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strawberry-basil soda - to die for

I have had today a small promotion in the Ritz Carlton Club Lounge.
We offered a couple of special drinks for our club guests.

While it is a nice thing to do - you have to be very carefully what kind of drinks your offering - on one hand you have no proper bar set up. On the other hand, you might need to do a lot of drinks - so don't put yourself into the shit.

I took the opportunity to promote La Baie Lounge styled drinks - and also I have proven the point, that with quite some mis en place, you can serve very fast, very good drinks - and this was also very important for me.

One drink was a reconstructed pina colada - fresh pineapple juice, Matusalem platino and a hint of coconut [in La baie I thought to clarify the pineapple juice] topped with coconut espuma [made with coconut milk, lime and xanthan gum]. A lot of guest liked it and drink several of those.

But the real triumph was a strawberry-basil soda. I served it as Gin & Tonic [added tonic at last] and guests really liked it. Well - its preparation was definitely not that easy.
  1. Blanch basil, put it directly into ice water and press it out.
  2. Clean ripe strawberries and cut them into brunoise.
  3. Prepare an acidified rich syrup [put together water, citric acid & sugar and stir until dissolved].
  4. Add strawberry brunoise into the syrup and let macerate for a couple of minutes.
  5. Strain the syrup.
  6. Keep strawberry brunoise as garnish.
  7. Blend blanched basil in the strawberry syrup.
  8. Fine strain [through cheese cloth or similar].
  9. Add the syrup to the soda plus [or cream siphon].
  10. Add ice cubes and water.
  11. Close and charge with 2 CO2 cartridges.
  12. Shake minimum 2 minutes.
  13. Let it rest at least a minutes [the longer the better].
  14. Depressurize the Soda plus.
  15. Pour strawberry-basil soda into an empty bottle and close properly to avoid CO2 loss.
As you can see, it is not the easiest recipe ever - but it is also not a difficult one.
Please see below the video of Chefsteps, about macerated strawberries. They use malic acid - however citric acid is just working fine - also the heated up the mixture, which is not a must [it is just easier to dissolve the sugar and acid in hot water - but then you have to chill it down again, which takes almost as long as just starting with room temperature water]. They also made a simple syrup, and I am more a fan of rich syrup, which speeds up the maceration.






Like said - the soda is just phenomenal! Super delicious. And it would even better work without tonic [though then I would have to do the double amount, which was not "convenient" in my situation.

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