As a child, I grew up with Coca Cola in my house. It’s the only soft drink my father liked so that’s what my mother bought (she seemed to prefer Pepsi & bought it later but I never cared for it). I actually don’t recall how much I drank but I know that we were never allowed to drink it unless it was with a meal nor during school hours in class as many students are able to do now. We didn’t even have vending machines when I was in school. So when I was on my own I, too, bought Coca Cola. My grandparents never bought brand name pop; I still remember the cans of Big K Tata (my paternal Cuban grandmother) would serve us when we came over for Sunday lunches; on the Mexican side, Faygo & Town Club ruled. Over the years, however, I began to feel it just wasn’t good for me (or my teeth) and so only bought it when I was having guests or to drink in the summer in a tall glass with ice. Since becoming vegan, however, I don’t even crave or miss it. I think it’s a combination of knowing it’s not good for me and also that it just tastes too sweet to me now.
Of course, sometimes you just need some carbonation but, for me, this is usually only in the summer. Instead of pop, I’ll fill a glass with ice and add a 1/2 & 1/2 mix of club soda with any flavor of Looza’s nectar juices, my favorites being peach, apricot, & mango. These are so good. I’ll even make iced tea and put the peach nectar in it as well. Now that it’s winter, however, I haven’t yet had one and it’s really too cold for an iced drink in my opinion.
Needless to say, my drink of choice is water. They say you should drink half of your body weight in ounces every day so for me that’s about 60 oz. I also drink lots of herbal tea in the winter evenings, my favorite brand right now being Stash; I really like their acai berry and apple/cinnamon flavors. I also like hibiscus tea (such as The Mate Factor’s Hibiscus Lime) and, unlike its name, it doesn’t taste flowery but, rather, fruity. I also like chai tea but not the bagged kind (ugh!). I prefer to make it myself. The chai tea at the Inn Season in downtown Royal Oak is the absolute best I have tasted either hot or cold.
My one true vice as far as food & drink though is coffee. I am a coffee snob. American coffee just does not do it for me; it’s too watery and weak! I prefer espresso and drink a latte every morning after my muesli and another after lunch. It’s very strong but I put a little turbinado sugar in it along with my soy milk. My husband found this fair trade company called Cafe Mam and he experiments & buys different kinds by mail. I do not like flavored coffee but he does. To me coffee IS a flavor and there’s no need to mess with it.