FOUR YEARS AGO, Madrona-based oenophile Sharelle Klaus found herself pregnant with her fourth child and lamenting the prospect of nine long months of wineless meals. A year later she launched Dry Soda, a line of carbonated beverages incorporating the natural flavors extracted from plants with the sweetness of a little pure cane sugar.
It isn’t Washington’s first gourmet soda start-up (see Jones; Thomas Kemper) but the subtle flavors, delicate effervescence, and truly dry finish have made it a culinary-world favorite: The fizzes are popping up on restaurant menus from Tom Douglas’s Dahlia Lounge to the French Laundry in Napa Valley. Collaborating with Crush’s Jason Wilson, Klaus recently developed two new flavors, juniper berry and vanilla bean, which will debut in time for the holidays.
When whipping up a yuletide feast, Klaus incorporates her concoctions right into the meal. If you’re not quite ready to pour pop directly into your dishes, try these simple, sophisticated, Dry-and-holiday-food pairings.
As decadent as champagne, vanilla bean Dry’s delicate flavor lends itself well to the classic New Year’s caviar hors d’oeuvre.
Potato Latkes with Sour Cream
Cut the richness of this traditional Hanukkah nosh with a few sips of fruity, acidic kumquat pop.
The “red wine” of artisanal sodas, rhubarb holds its own against hearty red-meat feasts.
Vegetarian guests will gush over a spinach-and-feta pastry pie accented with the bright flavor of lemongrass Dry.
Pick up four-packs of Dry Soda at company headquarters, 410 First Ave S, Pioneer Square, 206-652-2345; www.drysoda.com, or at Whole Foods Markets, www.wholefoodsmarket.com.