Monday, June 27, 2016

Toast With This!: Blackberry Ginger Soda

With so much happening in the world today, not the least of which involves addressing the very serious matter of the lingering impacts of systemic racism, there has never been a better time to celebrate and amplify the voices and impact of black people, including our culture, cuisine, businesses and more.  And with that comes the (perfectly timed) celebration of Juneteenth on June 19th., which commemorates the final act of emancipation from slavery under the Confederacy, two and a half years following President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

My personal celebration will include an exciting collaboration with fellow black culinary creatives for a virtual Juneteenth Cookout. With a bevy of recipes in tow, showcasing the exuberance, flavors, and resiliency of a people destined for freedom, I'm inviting you to join us by raising a glass of my favorite Blackberry Ginger Soda, an ode to the original Juneteenth staple of Red Soda Water.
“Watermelon and red soda water are the oldest traditional foods on Juneteenth,” said Dr. Ronald Myers, head of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation.  
Red represents perseverance and spans much of the celebrated cuisine.  So if you haven't guessed by now, it's a delicious, empowering time of jubilee! 

See my original post below that includes the easy four-ingredient recipe and join in the celebration with a toast to freedom, joy and better days ahead.  You can also grab the recipes of the additional collaborators below for exceptional menu ideas for your very own Juneteenth cookout.

Original Post:

If last week's solstice didn't carry enough of a bang to convince you that Summer has officially arrived, then this past weekend's sweltering heat offered a not-so-gentle reminder.  And almost as fast as I welcomed the season, I began seeking a refreshing sip to usher in a much needed cool down.
While running my Saturday morning errands, I stopped in one of my favorite stores and landed upon the inspiration for this beautiful & ohh so good drink: rich, sweet blackberry syrup and sparkling dry ginger.  My wheels instantly began turning and the resulting mocktail was born.  I couldn't resist garnishing it with stunning blackberry king ice cubes, for added flair, and topping it off with a couple of splashes of club soda.

The punch from the ginger, coupled with the sweet blackberry essence and fizzy soda, makes this the perfect drink to toast the season--and it should definitely be in rotation in your sipping and entertaining repertoire.  It's a casual, pour-as-you-like, non-recipe of sorts so make it your own, leading with the ginger as the base and accented with blackberry syrup and club soda to finish.

Happy Sipping!

Blackberry Ginger Soda
Sparkling Dry Ginger (or ginger ale), chilled
Blackberry Syrup
Club Soda
Blackberry Ice Cubes

Fill glasses with ice cubes.  Pour desired amount of ginger into glass, followed by a few drizzles of the syrup.  Top with a couple splashes of soda.  Stir to combine and enjoy! 

The Juneteenth Cookout Recipes Round-Up:


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