlook these other sparklers, which run the range from sweet to dry (lower sugar).

Bibitter (Dry)

Bibitter is a delicious drink. We had anticipated something that tasted like a sophisticated ginger ale—which is what you’d get from bitters* and soda with sugar. Instead, we found something a bit bitter from an herbal undertone, a bit citrus, a bit maraschino, lightly carbonated and not very sweet. Serve it as an alcohol-free aperitif or a “Virgin Cosmo.”

*A liquid made with herbs or roots that is used in cocktails; Angostura bitters, the most commonly-found brand, tastes like ginger. You can mix it with club soda to create a sugar-free “ginger ale.”

Bibiorzata (Sweet)

Bibiorzata is a sweet almond soda, a popular drink in southern Italy. It is the taste of Jordan almonds in a glass: the sweet, sugary coating followed by almond flavor. You feel like you’re in Europe, because nothing in the U.S. tastes like this! Although a bit on the sweet side (we are known for our restraining hand with sugar, and never put it in coffee, iced coffee or iced tea), we really like it.

Virgin Bibi

  • Angelic Frangelico: Mix a (preferably Italian) orange soda with Bibiorzata.
  • Bibi Dee: Combine Bibiorzata with a touch of cream and a maraschino cherry.

With Alcohol:

  • Almond Delight: Add a shot of chocolate schnapps and a float of cream.
  • Bibi Schnapps: Pour Bibiorzata over ice with a splash of BibiCaffè, cinnamon schnapps and a float of cream.
  • Burnt Almond Bibi: Mix Bibiorzata with BibiCaffè, cream and a dash of cinnamon.
  • Looney Bibi: Pour Bibiorzata over ice with an ounce of vodka and float of cream.
BibiOrzata
Bibiorzata: The U.S. needs more almond soda.

Bibispuma (Dry)

Bibispuma is not yet available in the U.S., but there are plans to bring it in. The importer felt that this carbonated drink, based on a blend of herbs, might not be right for the American palate. He’s right: While all of the beverages except BibiCaffè will be new flavors for American palates, this is the biggest stretch. But Bibispuma has a very distinctive profile that will appeal to some. It looks like—and could pass for—a lightly-carbonated cola drink infused with a high level of citrus (there’s no kola nut in the mix). It’s slightly tart, slightly sweet and certainly interesting.

Bibizosa (Dry)

The label says “Fizzy Lemonade,” but this sparkler is an entity unto itself. Barely sweetened and a clear beverage without pulp, it defies our concept of lemonade. It is much too elegant to be “lemon soda” and the effervescence is so dainty, it can’t be compared to a sweetened, lemon-flavored club soda. It could be exciting, but for a slight aftertaste—we’re not sure of what, given that the ingredients are water, sugar, dextrose (grape sugar), lemon flavoring essence, carbon dioxide, citric acid (a lemon derivative used for flavoring) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C, a preservative). Our best guess is that Bibizosa, among all flavors, is so light and airy that there is no place for anything to hide. Still, with a squeeze of fresh lemon, or as a mixer for vodka or gin, there were no complaints. And anything could “hide” in the following recipes:

Virgin Recipes

  • Bibi Citrus Dream: Combine Bibizosa with orange and pineapple juice and a touch of cream.
  • Bibi Fizz: Pour Bibizosa over ice with a squeeze of lime; garnish with fresh mint.
  • Bibi Tropical Avalanche: Combine Bibizosa with passion fruit nectar, fresh pineapple and lime juice and mint leaves. Skewer mango and pineapple chunks as a garnish.
  • Blushing Bibi: Pour Bibizosa over ice with a splash of cran-blueberry juice.

With Alcohol

  • Bibi Confession: Mix Bibizosa with vodka and Chambord.
  • Bibi Twist: Pour Bibizosa over ice with an ounce of vodka and a splash of soda.

BibiZosa

Bibizosa: sparkling lemonade is delicious straight or as a mixer.

Know a soda-lover? Give a gift of Bibi.

BIBICAFFÉ

BibiCaffè, Bibitter, Bibiorzata, Bibizpuma (coming soon) and Bibizosa

 

  • 6-Ounce Bottle
    $1.60
  • 20% Discount For 24
    Bottles (Mix And Match)

Purchase online at KoobiesCoffee.com and
TeaAndCoffeeAmerica.com

Available at fine retailers nationwide. Check Bibicaffe.com website for locations.

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping additional.

BibiCaffe Sodas
Invite the whole family: Order a mixed case!

 

© Copyright 2005-2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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