An instant visit to South Dakota provided everything I possibly could want in a Wild Wild West-themed adventure and some. I took home a rock fromCrazy Horse Memorial, roamed with the buffalo atCuster State Park, posed with the presidential statues inRapid City,hiked the Badlands, and picked George Washington’s nose from afar at Mount Rushmore. But shockingly enough, probably the most impactful (and random) takeaways from my visit was a reinterpretation of Italian cream soda concocted by Katlyn Svendsen, an associate of the state’s tourism department, who invited journalists like me to see everything the Midwest destination provides.
Within hours of arrival, our group was fascinated to get the inventor herself going for a can of flavored sparkling water, chugging several sips, and topping it off with her favorite make of almond milk creamer. That’s it . . . painfully and almost comically simple, yet so smart.
Needless to say, it is a less sweet, dairy-free option to atraditional Italian cream soda, that is made out of club soda, crushed ice, sugary syrup, and two forms of cream (heavyandwhipped). Syrup flavors could even be tailored to individual preferences, which range from fruit and nuts to chocolate and vanilla.
Anyone is, you should, welcome to employ a sweet base (or perhaps a sweetened creamer) to preserve its integrity, but Svendsen’s lighter beverage became popular with everyone as both a refreshing quencher during laborious outdoor activities and an innovative departure from basic bubbly H2O.
When asked about her beloved brew, Svendson said “after the flavored sparkling water trend hit, I had to determine an instant and convenient solution to enjoy it alongside everybody else.”
This foray into beverage ingenuity came as no real surprise for the busy mom, who revealed that she forgoes caffeinated beverages and only sparkling water.
“We want to be outdoors and in remote locations, so running right into a local restaurant to obtain an Italian soda is not a reality in my own world, ” she said.
“I also don’t love carbonation. So a little bit of creamer jazzes it up for me personally, cuts the fizz, and creates something magical.”
Svendsen has even turn into a tiny tailgate barista: She keeps a number of flavored sparkling waters in her SUV’s cooler in order that relatives and buddies members can benefit from the summertime sipper during sports and neighborhood get-togethers.
But what exactly are her preferred cans and bottles? Waterloo’s black cherry with any almond milk-based creamer.
“LaCroix is most easily available where I live, therefore i drink a good quantity of that, too, and typically a berry flavor with a vanilla creamer,” she divulged. “I [also] recently discovered Evian’s sparkling water and I love some vanilla creamer within their grapefruit basil flavor. Coffeemate’s Natural Bliss almond creamer or an oat creamer pour in beautifully.”
Needless to say, I had to ask the South Dakota expert on her behalf favorite regional dish (Italian cream soda and theformer Sunshine Statedon’t quite go together with regards to local drink and food culture).
“Chislic,” she shared without hesitation. “Oh my gosh it’s pure magic and an extremely ‘South Dakota thing’ that’s delightful.”
“Chislic was initially mostly within southeastern South Dakota and was traditionally made out of lamb. Today, it really is within bars over the state and is normally beef,” she added, describing the state’s signature skewer. “The very best correlation is steak tips. The meat is in small bite-sized pieces, highly seasoned, and cooked (typically fast-fried or grilled) quickly to stay tender. People often dip it in the steak sauce, ranch (because hello, Midwest), or aioli.”
Therefore the next time you’re in South Dakota, order a bowl of chislic and cheers to it having an Italian cream soda (Svendsen-style, needless to say).