Daily Archives: September 23, 2006

The Sober Alchemist: non-alcoholic mixed drinks

lemonade punch drink, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

It’s hard to keep mankind in familiar territory for too long; we have a history of discovery (after all, we did make fire which led to cooking which led to…um, this food blog?).

This tendency towards invention definitely shines in the realm of beverages–the flavors and combinations have multiplied in packaged drinks. In addition to orange juice, there are a dozen kinds of “nectars” and “mixed citrus” juices. In the soda aisle, there is an even wider variety of flavors. There’s even a “Chardonnay” non-alcoholic drink out by Vignette that uses chadonnay grapes for a fizzy and delicious grape soda. The world keeps pushing the envelope of drink flavors, as if we want to introduce or invent a new flavor that does not exist out there.

These days, in the world of non-alcoholic mixed drinks, we have a lot more options than a Shirley Temple. (Though I adore a Shirley Temple). My husband loves to order an “Arnold Palmer,” which is a drink that is half iced tea, half lemonade. He likes to make this at home too, with Tejava and Paul Newman’s Virgin Lemonade. At home, I like to mix lemonade or limeade with sparkling water.

For years, I’ve compulsively mixed drinks at any fast food soda fountain. My favorite is half Sprite and half lemonade. Or half Sprite and half fruit punch. Do these have names? I don’t know, they might. I’m not the first to practice alchemy at a soda machine, judging by the “Mosstrooper” (root beer with a squirt of 7up).

If you want to make a new flavor on your own, it’s simple enough. And what better way to indulge the mad scientist streak in our humanity? The worst thing that can happen is that you come up with an awful tasting drink. 🙂 And the best case scenario? Well, you will have discovered something new and wonderful.

To help you along, here is a link to non-alcoholic mixed drinks recipes. My favorites are the fizzy, non-alcoholic drinks.