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uncaffeinated, nonalcoholic bubbly tinkly drink on a summer evening?

My body and mind can't sustain caffeine after 3:00 pm or alcohol beyond my nightly (large) glass of wine. So on hot summer nights, I've fallen into the habit of making a grande Italian sode, i.e. flavored syrup and seltzer, with ice. It's a big thirst-quencher and rehydrates me, plus since it's sweet, it feels like a treat and so I don't end up eating cookies. I've also tried the sugar-free syrups, which I didn't think I would like, but they are okay.

What I would really love is recipes for strong herbal iced tea that I could add some bubbly water to, that would be really flavorful and satisfying. I don't like the "zinger" (i.e. rosehip) flavor, but I haven't yet tried making really strong licorice tea or mint tea and using those. Does anyone have suggestions about how strong it would need to be, to stand up to bubbles and ice? Any good combination of flavors? I do have lemon verbena in my garden so might make mint and lemon verbena as a starting place.

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  1. Non-alcoholic mojito? Make some mint simple syrup and then add it to fresh lime juice and seltzer. If you want to take the time then muddle fresh mint leaves in the glass before adding other ingredients (I grow stevia and muddle that along with my mint). You can also toss in some fresh blueberries to mix it up a bit (gives you something to chew between sips).

    1 Reply
    1. My hubby makes a non alcoholic drink based on the Old Fashioned: seltzer, sugar cube drizzled with bitters, cherry and an orange twist. Quite refreshing.

      3 Replies
      1. re: DrMag

        My in-house bartender would like it to be known that this is called a "New Fangled"

        1. re: DrMag

          "My in-house bartender would like it to be known that this is called a "New Fangled""

          lol That's great!

        2. re: DrMag

          This sounds delicious!

          And I love your in-house bartender's name for it.

        3. a bit off topic, but i find a large splash of good raspberry vinegar in plain seltzer refreshing and delicious.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wonderwoman

            I agree.

            I've started playing around with fruit "shrubs" this season and I'm really enjoying them. They really open up a whole new area to explore beverage-wise!

            1. re: wonderwoman

              Oooo...sounds great and oh the possibilities! Will definitely check out the flavored vinegars on my next trip to the markets. Thanks wonderwoman and meatn3!

            2. I drink a lot of fizzy water from my Sodastream, and usually just add a little lemon or lime to it. Sometimes I'll half and half it with grapefruit or cranberry juice, but I do like your idea of the herbal teas.
              I think you'd want to use about 1/4 the regular amount of water for steeping the tea, and maybe even give it a couple extra minutes of steeping, depending on the tea. Ginger teas are foul if steeped too long, but done just right would be delicious in your fizzy water concoction. I can see a raspberry tea as a good mixer, too.

              1. Not a tea recipe, but a great non-alcoholic drink is pomegranate juice in Pellegrino. About 1 oz juice to 8-10 oz of Pellegrino and an ice cube or 2. My sister drank this as her "cocktail of choice" while pregnant. You can also add a little pureed pineapple or pineapple juice to it, delicious.

                1. These are great idea! I love Chow! Thanks, guys.

                  1. If you enjoy bittersweet flavors:

                    A couple of ounces of orange juice, add a couple of tablespoons of unsweetened cranberry juice (Knudsens Just Cranberry is the BEST), topped off with seltzer, is great. My nightly drink of choice!

                    1. Not fizzy, but very refreshing: Amish Mint Tea. I used to think that mint tea was standard tea, with mint in it, however staying at a B&B in the heart of PA Amish country changed my mind.

                      Mint grows like weeds in our garden, so I cut down bunches of it, rinse it off, pull off the leaves & put them in a big pot of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. The mint will darken, and the water will become deep brown. Turn off the heat & let it sit for a while. Strain the leaves out, sweeten the tea to your liking with sugar, honey or whatever, then chill. Best iced tea ever, and no caffeine.

                      1. add some muddled ginger, perhaps?

                        1. This week I muddled watermelon and mint in a glass, then added some sparkling water and a big squeeze of lime (okay, I also added white rum but you don't have to).

                          This weekend I was thinking about making a cucumber lemonade and cutting it with club soda.