"Botanical" sodas

Anyone have any experience with these (ex. Casamara is a brand that popped up in a couple articles on up and coming non-alcoholic beverages)? Not giving up alcohol, but looking for some different, ready made beverages to pop open in the evening that I can add to my rotating set of seltzers, water, and herbal tea. Not looking to make my own infusions or anything like that. I like the idea of a carbonated sipper that skews a bit savory.

2 Likes

I love bitter Italian sodas, specifically chinotto. The best brand I’ve had is Lurisia, but San Pellegrino makes an acceptable one.

I was at a trendy Brooklyn bar (uncomfortably) asking for something interesting but alcohol-free some years ago, when a savvy bartender gave me a “say no more” gesture and poured me my first one. I remember she rimmed the heavy highball glass with orange peel and gave me some fancy ice. “These are impossible to get,” she said conspiratorally as she showed me the bottle. I took a sip and was hooked.

I found the brand at Eataly the next day. Impossible to get my ass!

But she wasn’t wrong that that brand isn’t widely available, even in the heavily Italian area of Brooklyn where I live.

1 Like

Stappi sodas from Italy are nice, too. I get the citrus ones.

Elderflower water might be up your alley.
Available at stores with British imports.

I don’t like the Fentiman’s cherry cola at all. I don’t mind some other sodas they make. Some are botanical.

There’s a bright green tarragon-flavoured soda available at some Slavic grocery stores in Toronto, as well as at Georgian and Azerbaijani restaurants

1 Like

St. P chinotto is husband’s daily soif. Husband adds that in our area (NorCal) St. P annually dumps chinotto at Grocery Outlet. Last time, he bought 4 CASES, not 6-packs.

He also adores the red bitter that comes in very small (5oz?) bottles, and yes, hard to source, He finds it locally at Amphora Nueva.

1 Like

Pelegríno Chinottos at Grocery Outlet?!??! Annually?! Next time can you get four cases, and call me so I can get all the remaining?

Which store is that? When is it?

Yes count me as a fan of that Chinotto. I think your husband is being restrained getting only four cases.

1 Like

Have you tried this?

2 Likes

Or this?

re cucumber dry, YES! But couldn’t remember the name of it. Granddaughter also loved it but it became forbidden fruit after dad noticed the sugar content. Husband still enjoys it.

SF, but we have seen it also in other areas (central valley). Several months ago. I can’t remember exactly when. As I recall, GO seems to have it with some frequency. Suggest you chat-up the store manager of your local and let him know your interest. He’ll “hide” some for you.

I have Fentimans Pink Ginger, it is awful.
I like blood orange Italian soda, O Organics or San Pellegrino, whatever I can find.

1 Like

Thanks, everyone! I will investigate the San Pellegrino options, since this seems the most readily available in the area. I think the Turkey Dinner Jones soda may skew a little too savory :rofl:

And, despite thinking I wasn’t going to make an infusion, I do have a small batch of a 1:1 simple syrup steeping with rosemary, bay leaves, black, and pink peppercorns right now. I think it will be good over ice with some of the Polar grapefruit seltzer I already have on hand. Will report back!

1 Like

There’s a Canadian brand called Brio Chinotto, available at many pizzerias in Canada. Cheaper than the Imports. I don’t know if it’s available in the States. https://italianmarket.ca/product/brio-chinotto-soda/

1 Like

We often get Olipop sodas at our local fancy grocery. Don’t know if they’re just a Bay Area thing or if you can get them elsewhere. Some are better than others, IMHO.

1 Like

I love the SP blood orange, too.

1 Like

Is that a lemonade or a flavored seltzer? I picked up a St. Pellegrino can once thinking the latter & was disappointed to realize it’s the former. Too much sugar for me, but I’d love to try a flavored water if they make it (and perhaps I just grabbed the wrong can).

Flavored seltzer, no. I mean, it’s a carbonated soft drink. It’s tart; less sugary than regular orange soda, but if you don’t like soda pop, you won’t like it.

1 Like

I prefer to eat my Thanksgiving dinner. That said, Jones makes a zero calorie (called Zilch) black cherry soda which is sold absolutely nowhere near me, I order it from Jones. It tastes like the late, lamented Suburban Club Almond Smash, a Maryland favorite which is now no longer bottled. Difference in color; Almond Smash was bright, bright red. And contained sugar, of course.

1 Like

I mixed my syrup with grapefruit seltzer and added a lemon twist (also a pinch of salt). Not bad. Rosemary is very present, but I am not getting a lot of the pepper. Going to play with the syrup over time I think.

2 Likes

I like cherry. I will keep an eye out. Thanks!

1 Like

I give a big thumbs up to the the Jones. Wegman’s used to carry it, but I asked and they haven’t since 2015! Which is why I just order a case from Jones. Not often, but I do.

1 Like