Valley Girls is the uncommon name for an extremely delicious soda syrup. As I find in life, friends are to be found on the web and the chance meeting of Anea Botton on Four Square opened my palate to something quite salubrious. Anea is the owner of Valley Girls, located in Sonoma, California. Her company is dedicated to making handcrafted, small-batch cooking that preserves old school methods of making foods that (according to her press release) makes food taste, TASTY!
But digging a bit deeper and through Anea's description of her company, I learned that there is a pro-social angle to this little company. Anea does what she does because she is in collaboration with the Sonoma Valley Teen Services. What is this? The Sonoma Valley Teen Services provides skill based programming for teens of this area. The press release goes on to say that the members of the company believe the importance of reaching out to at-risk kids and young adults. Anea attempts to teach old-school cooking methods to make foods with a deeper meaning. In other words, not only do they help kids and young adults from going down the wrong path in life, but they truly help them with skills that will hopefully stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Anea's company specializes in using seasonal produce and ingredients to create their small batch foodstuffs. I've only tasted two of the syrups but if the others are anything like the ones I've tasted, then it's going to be a fun next few days, one sip at a time.
So far I've tasted the Musk Melon and the Grapefruit soda syrups. As a rule I like to create my own soda from ingredients without high fructose corn syrup. Anea's soda syrups do not contain this corn based sweetener. What she does use is cane sugar sweetener. It's long been held that pure cane sugar is an important part of nutrition. At least it is part of my sweet tooth!
Grapefruit. Bursting with the oily and refreshing flavor of freshly picked grapefruit, this syrup just screams for more than seltzer water. It requires the addition of a fabulous Reposado Tequila from Arrogante. The Arrogante Tequila, itself bursting with honey and salt air is woven to the grapefruit and hopefully a few ounces of lime juice to make a Paloma-type Margarita cocktail with real guts!
Musk Melon. The Musk Melon is a fruit of such depth of flavor that "haunting" is an adjective that comes to mind. When spun into a glass of soda water, the Musk Melon calls out to your darker side. It speaks of late nights and later morning breakfasts. The Musk Melon is not usually available on the East Coast, but contained in this perfectly designed bottle is the very essence of this most ardent of fruits. If you see a Musk Melon in the market, buy one and then tell me if I am correct to my description of the flavor contained within.
The Musk Melon is a whisper of a warm breeze on a cool night. It goes right through every pore in your body.
My basic Margarita recipe for the grapefruit syrup is perfect for a short drink that I call the "Justified and Ancient" Cocktail. The sum of the parts equals a drink of uncompromising quality and demeanor. You may even want to have a couple of them, but if you do, please make sure someone else is driving.
"Justified and Ancient"
Each recipe makes two rather strong cocktails
2 oz. Valley Girl Grapefruit Soda Syrup (or Musk Melon)
3 oz. Freshly Squeezed Lime juice
Ice infused with chopped fresh grapefruit with the water provided through your Mavea "Inspired Water" pitcher
Fill a Boston Shaker 3/4 with regular bar ice
Add the Arrogante Reposado Tequila then:
Pour over the ice and the Arrogante Tequila, the grapefruit (or Musk Melon) syrup
Add the Lime Juice
Shake like crazy for 15 or so seconds
Add the Mavea ice that you've infused with chopped grapefruit and then frozen to a rocks glass
Pour the Margarita made with either the grapefruit soda syrup or the Musk Melon syrup
Add a couple splashes of the Perrier Sparkling Water over the top and garnish with a lime pinwheel... Sip CAREFULLY!!!