Created, Written and Photographed by Kayla Howey of The Original Dish
Long summer days, strolls through the farmer’s market, and spontaneous gatherings with friends and family . . . these moments inspire me to get cooking with the season’s best and savor all that summer has to offer. Over at The Original Dish, I’m constantly searching for new ways to bring unique flavors into my kitchen and cook something truly beautiful.
When it comes to flavors, I love expanding my range from seasonal ingredients to beautifully crafted products. [I was so intrigued when I learned I had the opportunity to write this guest blog post and summer menu for DRY Sparkling. I had heard of DRY, but hadn’t tried all of their flavors so I immediately said “yes!”] With DRY Sparkling, I was able to look at food and beverages in an entirely different way to bring new life to everyday pairings. With just four ingredients in each bottle of DRY, the precise flavor balance allows the featured ingredient to shine through. And with varieties like Rainier Cherry, Ginger, Watermelon, and Lavender, these sodas are truly something special.
With each sip of DRY, it’s pretty easy to get inspired. I immediately pictured a lively summer spread full of seasonal, vibrant food eaten outdoors with stylish DRY bottles being passed around. I’ve developed three dishes to bring this vision to life, each pairing with a different flavor. I even took it a step further and used DRY as an ingredient in each of the recipes. Whether it be a vinaigrette, marinade, or syrup, the sodas proved to be extremely versatile.
To start things off, I used Rainier Cherry DRY to make a simple, tangy vinaigrette for a luscious garden salad, full of fresh summer produce. With blue cheese and homemade torn croutons, this salad is rustic and inviting. Paired with the smooth cherry soda, it’s a perfect dish to start the meal on a bright note.
Next up, I took Ginger DRY and whisked it into a quick marinade for some jumbo shrimp. I added lots of fresh ginger and lime, plus just a touch of tamarind paste to deepen the flavor. I love making shrimp as the main dish when entertaining, simply because it takes no time to grill. This dish gets served with coconut rice and sautéed bok choy. It’s a bold main course that pairs perfectly with the slightly spicy ginger soda.
Last but not least, I couldn’t help but combine the watermelon and lavender sodas to create a clean, refreshing dessert of shaved ice. It just melts in your mouth, leaving behind a sparkling fizz and juicy fruit flavor. The base of the recipe uses fresh watermelon, so I thought it’d be perfect to create a float of sorts and top the shaved ice with Lavender DRY, which happens to be my favorite flavor!
Whether it be a small gathering or a larger event, these recipes and pairings are truly wonderful for a summer feast! Just adjust the recipes below depending on how many people you’ll be serving. You can also head on over to The Original Dish for more innovative seasonal recipes.
Garden Salad with Blue Cheese & Cherry Vinaigrette – Serves 4
½ cup Rainier Cherry DRY Sparkling soda
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
¾ cup safflower oil
1 tsp salt
4 oz rustic bread, torn into pieces
2 heads red leaf lettuce, roughly chopped
2 handfuls arugula
1 handful watercress
1 small handful of basil leaves, torn
¾ cup Rainier cherries, pitted and halved
6 radishes, quartered
3 plums, sliced into wedges
1 handful sugar snap peas, halved
¾ cup crumbled blue cheese
In a small saucepan, combine the cherry DRY Sparkling and honey over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. This should yield ¼ cup of syrup. Let cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the cherry-honey syrup, apple cider vinegar, and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking until emulsified. Stir in the salt. Reserve the vinaigrette at room temperature until ready to serve.
Over medium heat, coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with an even layer of oil. When the oil is hot, add the torn pieces of bread. Stir often to toast the bread on all sides. Once golden brown and crisp, yet still soft on the inside, turn off the heat and let the croutons cool.
Combine the lettuce, arugula, watercress, basil, cherries, radishes, and plums in a large mixing bowl. Right before serving, toss these ingredients with the vinaigrette until fully coated (start with half of the vinaigrette and add more to your liking). Serve the salad in a large bowl or platter. Garnish with the sugar snap peas, blue cheese, and croutons. Pair with Rainier Cherry DRY Sparkling soda.
Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Bok Choy – Serves 4
¼ oz ginger, sliced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
½ oz tamarind paste
½ cup safflower oil
1 cup Ginger DRY Sparkling soda
1 small handful of basil leaves, torn
1 tsp salt
1 ½ lbs raw shrimp, cleaned (tail-on)
1 ½ cups saffron rice
20 oz coconut milk
¾ cup water
1 small piece of ginger
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 lb cauliflower pieces, blanched and drained
1 lb baby bok choy, quartered
In a mixing bowl, combine the ginger, lime juice, lime zest, tamarind paste, safflower oil, ginger soda, basil, and salt. Add the shrimp and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to marinate.
Meanwhile, combine the rice, coconut milk, and water in a heavy-bottom pot. Use the back of your knife to smash the piece of ginger. Add the ginger to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Let the rice simmer until tender, about 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the ginger. Season with salt to taste and keep warm. Use a fork to fluff the rice before serving.
Heat the grill over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade and grill until fully pink, about 3 minutes. Season the shrimp with a pinch of salt and keep warm until ready to serve.
In a large sauté pan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the baby bok choy and cauliflower pieces (use two pans if needed so that the vegetables are not crowded). Sauté until caramelized. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve a large mound of rice topped with the grilled shrimp, cauliflower, and sautéed baby bok choy. Pair with Ginger DRY Sparkling.
Sparkling Watermelon Shaved Ice – Yields 1 ½ quarts
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Watermelon DRY Sparkling soda
¼ cup Lavender DRY Sparkling soda
2 ½ lbs watermelon (about ½ of a large watermelon), cubed
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
Combine the sugar, watermelon soda, and lavender soda in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Let cool. Pour this syrup into a blender and add the watermelon. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Pour this mixture into a plastic bag. Seal tightly and lay the bag flat in the freezer. Freeze for 4 hours. Remove the bag from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes. Use your hands to break up the frozen sheet into small pieces. Add this to a food processor and blend until smooth (you will probably have to blend in two batches). Transfer the blended mixture to a freezer container (I used a non-stick, 9”x4.5” bread pan). Freeze for 4 more hours.
To serve, use an ice cream scoop to scrape the frozen ice into a bowl or glass. Enjoy as is or pour more Lavender DRY soda over top to create a frozen ice float.