Like any number of culinary staples named after other countries that were never actually born there, the Italian soda is anything but Italian.
It was technically invented in the US around the 1920s thanks to the increasing usage of Torani syrups mixed with tonic water.
In natural order, that means that culinary snobs like to shit on it as non-traditional. Fair enough, folks, but just because it isn’t 100 percent Italian doesn’t mean you should miss out on good food and the opportunity to explore with your cocktails.
Technically, an Italian soda is a flavored syrup with carbonated water. A lot of people will mix ratios, flavors, and types of sparking whosafuzz, and even throw some cream in there if they’re feeling nutty. Terminology-wise this makes it a cremosa instead of an Italian soda. Either way, you’re likely to get the locals’ tits in a twist if you claim it’s truly Italian.
This is a super simple cocktail that uses the bitterness from Branca Menta to cut through the sweetness of all the other ingredients.
- 2 oz Fernet Branca Menta
- 1 oz heavy cream
- Ginger ale
Pour the Branca Menta and heavy cream into the bottom of a frozen rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice cubes, then top with the ginger ale and stir well. Serve.