Soda Fountain Drinks

Wow, has it been hot. It was hot enough to wear a lot of folks down. During the hottest days of the week, even the usual afternoon breeze never really developed.

There are certainly some good ways to cool off. With the lake temperature still frigid from snowmelt, one quick dip and you will feel invigorated. For those of you who are hikers rather than beachgoers, there is comfort in the knowledge that the temperature will drop on average 3 to 4 degrees with each 1,000 feet in elevation gained. There is also normally a little more of a breeze higher on the mountains and ridge tops.

The true fountain way is to put chocolate syrup into a glass and mix in soda water. Top it off with a scoop of chocolate ice cream and it is a chocolate ice-cream soda.

Sometimes it gets so hot you don’t even want to eat, but there is one thing that no one will turn down: a nice cold drink. The cold liquid will feel wonderful on your throat and will even cool you down from the inside out — at least temporarily.

So, what’s it going to be? An ice-cold beer or cocktail will work, but in the long run the alcohol will dehydrate you and that is working against your goal. Water is of course always good, but there is no flavor. Soda? Juice? A milkshake will taste great and can cool you down all the way to giving you brain freeze if you drink it too fast. But 15 minutes later you are thirsty again and bloated without even room for a glass of water. Here are a few ideas for cool drinks that can be made easily. They are from my days of working in an ice-cream parlor back in college.

Raspberry Lime Ricky

The first one is probably my favorite thirst quencher of all time: the Raspberry Lime Ricky. The true soda-fountain way is to put a couple squirts of raspberry syrup and a couple squirts of simple syrup or sugar water into a glass and fill the rest with soda water. Top it off by squeezing a few lime wedges in to it. This can be done using pureed frozen raspberries, but I like to make it fast and simple. Fill a glass half full with cran-raspberry juice and top it off with Fresca. Squeeze a few lime wedges into it and it is ready to drink.

Cream Freeze

The second fountain drink that I’ve never seen out West is the Cream Freeze. You need a blender and cannot just whip it up anywhere, but it is awesome. Put sherbet or sorbet into a blender, add a little cream, which will add a little body to the drink, add some Fresca and blend. The difference between sherbet and sorbet is there is cream in sherbet and not in sorbet. So if you use sherbet, only use half the amount of cream. Like a milkshake it can give you brain freeze if you drink it too fast. As long as you do not go overboard on the cream, it is also a good thirst quencher.

Chocolate Sprite

One last drink for a hot day that usually gets some kind of reaction when I tell people about it is a Chocolate Sprite. This is wicked easy to make. Mix chocolate milk with sprite or what I use is Fresca. The true fountain way is to put chocolate syrup into a glass and mix in soda water. Top it off with a scoop of chocolate ice cream and it is a chocolate ice-cream soda. I think the Fresca adds a lot more flavor and that is the reason I use it instead of soda water.

No matter how hot it gets out there, the next time you are looking for a good drink, give one of these soda fountain drinks a try and enjoy.

Raspberry Lime Ricky, #1
2 oz. raspberry syrup
1 oz. simple syrup, (sugar water)
1 or 2 lime wedges
Stir all together and serve over ice

Raspberry Lime Ricky, #2
½ glass of cran-raspberry juice
½ glass of Fresca
1 or 2 lime wedges
Stir all together and serve over ice

Cream Freeze
6 oz. sherbet or sorbet
2 oz. cream or 1 oz., if using sherbet
6 oz. Fresca
Blend all and pour into a glass.

Chocolate Fresca
3 to 6 oz. chocolate milk
6 to 9 oz. Fresca
Stir together. Add a scoop of ice cream, if you’d like.

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Chef Smitty
Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Smitty has been teaching skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for more than 26 years each winter, and spends his summers working for High Sierra Waterski School since 2000. Smitty has been writing his chef column for Tahoe Weekly since 2005.