Friday, May 6, 2011

Italian Cream Soda

Many years ago, I discovered the joys of drinking Italian Cream Sodas.  They were just so fun! They seemed so seasonal as well, creamy, but still light and refreshing. I think my favorite part of the drink  is the creamy layer of foam on top. It's just like the creamy foam you get from a root beer float.



My secret to a good drink is a simple 1:2:3 ratio.  1 part flavored syrup, 2 parts 1/2 & 1/2 or milk, 3 parts club soda, in a glass with ice.

Of course, I have tried different brands of flavored syrup but my favorite is Da Vinci. You can use any flavor of syrup you like for these drinks.  Some of our favorites are Vanilla, Irish Cream, Strawberry, Hazelnut, Cherry, and Peach.

Let me just warn you one thing. These little drinks are so tasty, it's very easy to suck one down entirely without realizing it. They contain lots of sugar and fat from the syrup, club soda, and regular milk (or more if you use 1/2 & 1/2). If you want to shave the fat and calories, use sugar-free syrup and fat-free milk or fat free 1/2 & 1/2 and seltzer. You could even use soy, rice, or almond milk, but it will be lighter, maybe thinner in the mouth-feel sensation category.

I'm a sucker for texture, so I like the "heaviness" of full fat and full sugar. I like to stick with the real ingredients and just make a smaller drink, about a 10 ounce glass instead of the pint.


Ingredients for 1 pint-size drink
1/4 cup (2 ounces) flavored syrup
1/2 cup (4 ounces) milk, 1/2 & 1/2, or milk alternative
3/4 cup (6 ounces) club soda or seltzer
lots of ice

Method
1. Combine syrup and milk in bottom of glass. Stir.


2. Add ice to fill glass about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way.

3. Pour in the club soda. Using a straw give it a a little stir, just a swirl. Don't stir too much or you will lose the carbonation.

If you like the appearance of layers, then don't stir it up. To get the layers just right, you'd have to very carefully and very slowly pour the milk over the syrup over the back of a spoon so they don't mix together with ice already in the glass. It's cool to see the layers in the glass and then let the drinker stir it up. However, this is a finicky technique that I usually skip.

For one Jenny-sized drink
2 Tablespoons flavored syrup
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup club soda
Lots of ice

Method
Combine as instructed above. I made Strawberry for myself. This is only 7 ounces of drink (slightly less than one cup).