Every afternoon I drink a soda. Okay, sorry, I can’t believe I typed that with a straight face. Allow me to rephrase. Everyday I have several sodas. And I start drinking them in the morning, immediately after my coffee and ending, well, never. And chances are, it’s most likely to be at room temperature. I believe my body is 78% diet Pepsi. And if I was ever stranded in the Gobi desert or floating in the middle of the Pacific alone on a raft, the lack of a six-pack of sweet, sweet Aspartame-laced cola will do me in long before lack of water. I should probably work on that.
So when my colleague Carol was thinking of what to bring in for her Viva Italia moment, we decided we would enjoy and revel in a simple ice-filled glass of Italian soda. Now, I don’t know what technically makes a soda Italian as opposed to, well, anything else, but we went with what we perceived an Italian soda would be. Because really, perception can sometimes be a valid substitute for an actual fact. Like I perceive my physical appearance to be completely separate from what I see in the mirror. It works for me, I don’t question it.
So what did we perceive an Italian soda to be? One version was a seltzer water with just the hint of a citrus essence. We also thought perhaps a syrup-enhanced fruity beverage with a tart sweetness and a subtle effervescence. See how fancy lemon seltzer and orange soda can be? Or, excuse me, I should say una sodas limonata e arancione.
So there we were, toasting our colleague’s good fortune in Italy from an office building in the suburbs of Washington, DC. We enjoyed a raspberry lemon seltzer and a tangerine soda. Both in glass bottles thank you very much. And for just a moment, we were in the moment. The five of us tasting two simple beverages, contrasting and comparing their individual pros and cons. Elevating the simple act of sipping a soda into a communal experience and memorable moment. Not bad for an afternoon soda.