You know I like to start things off with a story if I can, so even though the first sentence may seem a little…um…depressing, just hang with me, because there’s a delicious outcome at the end!
I was 12 years old when my grandpa (my Poppy) passed away, which is apparently old enough to grasp the concept of what happened, and young enough to not really comprehend how much I’d miss him in the future. That’s one reason why now, at 31 years old, I’m completely surprised when something catches me off guard and instantly reminds me of him. At 12 I was merely a tween involved in my own world, so the fact that a simple taste of something can transport me back in time simply astonishes me.
Whenever I’d go over to my grandparents’ house, Poppy would always offer me seltzer. He drank it so often that he had his own seltzer maker that he’d keep chilled in the fridge. I distinctly remember him taking the time to show me how it worked with the little cartridges, and how he’d “pour” me a glass by spraying it into my cup. It was always so much fun, and I ended up developing a taste for having tiny bubbles in my drink.
Fast forward to present day when I was at Kroger and saw some cans of Vintage Sparkling Water on the shelf. Flooded with memories—and definitely finding the name of the company ironic—I picked up a case of their lemon-flavored sparkling water, and inspiration hit for the perfect summer drink. Sure, I could make my own seltzer like my grandpa used to, but let’s be honest: I’m way too lazy for that. Plus, if I made it myself I’d miss out on having flavored sparkling water.
*Side note: I periodically give my daughter sips of seltzer to try, but the second it hits her lips she declares that it’s “spicy,” and doesn’t know how to handle the sensation. It’s hilariously cute.
The drink I’m sharing with you today is off-the-hook good. Despite its name, this isn’t something you’ll actually find on any menu in Italia (go figure), but I’m obsessed with it. I first had an Italian cream soda in high school and I immediately and intensely fell in love with it. Taste it for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
This Italian cream soda has so many different sensations happening at the same time (the bubbles, the fruity flavor, the refreshing mint, the smooth cream, etc.), but everything works in harmony and mingles together into the perfect drink. Making it—even the simple syrup—is a cinch, and I highly suggest you enjoy it on a hot summer’s day. And if you’re over 21, I definitely think you need to spike this drink with some blueberry vodka…just saying.
- 2-3 ounces blueberry mint simple syrup*
- 8 ounces Vintage Lemon Sparkling Water
- 1 ounce of half and half or heavy cream
- 1 shot (1.5 ounces) blueberry vodka** (optional)
- Drop a few ice cubes in a glass.
- Drizzle in blueberry mint simple syrup and pour a shot of blueberry vodka** (optional).
- Top off with Vintage Lemon Sparkling Water—leave a smidgen of room at the top.
- Add a splash of cream
- Dip a spoon in a few times, up and down, to combine everything.
- Combine 1 cup sugar, 2 cups water, 1 pound blueberries (fresh or frozen), and 1 handful of mint in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Take off heat and cool. Pour mixture through a mesh strainer (or use a cheesecloth) to separate liquid from pulp. Discard pulp, put syrup in a container; place in fridge.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
This is my version of the perfect summer drink—what’s yours?