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Yerba Mate Soda

Do you know, that it is pretty expensive to get Inca Kola in Dubai (or probably anywhere in the world except of Peru)? There is little which is more expensive than alcohol - but Inka Cola is one of those things.
How expensive you ask? Amazon has prices of U$ 70.00 for a pack of 12 - we haven't spoken about shipment - or even the soda tax of 50%, which you have to excise in Dubai...

I can be crazy - but I am (usually???) not that crazy! I know, that Inca Kola is quite a commercial product, which isn't shying away to use commercial flavorings, preservatives and so on.

Why is it so expensive? That is a good question. Is it worth it? Probably not...

I quite liked the Almdudler which I bought a couple of months ago. Also not cheap (but by no means that crazy). But it doesn't necessarily fit perfectly into Noir. Noir is about South American food with an Asian influence (think Peru). Something really South American (except of Inca Kola) is yerba mate.
However it is pretty obvious, that I didn't like to offer mate tea as hot beverage. But as a soda? That's cool.
Mate is pretty bitter. Not quinine bitter... but bitter enough. And herbal. But it is quite unique and obvious mate. Let's say, that you need to adapt to the taste - but it isn't too hard. But this is what makes an adult beverage to an adult beverage!

Ramadan is approaching, so an alcohol-free drink is a quite perfect concept here and now...

Technique:

Yerba mate is usually brewed similar to green tea. I used an immersion circulator - just not to scorch it and to extract more. Mate is also quite fine (from coarse to powdery) - hence I used by volume 1:1 with water and after 4 hours of 60ºC waterbath I have been vacuum filtrating the mixture. What was pretty murky became perfectly clear.

After that I added 125g sugar and 2.5g of citric acid and dissolved it - and filled up water until I had 1l - afterwards I carbonated everything.

It was delicious - however I probably could use less yerba mate extract (there was a lot of aromas - not for everyone). I could also use the next time some lemon peel to lift it and distract a bit from the super herbal character.

Overall though it has been a good (and tasty) experiment!

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