Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Soft Drink Surprise

Came home last night to be told, "Ron sent you something."

So I'm runnin' through every "Ron" I know (three), trying to figure which one would have have done that, when Tam names the one I had not considered, "Ron at Locally Grown Gardens!"

H'mm, he's a first-rate guy but I try to spend money at his place, figuring if we all do that, he'll stay in business: when you have (within an easy bicycle ride!) a farm market that also serves wonderful prepared food, owned and operated by a genius chef, that's something you want to support.

One of his sidelines -- along with eggs, butter and a selection of remarkable spices, flavorings and condiments that can be found nowhere else -- is soft drinks. Soda pop: a huge selection, all of it good, most of it obscure or brands I'd thought forever gone. One of the very best of the relatively unknown brands is Fentiman's, a British marque over a hundred years old. Their sodas are "botanically brewed," and they are slightly more fanatical about purity of the ingredients than a German brewer; with their preference for very old recipes, the result is a unique line of soft drinks that appeal to adult palates. When the first couple of flavores showed up at Locally Grown Gardens, I was moved to go online and learned there were many more, including Victorian Lemonade and Dandelion and Burdock soda. I happened to mention this to Ron and next I knew-- He'd stocked the entire range!

Dandelion and Burdock is particularly good. It tastes like summer; it tastes like what Bradbury describes in Dandelion Wine (IIRC). But they've come out with another one, so new you can't find it on the North American site yet: Rose Lemonade!

And Ron, knowing my tastes possibly better than I do, made sure to send home a couple of bottles with Tam when she stopped by to pick up some vegetable starts for the garden here at Roseholme Cottage.

...Words do not describe the floral, lemony and pleasantly tart taste, with a hint of ginger under the rose petals. The very thing after a long day!

We will be buying more.


Mad Saint Jack said...

Hmmmm, next blog meet?

wv: buy yt

for realz

LabRat said...

As note, it's every bit as possible to brew your own soda pop as it is to brew your own beer...

Roberta X said...

Indeed it is -- one of my maternal great-grandfathers did just that, too; he made his own beer and wine and soda pop for the teetotalers and youngsters. My Mom never fails to smile when speaking of him.

For me, for now, it's too much fun finding out what other people have invented.

Ken said...

When I was a teen, I made a batch of sarsaparilla (components courtesy of the lamented Wine-Art of Ohio, bottled in quart soda bottles -- remember those?). It was okay, but not spectacular. Like winemaking components, I'd bet the quality is much better now than it was in the '70s (I make wine too, now and then). It would be fun to make some root beer or ginger beer.

I'm intrigued by the dandelion and burdock -- I liked celery tonic pretty well, first time I tried it.