Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fizzy drinks

It’s been almost exactly ten months since I kicked my Pepsi habit. It’s going well: I haven’t cut myself off totally, but I don’t really keep it in the house anymore and I order it less and less when I go out to eat. The less I drink it, the sweeter it tastes and the less I like it.

As I’ve gotten some distance from my fixation, I’ve learned that what I really crave from Pepsi is the fizz. So I’ve been focusing on ways of getting that without an unwanted heaping dose of HFCS thrown in. (Since I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, I don’t miss the sugary part, and now that I’ve isolated the carbonation I’ve discovered that by itself it is not sweet at all, which makes me like it even more.)

So I’ve been exploring the world of unflavored carbonated drinks, and here’s something I just found out: did you know that club soda, sparkling water, soda water, and seltzer are all the same thing? They are all just plain old water, fizzed up with pressurized carbon dioxide. (The only one in a class by itself is tonic water, because it contains quinine, which was originally introduced to help fend off malaria. Since quinine has a bitter taste, tonic water is usually sweetened as well.) So whether you’re drinking Schweppes club soda, Perrier, or Polar seltzer, you’re basically just drinking fizzy water.

And because it’s unflavored, you can spruce it up any way you want! My current favorite add-in is a good slosh of lime juice to make sparkling limeade, but I’m starting to explore other possibilities. Today, after I tried to eat a late tangelo and was forced (by a mouthful of pith) to admit that their season is pretty much past, I zested and juiced the three I still had sitting around so I can use the mixture for sparkling tangelade. And I’ve got my eye on a half-empty jar of strawberry coulis for sparkling strawberrade. To say nothing of possible combinations….

All of which is much tastier, more satisfying, and quality-of-life-improving than cracking open a can of who-knows-what. Got a favorite fizzy thirst quencher? I’d love to hear about it.


Sue said... Best Blogger Tips

Glad to see the virtues of seltzer celebrated! I wish it were always available next to soda. It's also great way to cut calories & alcohol from white wine. Concord grape juice and seltzer is very good, as well as the classic cranberry-and-selzter-with lime.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Sue! So do I--now that I've switched my allegiance, I'm learning how un-available it can be sometimes. And thanks for your suggestions, which reminded me to add cranberry juice to my shopping list....

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