My teenage son and I were walking by a Root Elixir stand at the Inspire Home, Garden, and Gourmet Expo the other day and began sampling these cute little sodas in tiny paper cups. "Oh no!" I said. "We were unsupervised!" The gal working the stand turned around to find we had already downed three or four magical samples. It had just occurred to me that our samples might have contained alcohol. "It's OK!" she assured me. "They're non-alcoholic." I wiped my brow. The effervescent, botanical flavors of the Root Elixirs we had tried were meant to mixed with spirits to create the ultimate craft cocktail, but I was a little slow to figure that out. Plus my son was ready to give up Coca-Cola or Sprite after tasting the strawberry lavender soda—quite perfect on its own. We also tried the ginger beer, cucumber elderflower, and grapefruit jalapeño flavors. The next time I use one as a mixer, I might try their easy recipe for Strawberry Fields: 3 oz strawberry lavender soda plus 5 oz dry Champagne. Garnish with lavender sprig.
Root Elixirs can be found at local restaurants: Novo, Luna Red, Inn at the Pier, Vegetable Butcher, Granada Hotel & Bistro, The Station, Fish Gaucho, Thomas Hill Organics, Kru, and Skyview; as well as retail: Lincoln Market, The Station SLO, California Fresh, the HIVE, Depalo & Sons, Third Base Market, SLO Brew Lofts, Niner Estates, Re:Find Distillery, Krobar Distillery, and Wineshine. $6 per Root Elixir. Δ
New Times contributor Beth Giuffre is mixing Strawberry Fields forever. Send lavender and Beatles albums to email@example.com.