Having completed the Whole30 just a few days ago, I have re-emerged into the world of beverage artistry with a new appreciation for low-glycemic drinks. For thirty days, I had to enjoy my beverages without alcohol or any added sweeteners (except fruit juice). Dairy was also out of the picture. My inner bar witch could not deal with 30 days without making cocktails, so I got creative with with mixtures of teas, infused waters, and fruit juices. Several interesting beverages emerged, but this dry Serrano soda quickly became one of my favorites.
Homemade Dry Serrano Soda
Start with one or two Serrano peppers, split ‘em open, and let them sit in a small pitcher of filtered water for about 6-12 hours. Filter your infusion (I just stuff a funnel with a coffee filter and set it over a mason jar to get the seeds and small particles out) and then run it through a soda syphon (I use something like this). (If that is too much work/time/equipment for you, you can buy a four pack of this at your local gourmet grocery, but it will cost you.) After that, enjoy your beverage, but get ready for some serious heat!
Non-alcoholic Variations on a Theme
The dry serrano soda is already pretty adventurous on its own, but add some lemon juice (or lime) and you have one tasty zero calorie drink. For a little added sweetness and some extra body, add 1-2 ounces of pure pomegranate juice (I like Trader Joes brand) for an added 40 calories or so. I have experimented with several kinds of fruit juice (blueberry, cherry, orange), but pomegranate seems to serve the flavor of the peppers best so far.
When You’re Ready for the Big Guns
If your Whole30 is over and you’re ready to start tip-toeing back into the wide, world of spirits, simply add ounce of potato-based vodka to the above . This alcoholic beverage tastes amazing with or without pomegranate juice, and it would probably also taste good with tequila (but I haven’t tried it yet). Throw in a couple of lemon slices for garnish if you’re feeling fancy. You now have a grownup cocktail with a lot of flavor with no added sugar and less than 100 calories. You’re welcome.