Lime seltzer garnished with whole
cranberries. Photo courtesy Polar Seltzer.
As you’re lining up your ducks for Thanksgiving (or should that be, lining up your turkeys?), here’s a beverage that can be a cocktail, mocktail or simply a replacement for water at the table.
We were inspired by these ideas from Polar Seltzer, a Massachusetts seltzer specialist that makes dozens of zero-calorie flavored seltzers, including seasonal specialties.
Cranberry Lime is a year-round Polar Seltzer flavor that’s a perfect fit with Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you can’t find a cranberry or cranberry-lime flavor in your local store, default to lime seltzer/club soda (the difference between seltzer and club soda is below).
IN THE WATER GLASS
Garnish the seltzer with some whole cranberries: simple and elegant.
For Christmas, add a mint leaf or lime wheel for a red-and-green effect.
AS A COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL
Ingredients Per Drink
1. MUDDLE cranberry juice, mint and vodka in a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice.
2. STRAIN into a glass, top with seltzer and garnish with fresh mint.
COCKTAIL OR MOCKTAIL #2
Ingredients Per Drink
1. ADD a tablespoon or more of syrup to a rocks glass or Collins glass. Add ice cubes.
2. TOP with seltzer. Garnish as desired.
Cocktail or mocktail with pomegranate syrup or grenadine. Photo courtesy Polar Seltzer.
CLUB SODA, SELTZER & SPARKLING WATER: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE
The overall category is carbonated water, also called soda water: water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, causing the water to become effervescent.
Carbonated Water: In the U.S., carbonated water was known as soda water until after World War II, due to the sodium salts it contained. While today we think of “soda” as a carbonated beverage, the word originally refers to a chemical salts, also called carbonate of soda (sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, sodium monoxide).
The salts were added as flavoring and acidity regulator, to mimic the taste of a natural mineral water. After the war, terms such as sparkling water and seltzer water gained favor. Except for sparkling mineral water, all carbonated water/soda water is made from municipal water supplies (tap water).
Carbonated water was invented in Leeds, England in 1767 by British chemist Joseph Priestley, who discovered how to infuse water with carbon dioxide by suspending a bowl of water above a beer vat at a local brewery. Carbonated water changed the way people drank liquor, which had been neat, providing a “mixer” to dilute the alcohol.
Club Soda: Like the original carbonated water, club soda is enhanced with some sodium salts.
Fizzy Water: Another term for carbonated water.
Seltzer or Seltzer Water: Seltzer is carbonated water with no sodium salts added. The term derives from the town of Selters in central Germany, which is renowned for its mineral springs. The naturally carbonated water—which contains naturally dissolved salts—has been commercially bottled and shipped around the world since at least the 18th century.
Sparkling Water: Another term for carbonated water/soda water. It can also refer to sparkling mineral water, which is pumped from underground aquifers. Note that not all sparkling mineral waters are naturally effervescent. Many are actually carbonated from still mineral water. Some are lightly carbonated by nature, but have extra carbonation added at bottling to meet consumer preferences.
Two Cents Plain: Another word for soda water, coined during the Great Depression, when plain soda water was the cheapest drink at the soda fountain.
Of all the fruit that is commercially grown in the U.S., only the blueberry, cranberry and Concord grape are native to North America.