Photo by Leslie Kelly
Sharelle Klaus created DRY Soda because she was sick of the sticky sweet stuff.
Yes, Jones Soda creates hype and grabs


DRY Soda Creator's A Sweet Lady

Photo by Leslie Kelly
Sharelle Klaus created DRY Soda because she was sick of the sticky sweet stuff.
Yes, Jones Soda creates hype and grabs headlines with its latest smash hit, Bacon Pop, and its seasonal Turkey and Gravy flavor. But we're sweet on DRY Soda, another hometown success story that was launched because one mother got fed up with the lack of sophisticated sippers out there. Sharelle Klaus had a dream, a dream about getting beautifully flavored sodas that weren't loaded with sugar in sleek bottles. Some of her earliest fans were incredibly cool chefs in Seattle. We'd like to raise a champagne flute filled with Rhubarb DRY Soda to those chefs who got it early on.

SW: Where'd you get the idea to start DRY Soda?

Sharelle: I was tired after 4 pregnancies of being left out at restaurants and other events. There was nothing sophisticated to drink when not drinking wine - nor could I properly pair my drink with my dinners. Plus, when you are pregnant you become very aware of what you put into your body and I wanted something indulgent but still healthy.

SW: Do you have a culinary background?

Sharelle: No, not professionally. I just love good food and wine. It is my passion.

SW: Tell us about the role Jason Wilson at Crush played in helping develop flavors.

Sharelle: Jason was one of our first restaurants - we got to know each other and I was really impressed with his incredible attention to the ingredients. We talked about the flavors he could develop for DRY - so he did. He developed 14 different flavors for us - was totally amazing. He used the freshest herbs and spices and developed some incredible flavors for us - including our Juniper Berry and Vanilla Bean.

SW: DRY Soda shows up on a lot of restaurant menus around Seattle. Who was the first chef or bartender to take it to the next level?

Sharelle: Kerry Sear at Cascadia was the first chef to taste DRY and bring it in. He even used it in the kitchen - marinated duck in the kumquat and made some amazing sorbets. Thierry Rautureau of Rover's also become a big fan and did a dinner centered around the sodas as well as played around with some flavors for us. Seattle chefs have been amazingly supportive and encouraging. We are so lucky to have such talent here.

SW: We loved making floats with DRY Soda all summer long. What's your favorite way to use DRY Soda? What's the craziest thing you've ever made with it?

Sharelle: I have two favorite ways to enjoy DRY - lavender DRY in a champagne flute with a square of really good dark chocolate (this can make even the worst day better - OK if it is especially bad, you may want to add a shot of vodka!) and I love deciding every day when I walk in the door with my lunch what soda to pair with it. When it is a really good pair - it honestly makes my day. The craziest thing I have done to date with DRY (and it is actually not crazy, but really good) is marinate my Thanksgiving turkey in the Kumquat (or Blood Orange would work).

Check back for part two of this week's Grillaxin Q&A with Sharelle Klaus, the creator of DRY soda.

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