Late summer flavors

Summer feels like it’s cresting here – all the late-summer bounty is rolling in, with more yet to come as we transition more to the fall harvest season in September. The strawberries are having another flush, and the raspberries are unstoppable right now!

What’s the perfect late-summer treat for a hot day, a libation with a nod to the end of summer? A raspberry soda float, of course! And Sparrow & Chipmunk are the perfect helpers.

I have a long-standing love for soda fountains. (I find that I’m often nostalgic for eras that I never even experienced – who’s with me?!) There’s something about the inexplicable charm of the soda fountain, the creativity of flavors and the artistry of soda jerks, that has always captured me. And, of course, I love ice cream and a deliciously cold fizzy drink on a hot day.

I came across a marvelous resource in the form of “The Soda Fountain” cookbook, compiled & written by the proprietors of the Brooklyn Farmacy. It’s filled with a fascinating history of the soda fountain, beautiful ephemera & photos from bygone eras, and an array of recipes.

Since we have an abundance of raspberries right now, I thought they’d provide the perfect jumping-off point for delving into homemade sodas.

I boiled a couple pints of our fresh raspberries with sugar, water, lemon juice, & raw honey (from our friends at Rainy Day Bees, who keep some hives here on the farm).

…and after straining the mixture, voila! Late summer in a jar: bright & beautiful raspberry syrup.

I put a little syrup in the bottom of a classic milkshake glass, mixed it gently with cold seltzer, then added a vanilla sidecar. As the ice cream drips into the soda a bit, it produces a delicious pink foam to top the float. Long-handled float spoons (also called iced tea spoons) work great for getting every last bit of flavor.

If you wanted to forego the ice cream, pouring some syrup over ice and then topping with seltzer and gently mixing will give you a refreshing, crisp summer drink.

What’s your favorite summer treat?

By the way, if you’re ever in the Seattle area, be sure to stop by these scoop shops & soda fountains!

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