Old-fashioned, handmade sodas have been coming back in a big way the past few years at local restaurants. I’ve sipped and savored some great ones this summer, including the deeply spicy ginger beer at Arlington’s Green Pig Bistro (1025 N. Fillmore St.; 703-888-1920) and the refreshingly citrusy cherry yuzu soda at J&G Steakhouse (515 15th St. NW; 202-661-2440).
But my favorite carbonated concoction of late comes from Gina Chersevani, who’s currently manning the Eddy Bar inside Capitol Hill’s Hank’s Oyster Bar (633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE; 202-733-1971) and is the owner of the soon-to-open Buffalo & Bergen soda shop in Union Market (see our related story).
Chersevani’s blueberry soda float is a decadent treat: fizzy bright-purple soda, made with syrup from fresh blueberries, topped with two gloriously melty scoops of vanilla ice cream. The drink, pre-stirred, is an ombre masterpiece: Frothy pale shades of cream merge into violet and fuchsia, which recede into deep, dark, regal purple.
Chersevani believes every sip of a soda should deliver a new taste and that the beginning of the drink should be completely different from the middle and the end. An initial skeptic of this “journey,” I experienced exactly that (and, yes, I did stir up my drink a bit): My early gulps were tangier than my final few. The middle was complex, with alternating tastes of berries and cream.
So, guess which stall will be my first stop when I visit Union Market?