Try a Dry Soda in Juniper Berry, Kumquat, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rhubarb or Vanilla Bean—there’s nothing else like it! Photography courtesy Dry Soda.
KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.
Last Updated August 2010
Very Dry, Very Exotic Sodas For Gourmets
CAPSULE REPORT: Familiar yet exotic flavors have created a delicious new line of all-natural, low-sugar soda, also known as dry soda. They’re subtle, light and sophisticated in flavors that include Cucumber, Juniper Berry, Kumquat, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rhubarb and Vanilla Bean. This is Page 1 of a two-page article. Click on the black links below to visit Page 2.
Dry Soda is a concept borne of a need: Sharelle Klaus, a foodie mother-to-be unable to drink alcohol, desired something more tantalizing than that which was on the shelf. Thinking about what would excite her and compensate for her inability to enjoy cocktails and wine, she developed an “haute” line of sodas, all-natural, caffeine-free and lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar. We must thank her little bambino, because Dry Soda is something completely different.
How little sugar is there? Well, a 12-ounce bottle has just 50 to 70 calories. Compare that to any other soft drink out there. GuS, the original dry soda line made in traditional soda flavors*, has 90 to 98 calories per 12 ounces, while 12 ounces of conventional soda has about 140 calories.
*Dry Cranberry Lime, Dry Crimson Grape, Dry Meyer Lemon, Dry Valencia Orange, Extra Dry Ginger Ale, Dry Pomegranate and Star Ruby Grapefruit.
Are they “culinary sodas,” designed as a sophisticated non-alcoholic option to accompany a great meal? We’re not certain: Most sophisticated diners we know would not want to drink that much sugar with most courses—a Sauternes or other dessert wine with the foie gras notwithstanding. And in those cases, certainly: If you can’t have wine, enjoy a Dry Soda. Other situations—dishes with fruit or fruit sauces—work as well. Maybe, a grilled white fish. But for your basic steak, lamb chop or pasta, you’re probably better off with mineral water or currant juice, which is wonderfully wine-like. See Serving Suggestions, below, for the matches we think work.
Dry Soda Flavors: Nicely Exotic
The flavor profile of this line is very subtle, as if there was fear in overpowering the consumer with the exotic flavors of kumquat, lavender, lemongrass and rhubarb. As a result, when drunk ice-cold, the flavors are suppressed; when drunk at room temperature, they are perfect. Whatever temperature you prefer, don’t add ice to dilute the flavor, don’t add garnish (unless it’s a kumquat or a sprig of culinary lavender), and serve Dry Soda in a beautiful glass (the company likes Champagne flutes, which play off the Champagne-size bubbles of the soda, but a lovely tumbler will do, too).
We like all of the flavors:
- Juniper Berry Soda. Crisp with a pine essence and high acidity, juniper berry is the fruit from which gin is distilled—think of it as non-alcoholic gin and tonic. (55 calories)
- Kumquat Soda. Gentle orange with a touch of vanilla, kumquat hints of an extremely sophisticated creamsicle. (50 calories)
- Lavender Soda. We admit a love for lavender, and could happily while away the afternoon drinking this soda. Mindful of sugar no matter how restrained, it makes us want lavender club soda and a lavender water (please, someone, make this). (70 calories)
- Lemongrass Soda. Most people only have had lemongrass in savory applications. Combined with sugar, the flavor tastes different—interesting with a hay-like finish. (50 calories)
- Rhubarb Soda. This is not our grandmother’s stewed rhubarb. There are notes of Asian pear and plum: overall, an exotic fruit experience, reminiscent of alcohol-free Japanese plum wine. (60 calories)
- Vanilla Bean Soda. Aromatic, lightly sweet and delicate—a sophisticated relative of cream soda (60 calories)
The company has recently added cucumber soda to the line.
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