Serious Eats: Drinks
Soda: Sanbitter from San Pellegrino
There was a time when we drank mojitos; now we prefer Manhattans. There was a time when we liked Frappuccinos; today, we drink our macchiati sans sugar. There was a time when we loved Snickers... okay, we still love Snickers. (But dark chocolate, we get down with too.)
And while there was a time when we might not have properly appreciated Sanbitter, today it's one of our favorite sodas.
From Italian company San Pellegrino, the same guys who make Limonata and Aranciata, Sanbitter is a bright red soda that comes in teeny 100ml (3.5oz) glass bottles, the name engraved on the side. And anyone expecting a cherry flavor will be in for a surprise. The flavor is similar to Campari, without alcohol—an upfront bitter-herbal bite dominates. But there's a strong backbone of sweetness, too, from cane sugar.
We like it best over ice, when it chills up and gets a little ice melt to calm down those intense flavors. It's a great mid-afternoon drink, when it's just a little too early for a Campari-soda. If you've gotten accustomed to stronger cocktails, it's probably right up your alley. And it's hard not to think of the mixing possibilities. Add a little gin and it's a faux-Negroni. Or add some soda and lemon and it's a nonalcoholic spritzer...
Any other Sanbitter fans out there? And do you drink it straight, or mixed, or spiked?