There is nothing like a cool drink on a warm summer day. Frequently we think of drinking a mojito (or two) on a patio or sipping on white sangria, but Seattle has much to offer in terms of non-alcoholic beverages. This article is dedicated to those drinks that do not require you to find a designated driver while you roam through the city on summer days.
If you need to quench your thirst this summer with something tasty and non-alcoholic, try Dry Soda Co. (drysoda.com). This refreshing, Seattle-based brand of "Soda Re-imagined" comes in seven unique flavors: cucumber, rhubarb, wild lime, blood orange, juniper berry, vanilla and lavender. Each soda has only four ingredients, is all natural and has 55–70 calories, so you can feel good that you're not ruining your bikini diet by indulging.
Try out each of the unique flavors for free at the Dry Soda Co. Tasting Room, 410 First Ave. S., in Pioneer Square. Our favorite was the juniper berry (with a light, herbal flavor) and rhubarb (with a yummy, yet tangy flavor that takes you back to the farm). Your tasting host can give you recommendations about what Dry Soda flavor to pair with your next gourmet meal, or even some cocktail recipes if you decide to spice up your non-alcoholic beverage. Dry Soda is an excellent addition to your refrigerator, but also a fun outing.
Did you grow up on Tang or Kool-Aid? If so, Lunchbox Laboratory (1253 Thomas St., Seattle; 989 112th Ave. S.E., Bellevue; lunchboxlaboratory.com) may bring you back to all those summers playing on jungle gyms or throwing yourself down Slip 'n Slides. This Mecca-of-retro features bottomless Tang and Kool-Aid, but the experiments at Lunchbox Laboratory are not limited to food.
The adventurous can try the "Barrels of Fun," a beverage that mixes root beer, Tang and cream. Other fun options include the "Big Red," which is a mix of fruit punch and Sprite, or the Kool-Tang, a sugary concoction of fruit punch and Tang. Each week a new "KOW" - Kool-Aid of the Week - is featured.
If you need a snack, test the "Rinds of Life" - fresh pork rinds with Tapatío dipping sauce and buttermilk ranch - or one of the other exploratory appetizers. A newbie to Kool-Aid tried the KOW, which happened to be grape. Her parent banned her from consuming drinks that were colors not readily seen in nature. She was pleased to finally see what all the fuss was about.
No summer drink list is complete without spending some quality time on milkshakes. Granted, it is very hard to choose a single location to review for milkshakes in Seattle. One favorite is the Theo's chocolate shake at Li'l Woody's (1121 Pine St.; 457-4148), which uses Molly Moon's ice cream, but we reviewed Li'l Woody's last summer, so we kept looking.
A number of burger purveyors (Red Mill, Kidd Valley, Red Robin, etc.) boast worthy shakes, but we plan to come back to those in a dedicated burger edition. So, we checked in on a more off-the-beaten-path ice cream shop in Magnolia - Cocoa & Cream (3210½ W. McGraw St.; 299-2254; cocoaandcream.net).
Cocoa & Cream makes its milkshakes with Snoqualmie gourmet ice cream with a reasonable variety of flavors to choose from. Shakes come in two sizes - 10 or 20 ounces - and they are handmade using the old-fashioned technique with a real milkshake machine. We tried a chocolate/chocolate mint shake that was quite good, but we may have to return to try the variety of floats they offer featuring Boylan soda (for those of you who are nostalgic about East Coast beverages) and Thomas Kemper root beer.
We also were tempted by the milkshakes at Dilettante (multiple locations; dilettante.com), but instead opted to try an iced mocha concoction. Though we usually prefer Dilettante's darker chocolates in hot mochas, the barista steered us to a lighter chocolate for an iced mocha (two shots of espresso, two shots of the Ephemere dark chocolate, milk - all over ice). The non-coffee lover among us actually likes it, with the chocolate being sufficiently strong to overpower the coffee flavor.
Our coffee lover, who rarely strays below Dilettante's 72% extra dark for a hot mocha, thoroughly enjoyed the sweeter, less-dry chocolate. The bite and flavor of the espresso, the richness of the chocolate and the coolness of the milk blended into a refreshing summertime cooler. We will definitely be back.
The Juicy Cafe (725 Pike St., Second Floor, Washington State Convention & Trade Center; thejuicycafe.com) is, as its brand states, fresh food. Everything they use is organic, obtained from local sources and made to order. You can smell the green 10 feet from the door, which is how far back in line you'll be if you arrive any time between 15 minutes before or after noon. (Call ahead for your juice if you're in a real hurry.)
They have great salads, rice bowls, sandwiches and soups, but the real treats are the juices, smoothies, elixirs and power shots. Juicy Cafe has a drink for you whether you need to detox, lose weight, get healthier, feel better or need something in a hurry that doesn't have 10 grams of sugar or is full of fat and sodium.
As our reviewer is a person who has never really embraced the 10 daily servings of fruits and vegetables the nutrition tables or pyramids say she should have, it makes her feel better about herself to drink one of the super-food completes and know she's at least made a dent in the number. Try the "Green Monster" if you like something a little chunky or "Lola" if you're watching your girlish figure.
The extras you can add to your drink can add up pretty quickly, but it will still cost you less than the fast-food alternative that feels like a food baby in your belly an hour later. Did we mention these juices are actually delicious? Kale and spinach by itself is - well - kale and spinach. But you put them in a drink with banana, raw almonds and rice milk, and you think you've just had dessert! Trust us, this is a place you need to try.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt is a multiservice, Northwest regional law firm with offices in Seattle, Vancouver, Portland and Bend. For comments on this article or to share your favorite places to eat or drink with the Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt attorneys, contact Jamila Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org; see also www.schwabe.com/dining_out.aspx.