I began volunteering at my church’s coffee shop in November, and I instantly became in love with Italian Sodas. No really. This is a big deal.
So much of a big deal, that I just bough a couple flavors so I can make Italian Sodas at my daughter’s 2nd birthday.
Sidenote: A lot of people like their Italian Sodas with cream in them, but not me. Actually, I was recently told that Italian Cream Sodas without the cream are actually called French Sodas. However, that’s way too high class for me. I’ll stick to either calling them an Italian Soda or an Italian Cream Soda.
I always make my Italian Soda with Sugar-free Raspberry syrup, and I love the taste of the Italian Soda we make at the Cafe. We use Perrier sparkling water. After about two months of first being introduced to theItalian Soda, I decided to order one at Starbucks and also at a local coffee shop. ICK! Totally not the same, but I wasn’t sure what the difference was. It couldn’t be the syrup, because that was the same.
Could it be the fact that they didn’t put as much syrup in? The next time I went to each of these places, I asked them to put in the same number of pumps we use at the Timberline Cafe. Still ick! It must be the drink base they use! I’m not sure what the local cafe uses, but I know that Starbucks uses Pellegrino. Now, when I used Pellegrino at my house, it was a lot more appealing than it is at Starbucks. I’m convinced it’s because they use the amount of Pellegrino that should be used in a small size cup in their large cup and they fill the cup the rest of the way with ice… So much ice that I can’t fit my straw in without a bit of difficulty. My cup actually tipped over and spilled all over their floor in a local Starbucks because of all of the ice (and I wasn’t holding the cup when I put the straw in… 80% my fault, 20% theirs… or perhaps 100% mine!)
So, I decided to get a number of possible Italian Soda bases and do a taste test. This is obviously not a very official taste-test since I’m the only one who tasted all of the different bases, but…it’s all you have if you don’t want to do it yourself!
The line-up of sodas/waters:
For a 12-ounce cup, I like 5 pumps of syrup. These cups were about 8 ounces, so I used 2 pumps.
(from best, to worst):
1) Club Soda: If you want a very carbonated, bubbly Italian Soda, this is for you! The Club Soda didn’t add a weird flavor to the drink.
2) Selzer water: This had the same carbonated effect as the Club Soda, but tasted a tiny bit different. Both were great!
3) Perrier sparkling water: This is a less carbonated, but still great-tasting Italian Soda.
4) Pellegrino sparkling water: I prefer Perrier, but Pellegrino also makes a great Italian Soda.
5) Sprite: Not good! Unless you want a slightly syrupy-flavored Sprite drink, don’t use Sprite. The Sprite taste overtakes everything else.
6) Tonic water: Gross! The Tonic water has a slightly bitter taste that really takes the joy out of all that is an Italian Soda Just don’t do it.
So, in conclusion, the first 4 were very close! They are pretty much the difference between highly carbonated and lightly carbonated. The last two are NO-GOs! 🙂
This is a 12-ouncer with 5 shots. Mmm! I mix before drinking, but it looks cool like this!