Our glassware cabinet is filled with mason jars and a few mismatched Ikea glasses that haven't broken yet. The great thing about mason jars is that they're virtually indestructible - if only I had a dollar for every time my slippery fingers dropped a glass in the sink. The paper-thin glasses holding this blood orange and sage sparkling soda are on the exact opposite end of the spectrum; dangerously lighter than disposable plastic crystal cut cups, they threaten to crumble if you grab just a little too firmly.
My non-rational side couldn't resist their delicacy, so I bought a pair and immediately filled them with something lovely before I had a chance to crush them with my superhuman grip.
Don't expect to see them again. There's a reason I can't have nice things.
As an inexplicably clumsy person, I'm breaking all the rules drinking something so crimson in such a fragile glass. Back in high school, I earned a reputation for spilling food and drinks all over my best friend's carpet. If it could stain, I'd instantly turn into a bumbling oaf. After one too many Hawaiian Punch puddles on her bedroom floor (and bed), her parents bought me a sippy cup and banned me from taking drinks out of the kitchen without it. And they weren't joking.
To this day, I drink water out of a lidded cup with a straw and still manage to spill it down my shirt.
While this vibrant red soda looks a whole lot like Hawaiian punch, I assure you it's way more grown up and ambrosial. This is no youthful sippy cup soda. This deserves a delicate cup (with a straw so I don't actually have to pick it up). It's bright and tart, with a bit of bubbly. The sage simple syrup softens each sip with an unexpected earthy sweetness. To finish it off, I candied the sage from the simple syrup as an aromatic garnish.
Dear Fruit, meet your new best friend Sage. (Scroll down for the recipe)
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- ¼ cup sugar, plus more for candied sage garnish (optional)
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup fresh sage
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice (from about 4-5 blood oranges)
- 1 cup seltzer water
- In a small pot, stir together the sugar and water. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar just dissolves, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the fresh sage. Steep for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the sage simple syrup into a small cup, reserving the sage to candy as a garnish (optional).
- (Optional). One piece at a time, dip a soaked leaf of sage in a small bowl of sugar, covering both sides of the leaf with sugar. Transfer to a plate to dry. (It takes a few hours to harden, so if you're hoping to have this as a garnish, prepare the sage simple syrup in advance).
- Divide the ice between two cups.
- Pour ½ cup of freshly squeezed blood orange juice into each glass.
- Pour 2-3 tablespoons of sage simple syrup into each glass (you can always add more, depending on how sweet you like it).
- Top off each glass with ½ cup of seltzer water.
- Garnish with candied sage and a blood orange slice.