Sip, Sip, Hooray: Part 5
Sanzo Sparking Water
I can’t believe it’s taken this long for someone to come up with sparkling waters inspired by Asian ingredients.
But thankfully, Sandro Roco, a Queens-born Filipino American, finally did.
The result is Sanzo Sparkling Water.
It’s made with real fruit juice without any added sugar. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
The canned sparkling water comes in five flavors: Yuzu with Ginger, Pomelo, Calamansi, Lychee, and Mango, all of which I had a chance to sample recently.
These do not taste like overly sweet soda by any stretch. They are refreshing, fizzy waters with a vivid, natural fruit taste.
The Pomelo is bright and tangy, but with less bitterness than the fresh fruit or a grapefruit.
The Yuzu with Ginger is yuzu forward with just a faint touch of ginger. It’s floral and citrusy with far less aggressive acidity than lemon.
The Calamansi is lime-like but with a lovely flowery presence to round it out.
The Lychee might be my favorite for its touch of natural sweetness along with an expansive floralness.
Unlike the others that are pretty much clear in color, the Mango one is yellow-orange in the glass. It’s made with Alphonso mango puree, so you really get the characteristic musky, peach-papaya-apricot taste.
One 12-ounce can has 0 to 20 calories, depending on the flavor, as well as no sodium or fat.
Cheers: Founder Sandro Roco worked as a nuclear engineer, then in the worlds of tech and finance. He started his first company in 2013, a door-to-door men’s personal styling service, that lasted six months. Learn how his stint at an apparel startup, where free snacks and beverages that included LaCroix, sparked his idea for Sanzo in this Eater story.
2021 Three Sticks One Sky Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay
The 2021 Three Sticks One Sky Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, of which I received a sample, will put you in the perfect mood for fall with its notes of pear, quince, melon, and vanilla, along with a touch of cardamom and the tickle of ginger.
A supple wine with a nice balance of acidity, it’s made from 100 percent estate grown Chardonnay. The grapes, grown in rich volcanic soil, were harvested from Three Sticks’ One Sky vineyard that’s at 2,300 feet elevation, one of the winery’s six Grand Cru vineyards.
Available on the Three Sticks web site, the wine ($70) would be luscious with roast pork or Thanksgiving turkey or alongside sweet potatoes or roasted butternut squash seasoned with ras el hanout.
Cheers: How did the winery get its name? Growing up in Hawaii, winery owner Bill Price III was known to his surfer buddies as “Billy Three Sticks” because of the Roman numeral that follows his name. He’s a former lawyer who started a private equity firm. which ended up purchasing Beringer Vineyards. His three children, Natalie, James, and Alana, as well as his wife Eva Marie all have wines named for them.
Sometimes you feel like a boozy drink. And sometimes you don’t.
Abstinence Spirits are designed for the latter, when you want something fun, festive, and refreshing, but without the numbing effects of alcohol.
The brand was launched in South Africa in 2020 by founders Pierre Strydom and Stefan Coetzee. Last year, Oakland entrepreneur Ranwei Chiang introduced the line of distilled alcohol-free spirits and aperitifs in the United States.
Its newest product is a ready-to-drink spritz. The Abstinence Sparkling Blood Orange Aperitivo ($18), of which I tried a sample, is light and fizzy. It’s shades of orange soda, but not nearly as sweet. Herbaceousness from botanicals, plus a slight bitterness from both quinine and African wormwood provide a more complex taste. Just pour over ice and enjoy. A 5-ounce serving has 25.5 calories.
For creating your own cocktails sans alcohol, there’s Abstinence Cape Citrus ($35). It’s a zero-calorie blend of orange, lemon, grapefruit, cassia, pepper, ginger, and South African buchu that’s reminiscent of blackcurrant, rosemary and peppermint. Cape Citrus has a woodsy citrus taste with a slight bitter finish like that of citrus peel.
Mix with tonic water for a laid-back sip. The bottle instructions direct to use 1.5 ounces of the Cape Citrus to 7 ounces of tonic water. I actually ended up doubling the amount of Cape Citrus because I felt its nuances got lost otherwise.
Abstinence Spirits are available on its web site, as well as on Amazon.
Cheers: A member of 1% for the Planet, Abstinence contributes at least 1 percent of sales annually to environmental causes such as protecting honeybees.