I’m not usually a chain restaurant person. But when I took my mom to Seasons 52 a few years ago, we had a lovely lunch. The food was pretty good and the Ginger Mint Agave Soda was truly divine. The soda was light but flavorful, tangy but not overly so.
Normally when I want a gingery soda, I drink ginger ale. So I was pleasantly surprised that mint made the drink such a palate pleaser.
My love for ginger is no secret. Whether sweet (e.g. crystallized ginger, pear ginger jam, and ginger ice cream) or savory (especially in stir-fries, from Burmese chili chicken to stir-fried ginger beef), I’m a fan. I even have a Pinterest board featuring ginger.
Given how good the soda was and how much I love ginger, I guess it’s not surprising that I yearned for a copycat.
My first thought was to find someone else’s version. Although I assumed that there would be a copycat online, I couldn’t find one. Other online recipes were not helpful starting points either. Most, like this ginger beer concentrate, looked fine. However, they required lots of time and effort. And the restaurant’s website was no help either. When I checked it, shortly after our lunch there, it only provided the soda’s calorie count.
So I winged it. My version includes just fresh ginger, a splash of agave syrup, a few sprigs of mint, ice cubes, and a bottle of soda water.
This non-alcoholic drink is simple to make, tangy enough for a ginger lover like me, and quite refreshing.
I made it in a single serving, but it’s easy to make more for a crowd.
Before experimenting with this soda, I didn’t know much about agave, or agave nectar as it is sometimes called. I’ve learned a bit since and have come to enjoy it as an alternative to other sweeteners. A liquid, agave comes from the agave plant. Sweeter than both honey and sugar, its consistency is thinner than that of honey. If you’d like to know more, check out this article.
Tips for Making Ginger Mint Agave Soda
- Grating Ginger. It’s easy. First peel the fresh ginger. Don’t worry about getting every bit of skin off – just avoid any skin you found it difficult to peel. Then, using a grater with small holes, grate what you can without scraping your knuckles. If some part is stringy, that’s OK. You’ll strain it out.
- Muddling Mint. Muddling is just a fancy word for rubbing or shmooshing. As you rub, shmoosh, or muddle the leaves, they give off that wonderful minty aroma. I use a mortar and pestle, but you can do it with a wooden spoon.
- Simmering the Syrup. If the recipe for the syrup looks familiar, that’s because it is an agave-based simple syrup, flavored with ginger and mint. I’ve used simple syrup to coat fruit (oranges, lemons) and as a syrup for a fruit dessert. I’ve also put in beverages, such as my strawberry thyme bellini. But this is my first agave-based simple syrup. Agave works like sugar, but you don’t have to dissolve it because it is already a liquid.
- Putting together the Soda. Word to the wise – make sure the simple syrup is quite cool before you add the ice cubes and soda. And add those last two ingredients at the last minute. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a watered down drink, that will not pack much of a punch. If you carefully add the ice cubes and then the soda without disturbing the simple syrup, you’ll get a lovely, concentrated burst of syrup at the bottom. As you drink, tipping the glass to your lips, the syrup comes through the ice cubes and soda. Of course, if you prefer, you can mix the liquids up for a more uniform taste and color.
Pretty up your soda with a sprig of mint and a few strips of fresh ginger or maybe a slice of the candied stuff. You could even serve it like sangria, floating mint leaves and a few slices of fruit in a glass or pitcher. Make it a “mocktail” with class.
I hadn’t thought about Ginger Mint Agave Soda in a while. But as the weather warms, it popped into my consciousness again. As I considered updating this post, Karen announced that our April Progressive Eats theme is copycat recipes. What a coincidence!
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Copycat Recipes, and our host is Karen who blogs at Karen’s Kitchen Stories.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats it’s a virtual party. The host for the month chooses a theme and members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party. Then you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. Come along and see all of the delicious copycat-inspired dishes!
- Seasons 52 Ginger Mint Agave Soda – Mother Would Know (you’re here!)
- Copycat Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – The Redhead Baker
- Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks – Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- French Onion Veggie Burger – Creative Culinary
- Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Madeira – The Heritage Cook
- Original Chick-fil-A Cole Slaw – Shockingly Delicious
Seasons 52 Ginger Mint and Agave Soda (copycat)
A simple and delicious cold drink, slightly sweet and definitely for fans of ginger.
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger from about a 1-inch square piece
- ½ cup 4 ounces water
- 1½ tablespoons agave nectar
- Ice cubes
- ¾ cup 6 ounces seltzer or sparkling water
- extra ginger and mint for garnish
Cut, peel and grate a piece of fresh ginger. (Here's how to peel ginger the easy way.)
Put the grated ginger in a saucepan or pot with a few mint leaves that you have "muddled" by mashing or pressing them to release the minty aroma.
Add the water and agave and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Strain the liquid into a heatproof cup and let it cool to room temperature, either on the counter or in the refrigerator. In the latter case it should be cool enough in about 10-15 minutes.
During the simmering, the liquid reduces by about a half, so you will have 2 ounces left. Pour it into a glass, add a few ice cubes and 6 ounces of soda, garnish as you please and enjoy!
Adapted from Seasons 52