Where To Find Great Housemade Sodas
Last week, I joined Let's Talk Live to chat about a bubbly trend restaurants are embracing across the country, and especially right here in DC. Housemade sodas are adding new sparkle to menus around town, offering creative flavors without boatloads of sugar and preservatives.
Hank's Oyster Bar mixologist Megan Coyle says "the creation of soda fountain drinks is a rich and colorful history, an oft neglected piece of Americana." For bar chefs, she says, making sodas can also serve as "a catalogue of individual creativity."
And thanks to at-home soda machines like the Penguin and Soda Stream, making sparkling water is simple. (I'm in love with my Penguin and go through about two carafes a day). Adding herbs, spices and fruit to the bubbly water is a fast and healthy way to make your own soda. Try making a batch at home with my recipe for Strawberry Ginger Soda.
Here's a look at some of the restaurants around DC making great soda:
• Bourbon Steak
This steakhouse's "zero-proof libations" include sodas in flavors like Earl Grey with cardamom.
• Brabo Tasting Room
Robert Wiedmaier's casual Old Town restaurant is concocting soda flavors like tamarind-honey, cucumber-ginger, and strawberry-balsamic.
• Casa Nonna
Fresh fruit like cantaloupe and green apple flavor this Italian joint's sodas.
• Hank's Oyster Bar
As part of the forthcoming expansion of Jamie Leeds' oyster bar, the restaurant will pour housemade sodas like a spin on a Shirley Temple with pomegranate, lemon and orange blossom.
• The Majestic
At Majestic sibling PX, barman Todd Thrasher was one of the first to start making cola and tonics to support his from-scratch cocktail philosophy. At Majestic, housemade soda flavors change seasonally. Tis the season for strawberry rhubarb.
• POV at the W Hotel
Creators of one of my favorite fresh ginger beers, the POV bartenders go through 80 pounds of ginger on a busy weekend.
Mixologist Jason Strich crafts housemade sodas in creative flavors like poppy for his bar program at this Indian hot spot.
• We, The Pizza
With some of the most irreverently named sodas in town (see: Good Morning Vietnam coffee soda), Spike Mendelsohn's pizza joint serves up a menu of artisanal sodas in flavors ranging from cherry to pineapple and egg cream.
Sipped on a delicious h ousemade soda in DC? Let us know in the comments.