In Italy I drank a peculiar soft drink. Now I can make it myself: Sparkling basil soft drink!
One of the things I really miss from The Netherlands are the syrup lemonades. You have them in almost every (fruit) taste and make a great afternoon drink instead of all those sugary soft drinks, as you can decide the strength of the taste (and sugar level) yourself. Just by adding more or less (sparkling) water.
What I like about living in the USA on the other hand, is the great variety of soft drinks. Of course, there are the regular brands you can get all over the world, but there are many many more. In all kinds of flavors, sparkling strength and sugar level. I discovered all of them in this tiny shop in San Francisco.
At The Fizzary [at 4929 Mission St.] they share my new-found love for special soft drinks. Against the walls, the drinks were subdivided by flavor and origins. At the back you find the counter with a rapid cooler if you want your drinks to be ice cold. They also planned for a beverage museum and, let me quote, “an unparalleled craft beverage incubator for the budding brewmaster and a delicious stop over for the parched adventurer!” Count me in!
After thoroughly searching the little colorful bottles, I approached the two hipster guys. Do you have that peculiar sparkling basil lemonade that I drank at the Slow Food Terra Madre in 2012? It made them curious enough to go search for it, but I didn’t have a name. Now I do: Basilichito. I’m sure I’ll send them an email.
In the mean time I tried to make it myself. Version 5 seemed to come close enough. Here’s how I made this funny sparkling basil soft drink:
RECIPE BASIL SOFT DRINKGreat home-made drink, 1/2 liter
* 2 stems of basil
* 4 ice cubes
* 1 t sugar
* few grains of salt
* 1/2 litre [17 fl oz.] sparkling water
Trim off the basil leaves, tear them apart and put them with all the other ingredients (but not the sparkling water) in a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly to bruise the basil leaves.
Pour in the sparking water and stir gently. Let soak up the flavors, but not too long as the bubbles might disappear.
Pour in a glass and enjoy!
Tip: Serve with a few fresh basil leaves and a tiny slice of lime.