This week DRY Soda introduced new flavors vanilla bean, cucumber and juniper berry, now available at a Starbucks near you (if "near you" means Seattle metro). If these new flavors are part of a ploy to further ingratiate the company into the good graces of restaurant owners and bartenders, it's working.
Like all the DRY sodas, these three are subtle. The juniper berry doesn't scream evergreen, instead the zippy herbal quality gets rounded out by a mellow sweetness. It would add the perfect sparkle to a light gin cocktail. Someone needs to figure out an after dinner drink recipe with the vanilla bean soda, stat. Drunk along side chocolate cake and other confections, the vanilla really comes alive, while letting the dessert shine.
The cucumber flavor made its debut at lifestyle guru Kelley Moore's reception a few weeks ago, in a gin and agave drink designed by chef Jason Wilson. "It's so fresh. (to her friend) Did you have that cocktail? I don't even like gin but I couldn't believe it!" said Moore. Fresh is right, just keeping a four pack in my fridge will allow for an instant spa day any day.
I know I'll get stoned (bottled?) for saying this, but at many restaurants in town I'd rather pair my food with a DRY soda than some of the wine by the glass choices with which I'm faced (I'm looking right at you, Poppy!). These sodas come alive with food; Phred at elemental turned me on to that. They also stay out of the way of my food, which I appreciate very much. Let the experiments with spirits begin.
UPDATE: Chef Jason Wilson was kind enough to provide the recipe for that awesome drink I mentioned. Here goes:
Created by jared scarr, bartender & andrew lanier, chef de cuisine, Crush restaurant
2 oz. Hendrick's Gin,
1/2 oz. each fresh squeezed lemon juice, lime juice, cucumber juice
3/4 oz. agave nectar
4 mint leaves
1 oz. Cucumber DRY Soda
Muddle mint, lemon, lime & cucumber juices, agave nectar and gin. Shake with ice and fine strain into an ice filled tall rocks glass. Top with Cucumber DRY Soda. Garnish with cucumber slices and mint leaves.