Schorle: A Soda Alternative

If you are on the fence about soda, Google (or in my case Duck Duck Go) anything along the lines of “why soda is terrible for you” and read the first article from a reasonable source that pops up. You don’t have to go to alternative health websites (though I read those too!) for information – it’s all over the web. The consensus is that soda is not something that you want to be consuming regularly.

So, what do you do when you want to drink something sweet and bubbly? I have a perfect alternative for you: Schorle. Schorle (pronounced “shore-lah”) is a German beverage that is half fruit juice, half carbonated water. It is usually served ice cold and has the same crisp, tangy, refreshing properties of soda, only with half the sugar (if that).

It’s also a lot of fun.

This is because you can make schorle with any juice you want! I recommend 100% no sugar added juices, but beyond that the sky is the limit. Let your creativity run wild. The most popular version over here is made with apple juice, but I’ve also seen pear (or apple + pear), grapefruit, cranberry, elderberry, and etc. Grapefruit sounds odd, but it’s actually really nice. It’s bitter and tangy, and kind of makes you feel grown-up (i.e. Look how far my palate has come!).

So anyways, I usually buy schorle premade (when we drink it – it’s still an occasional thing for us) so for the purpose of this post I went to the store and bought some carbonated water and juice. My plan was to do something really fun like pomegranate and pear schorle, but I could not find pomegranate juice. So I was standing there in the store, wondering what else to get when I remembered something that I read in one of my cookbooks (review coming soon – it’s a classic). It said that you can stick a pineapple in the blender, process it, strain the results, and have very little pulp to deal with. Of course, you peel and chop the pineapple first, but I intentionally left this detail out when I was describing the process to my husband. He was horrified and concerned, and proceeded to explain to me why sticking a whole pineapple in the blender was, in fact, a bad idea. This is where I get my kicks, folks.

So anyways, this happened:DSC02701.JPG

And then this:dsc02705

And, finally, this:dsc02708

That’s a lot of pulp, people (for the amount of juice I got, anyways). I don’t think I’ll be doing that again. Experiment: failed.

So, I proceeded to eat most of the pulp as a snack, before setting up my schorle station:

dsc02709

As you can see, I got about 8 ounces of juice from half a pineapple. That isn’t terrible, per say, but not great either. Anyways, the carton in the back is pear juice, and that, of course, is carbonated water on the right.

First up was the pineapple juice. It foamed up like crazy when mixed with the water:

DSC02714.JPG

It then proceeded to immediately go flat.

I am never doing that again. Why, pineapple? WHY?

Next up was the pear:dsc02724

Mixed 50/50 with the water, it held its carbonation perfectly and was absolutely lovely.

So, a few details for those of you who may want to try this at home: I wouldn’t make this very far ahead of time. It’s not going to stay carbonated for too terribly long. You also, obviously, don’t have to stick to the 50/50 rule when mixing your own schorles. If you want it sweeter, use more juice. If you want it bubblier, use more water…etc. I would also think it would be fun to set up a “schorle bar” at a party, with different types of juices so that guests can mix and match. For kids used to traditional soda options, that might be a kind of neat experience.

But don’t include fresh pineapple juice. Just don’t do it. Is it like an enzyme thing? If anyone decides to experiment with the pasteurized stuff let me know what happens.

Anways, have you ever heard of schorle? What is your favorite soda alternative?

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