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NRN Featured Beverage: Spicy Ginger Soda

NRN Featured Beverage: Spicy Ginger Soda

Melissa Horst, beverage director at The Majestic in Alexandria, Va., first created the Spicy Ginger soda to replace commercially made ginger ale. She makes it with a concentrated base syrup of ginger root sweetened with organic cane sugar. The syrup is mixed with carbonated water from the restaurant’s in-house water filtration system. The Spicy Ginger soda ended up being too spicy to replace ginger ale for some guests, but remained on the menu as a staple for those who enjoy the stronger flavor of ginger beer.

Horst tries to keep the soda menu seasonal. Besides the Spicy Ginger and Lemon-Lime Citrus sodas, featured flavors like the Kumquat Vanilla, house-made with a base syrup of macerated kumquats and whole vanilla beans, can change almost bi-weekly. Most of the syrups get their sweetness from organic cane sugar, but Horst said this depends on the base ingredient. A roasted Kabocha squash and baking spices soda, for example, was sweetened with brown sugar, while a Meyer lemon soda used honey.

The $3 sodas are served in an old-fashioned milkshake glass with a curly straw. The drinks are also served with a giant “iceberg” made by bartenders cubing large chunks of ice from a block ice with an ice pick. The large-sized ice melts slowly, which prevents the soda from becoming too diluted.

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