Thursday, February 8, 2018

Italian Cherry Cream Sodas: An Easy Sweet Valentine treat


Many among my friends and family have mixed reactions to Valentine's Day. For some it can be a holiday of grand romantic gestures complete with roses, proposals and champagne, for others a simple fun card or box of candy will suffice, and I know several who opt to forgo the "stress" of this "commercial" holiday altogether. 
 However you celebrate, it's always fun to add an  easy but sweet treat to your day as a nod to the occasion. I thought this year I'd say "Te Amo" with an aptly rosy colored Italian cherry cream soda for a quick Valentine's afternoon break.
Delicious Italian style sodas have been popular at coffee bars and cafes for quite a while now but also are fun and simple to whip up yourself at home. A quick online search lead to countless recipes for cream sodas which all basically consist of a mix of a sweet flavored syrup and carbonated water topped with whipped cream or half and half. That's it!
Elegant flavored syrups for these sodas are easily available in shops and online but as some can be a bit pricey and contain artificial colors or flavoring, I thought I'd experiment a bit with other options. I found a natural cherry juice from my local supermarket worked wonderfully. It was also easier than the cooking, straining and cooling involved in making your own syrup from berries and sugar.

Italian Cherry Cream Soda
Really a non-recipe recipe, ingredients can be adjusted to suit your taste.
I used:
natural cherry juice blend - store brand, 100% juice
carbonated or mineral water
 (some prefer club soda's milder taste but any bubbly water will do)
canned whipped cream

Since juice is less concentrated than soda syrups I used more than you normally might in this recipe. I started with about 3 parts juice to one part chilled sparkling water and simply topped generously with whipped cream and popped in a straw. 
These drinks tend to appeal more to "grown ups" as they are less sugary sweet than the traditional canned variety.
I served in tall stemmed glasses for a festive flare
send some love: image made with vintage photo from the the graphics fairy
I served with a store-bought berry biscotti and fruit

Wishing everyone
Valentine's Day!