Record heat swept through our area earlier this week. You’d think that since I’m from Bakersfield, a city with some of the hottest summer days in the nation, I could swing the heat, no problem…this is not the case.
You see, in Bakersfield, CA we had this wonderful invention called the air conditioner. It’s a foreign concept up here in Washington state, mainly because they’d only be in use for a few days every summer. Our house is a two story, equipped with zero cool-air-emitting contraptions, making the days a little toasty when the temperatures surpass 80 like they did on Monday. Whoa, 80 degrees? Yeah, I know. Sweltering.
I’m probably the only person in Washington wishing for the rain to return. Fortunately, the temps dropped back down into the 70s, and rain is on the horizon (which reminds me, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love the cold weather in Alaska!).
This pop came to my attention when searching for a vanilla bean based beverage to take the edge off these warm summer days sans A/C. The original recipe, from Cheeky Kitchen, calls for granulated white sugar. I chose to use Agave nectar to sweeten it instead, since it’s a low glycemic sweetener. It absorbs into the body slower, preventing spikes in blood sugar. I kicked my pregnancy-influenced sugar habit recently, and didn’t want to completely relapse.
Vanilla Bean Cream Soda Recipe
1 1/3 cup Organic Blue Agave Nectar
1 Vanilla Bean – caviar stripped
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
1 QT Sparkling Water – Chilled
Slice vanilla bean lengthwise, use paring knife or spoon to scrape vanilla bean caviar into a large pitcher.
Add Agave nectar, and extracts to the vanilla bean caviar and mix thoroughly.
Add sparkling soda slowly.
The caviar will separate from the mixture and float to the top. If you plan on serving immediately, I recommend topping the pitcher with copious amounts of ice. This re-integrates the caviar into the drink. Or, hold a spatula over the spout while pouring over ice in individual glasses to limit the amount of caviar going into each glass. This seemed to work for me.
Shelf life is about a 24 hours since the carbonation tends to disappear slightly with each pour.
Bonus!: to enhance your porch-sitting, spike this soda with white rum. It’s insanely delicious.