Housemade carbonated soft drinks are as trendsetting as today’s cocktails, relying on fresh ingredients and exotic flavors to ramp them up. Here, chef Samuel creates a grape base infused with lavender, lime juice and honey that can be made ahead and chilled, then mixed with club soda for an instant sparkling refresher.
1 cup simple syrup
¼ cup lime juice
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1 tsp. crushed lavender
4 cups whole red grapes
Ice, as needed
2 cups club soda
1 cup red grapes, halved
1. Prepare grape base: Combine simple syrup, lime juice, honey and zest in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and chill.
2. Purée 4 cups whole grapes in blender; strain through a mesh strainer. Add grape juice to base and stir to combine. Chill completely; strain into a container.
3. For each drink, pour 3 oz. chilled grape base into a chilled glass with ice; add 4 oz. club soda.
4. To serve, garnish with a few grape halves.
Recipe by Chef Scott Samuel, Culinary Institute of America/Greystone, St. Helena, California. Courtesy of California Table Grape Commission