Fever Tree Club Soda
If you’re looking for a cold, refreshing, and classic drink, look no further than the Club and Cranberry: a tall glass of club soda on ice with a splash of cranberry and a squeeze of fresh lime. There are few drinks as festive as this red drink tinged with a slice of green lime (or the “Cape Codder” or “Rose Kennedy” which includes vodka) making this sparkling non-alcoholic drink a perfect choice during the holiday season.
The Club and Cranberry sounds so simple and yet the quality of the drink varies greatly with the three ingredients: club soda, cranberry juice, and the lime (I won’t get into ice right now but ice cubes matter, too).
Fresh cranberry juice is naturally sweet (no sugar is needed) so avoid cranberry juices sweetened with sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and other sweeteners. Choose a firm dark green lime (avoid bottled lime juice which may have added sweeteners and/or preservatives). And, choose a great club soda.
There are variations in club soda just as there are variations in cola drinks (think generic cola from a can compared to a Coke from a glass bottle). The hands-down best club soda on the market is made by a company called Fever Tree. Aptly named “Soda Water,” in England and “Club Soda” in the United States, Fever Tree blends soft spring water with a high level of carbonation to make the most bubbly, delicious, and refreshing club soda on the market.
Finding Fever Tree Club Soda has often difficult but is now getting easier. In England, Fever Tree Soda Water is readily available at a bar, restaurant or pub. But, in the United States, distribution is primarily limited to white napkin restaurants and some supermarket chains (i.e Fresh Market). Recently, Amazon started carrying Fever Tree Club Soda: 24 6.8-ounce glass bottles for $39.92 ($1.25 per bottle), shipping included. Given that most restaurants charge at least $3-$4 for a club soda, the $1.25 per bottle cost is a relative bargain. Buy the case. After one taste, you’ll never look at club soda or as the British say “soda water” the same way again. And, then you’ll start hoarding the bottles in case Amazon runs out.