A beverage that's cold, fruity, and healthy? We're definitely interested. We met up with Micah Olson, bar owner and mixologist at Bar Crudo, to get a preview of his newest summer concoction: Strawberry Balsamic Soda with Basil and Cracked Black Pepper.
Olson showed us how he makes this refreshing vinegar-based summer soda and discussed his inspiration behind the drink. "I usually make a new shrub soda every season," he said, as he explained how vinegar, not usually found in creative drinks, can actually be quite good for you. He specifically enjoys this strawberry shrub soda because it is "not just juice in a glass, it has something that's unique."
Method: There are two stages of creating the drink: making the strawberry shrub and making the actual soda. The strawberry shrub must be made in advance, as it needs to refrigerate over two nights. For this, Olson's ingredients are:
-3 cups sliced strawberry -1 cup apple vinegar -1 cup balsamic vinegar -2 cups sugar
1. Olson begins by covering the sliced strawberries with the sugar in a large container, making sure to distribute the sugar all over. He allows this to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
2. The next day, he adds the vinegar to the strawberries and mixes it appropriately, before letting it refrigerate overnight once more.
3. Then, Olson strains the shrub, keeping the liquid part, so that he can bottle it to use for the soda.
The latter half of the process involves putting together the soda drink itself. The ingredients for this part are:
-2-3 basil leaves torn and lightly muddled -4 turns of black pepper mill -1.5 oz strawberry balsamic shrub -2 oz bottled water
4. Olson puts the pepper and the basil in his mixing container, and then adds the liquid shrub and water, in addition to ice.
5. He shakes this mixture and then pours it into a Perlini Carbonating Shaker, which he uses to carbonate the water instantly.
6. To serve, Olson pours the drink over ice, and garnishes the top with an extra basil leaf and sliced strawberry. He often bottles the soda to save for later as well.