I didn’t used to be a morning person. I kinda forced it on myself. I had a hard time waking up before 10 AM before. I also was working retail and had no consistent schedule, so it was hard to hold myself to any kind of standard, really. So I started giving myself little things to be excited to wake up to. Usually, it’s a beverage. I have a cold brew drink on most mornings (more recipes for these coming soon), but sometimes I opt for a smoothie. This is one of my favorites. The ingredients are pretty easy to find, and if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know what I’m going to say: freeze your produce. It takes virtually no time to do, and it preps you for groggy mornings when you deserve something special but don’t want to take the extra time to make it. This is easy. You just throw everything in a blender and pulse it up. Even though this is a simple recipe, it took a few tries before I got it perfect. It was a journey. Strawberry and kiwi is an elite combination on its own, but I wanted to take it over the edge and give it some subtle enhancements. I’m extremely proud of this drink, and I’m happy to share the recipe. Also, truthfully, I don’t even like strawberries very much, so I took concocting this drink as a personal mission to make it balanced. I usually find strawberries too acidic on their own without the right balance of flavor to acid ratio. They’re too hit or miss, in my opinion, and they don’t stand alone well enough as a Good Fruit. But I’m not here to argue.
I know I said that last week was my final summery drink recipe, but this week I recreated a watermelon drink I made back in July and wanted to share it. This is another simple one, but it’s fun and good so I’m going to walk you through it. Also, watermelon juice is available from a few different brands year-round, so while this is summery in essence, it isn’t relegated to any specific seasonal enjoyment. I juiced this watermelon myself, but if you need a store-bought recommendation, Wonder Melon makes a great watermelon juice. They have a couple of flavors but I really like the watermelon-cucumber-basil one. This was a more spur of the moment recipe, so it was only prepared for one, but the measurements are so simple that you could easily make this for more people.
This is one of the most chaotic things I’ve done in my life. Not just as far as beverages go, but in general. I’m willing to try pretty much any food once, and that extends to beverages as well. There’s no way I can justify what I’m about to do.I’ve been curious about these drinks for years. I’ve seen them on Amazon, but would always talk myself out of trying them, for completely obvious reasons. I have some predictions about which will be the most repulsive. Ranch is topping the list. There’s literally no way it can be good. I’m not really into Ranch dressing. I prefer Caesar. That being said, I wouldn’t want to try a Caesar dressing soda either. I can’t decide if these drinks would be better or worse without carbonation. It doesn’t matter, because they ARE carbonated and I WILL try them all. The minutiae of it all is pretty irrelevant at this point. What I WILL say, before even trying them, is that I appreciate that they’re all made with cane sugar. I appreciate a nice cane sugar soda. I know people will judge me for trying these. I understand that I will be persecuted and my beliefs will be brought into question. I’m not doing this for ME, I’m doing this for YOU and I’m doing this for US. I hope you all appreciate this sacrifice I’m making, even if you yell at me for it. OK, now let’s get into tasting and reviews.
Did summer even happen? I’m not being existential here, but I’ve noticed that adulthood doesn’t have a lot of memorable benchmarkers when it comes to time. I’m not in school, and seasons aren’t defined by what I’m doing and when. I do the same thing in the winter as I do in the summer. Months and years blur together, and soon another decade is up. There’s end-of-the-DECADE music lists rolling out right now. 2010 was 10 years ago? Sounds fake, but OK.
After trying the SAP! drinks, I vowed to try more beverages that have a cause or positive message attached to it. I’m looking into more brands that do this (and I’m taking suggestions if you have any). Companies aren’t usually transparent about where their money goes or where the ingredients are sourced, and a lot of us don’t really question it. Why would we? We were raised in a climate where corporate brands have been vying for our attention, and it’s easy to miss smaller companies that are trying to do better. It’s tough deciding what brands or companies to spend your money with, when it really comes down to it. I don’t know that there’s necessarily a right choice in some instances. There’s constant stress and grappling with spending the money you earn, and how to spend it (unless you’re rich, but I don’t believe rich people have any reason to read or relate to anything I write). I even have some skepticism when I do find a brand that seems to hit the right marks with me. What are they hiding? What are their values? Sometimes the lines are too blurry to make a distinction between pandering and genuine mission statements. Do you ever feel that way? It seems like inclusivity and awareness are just brand benchmarkers now. But again, the lines are pretty blurry. It’s rare that I find a brand whose owner has transparency about their motives, so it led me to seek out something and report back.
What do you know about sap? Before trying these drinks, I knew little to nothing about it. In my head, I always confused it with maple syrup. I’m aware that these two things are in fact, different, but I never had a reason to seek out any answers. I guess it was just one of those things I was comfortable in my confusion of. I knew it was sticky and came from trees. That’s as far as my knowledge went. So when I saw the Sap! variety pack of maple seltzer, maple soda and sparkling birch, I thought I could use this as a learning experience.