|Dairy-Free (and Sugar-Free) Almond Soda|
Exactly where the sound originates is hard to identify. It’s just there — in the trees, in the air, all around.
By late afternoon, more individuals have joined the chorus to create a huge wall of sound. Instead of a rhythmic shaking, there is now one continuous noise. The volume rises and falls in waves.
How many there are I cannot imagine, hundreds I suppose by the loudness of it all. I’ve seen several empty and perfectly formed shells attached to blades of grass or shrubs.
Cicadas emerge from their underground sleep, extricate themselves from their skins and start singing. Who can blame them. Stuck in the dark for a year — or 17 — depending on the species.
Their presence says it is summer in full, and they’ll sing as summer wanes.
Last week I finished my yard work and sat on the grass to rest. It was one of those low 100s days but pleasant under the maple’s tall shade. Dry earth, humid air. The cicadas were rejoicing.
The only thing missing for me was a cold drink, so I came inside and made this almond soda, my hack of the coffeehouse version that is so refreshing this time of year.
The coffeehouse recipe calls for a flavored syrup (Torani or Monin are popular brands) in seltzer water with a big shot of half-and-half. Creamy and good.
To cute the calories and fat, I substituted Unsweetened Almond Breeze instead of the cream. Flavoring came from some almond extract, an Amaretto flavored agave syrup, a packet of Stevia in the Raw.
Finish it with fizzy water. Relax. Commune with the cicadas.
Dairy-Free and Sugar-Free Almond Soda
If you have a commercial syrup in your pantry, just substitute 1 to 2 oz of that and skip the flavorings. If you prefer to use a sweetened almond milk, you can skip the sweeteners and add almond extract to enhance the flavor.
2 t Amaretto flavored agave syrup
1/2 to 1 packet of Stevia in the Raw (start with half a packet, add more to taste)
6 oz sparkling water or club soda (I used plain LaCroix)
Fill a tall glass with ice.
In a glass measuring cup with a pour spout, mix the almond milk and flavorings, stirring well. Taste and adjust flavor and sweetness to suit you.
Pour almond milk over ice until the glass is about 2/3 full. Then add sparkling water. Stir well. Enjoy.