Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cold Drinks: Salted Plum Soda At An Loi

The lesson of salted plum soda is that you don't need to buy a Coke to stay cool this summer.

An Loi Pho in Columbia sells the salted plum soda, and it was one of our first HowChow finds.  Mrs. HowChow ordered one up, and we found that they're light and sweet, wonderful with the grilled meats and noodles dishes that make An Loi one of our places for summer dinner.

In the middle of the day, the sodas are refreshing as well.  They're sweet, sour and salty all at once.  It makes sense.  The plums are preserved, so they muddle salt out into the drink.  That swirls with a touch of sugar and the soda water that they pour over top.

You get a thicker, saltier flavor at the bottom, so you should stir it up.  This is a handmade drink -- something way more genuine than even the Coke Zero that I love.  The takeout version goes great with a summer roll if you want a snack.  That's noodles with a shrimp, a slice of pork and some vegetables wrapped in rice paper.  Light, cool food for our crushing heat.

It's Cold Drink Week at HowChow.  Stay cool without feeding a bill into a soda machine.  Go check out the handmade drinks that will keep you just as cool.


Penny said...

I like these theme weeks! And I can't wait to try the salted plum drink -- I've never noticed that on the menu.

Anonymous said...

We still haven't been to An Loi. Is it that much better than Pho Dot Thanh?

HowChow said...

@Anon -- I don't have the expertise to see much difference between An Loi and Pho Dot Thanh. We definitely started at An Loi, so I return happily. But many people talk up Pho Dot Thanh, which does seem to have a broader menu.