My Aunt Syda went to heaven a year ago. She wasn’t old or particularly sick, but God decided that it was time to call his faithful servant home. I have been thinking about her a lot this summer, about what she would think of my rambunctious kids and how different family get-togethers are without her.
She was the greatest. You could always count on Syda to give you her opinion, good or bad (runs in the family, I guess). At Christmastime, Syda would gather up a sampling of products she had discovered and approved of that year: chocolates, soaps, candles. Everyone got a gift bag of Syda’s favorite things. If Syda had known Etsy existed, the US economy would be in an entirely different condition right now.
Obviously Syda was generous; her favorite thing to do for a loved one’s birthday was to take her shopping. A couple of years she took me out to the mall or a department store, and she would tear up the racks finding things for me to try on. Then she would tell me honestly if the outfit was working… or not. And I quickly learned that there was no use in protesting that something was too expensive. If Syda wanted you have something, you got it.
For some reason, one of my strongest Syda memories is from sometime when I was still little. I am not exactly sure where we were, probably Beernsten’s in Manitowoc, and she ordered a chocolate phosphate and asked if I wanted one. I had no clue what a chocolate phosphate was.
Well, shit. How did this child get to be this old without ever having a chocolate soda? Make her a black and white.
I tried to protest, since chocolate syrup and seltzer water didn’t sound appetizing to me, but I was wasting my breath. If Syda wanted me to have it, I was getting it.
And she was right. It was delicious. Fizzy and chocolaty and good.
When I made my Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Syrup, I knew I wanted to make a special “Syda Soda” in her honor. A typical old-fashioned Black & White is made with chocolate syrup, seltzer, milk and vanilla ice cream. My Syda Soda has a little twist.
First, add the Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Syrup to a tall glass. If you have a parfait glass, that’s perfect. I didn’t.
Add the milk or half and half and stir.
Slowly add seltzer water until the glass is about 2/3 full.
The seltzer and milk mixture will combine and fizz and make a pretty frothy head on your soda. Kids love watching this part.
After the fizzing has settled, add a little more seltzer to fill the glass to 3/4 full.
This is the tricky part.
Roll one scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream. As carefully as you can, set the scoop on the rim of the glass making sure that SOME BUT NOT ALL of the ice cream is submerged in the soda.
If you just plop the whole scoop right down into the soda, the carbonation in the seltzer will react with the ice cream and you will have a mess all over the place.
The idea is to let the ice cream slowly melt down into the soda as you are sipping.
Add a straw (or two if you are one of those couples) and enjoy.
Here’s the recipe. Don’t bother protesting. I want you have it, so you’re gonna get it.
SYDA SODA2 T. Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Syrup2 T. milk or half and half4 oz. seltzer watermint chocolate chip ice creamIn a tall glass, mix together syrup and milk. Slowly add seltzer water, filling the glass 2/3 full. Carefully place one scoop of ice cream on the rim of the glass. Enjoy!