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A Cool, Sweet Break-Fast Soda

Photograph by Shulie Madnick

North African and Yemeni Jews, among other Sephardic Jews, break the Yom Kippur fast with a sweetened hot coffee or tea. Balkan Jews break the fast with laboriously extracted chilled almond milk and melon seed drink. Here’s a modern twist on the break-fast beverage tradition — a refreshing recipe from a charming little artisanal soda shop at the Levinsky Market in Tel Aviv.

Note that the syrups should be made a few days in advance — so consider starting now…

Apple-Pomegranate Artisanal Soda

Make at least 2-4 days in advance — the syrup is created as the fruit macerates. This recipe can be easily doubled.

For the apple-pomegranate syrup:

3 granny smith apples, cored and sliced thin (peel on)
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
8-10 tablespoons sugar
¼- to ½-teaspoon cinnamon

Can add one or more of the following herbs and spices according to taste:

Fresh tarragon
Fesh mint
Fresh lemon verbena
1 whole star anise and/or a few whole cloves

In a deep container with a lid, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Add an apple layer and some of the pomegranate. Sprinkle more sugar on top of the apple layer and add a layer of herbs and/or spices. Continue layering with apples, pomegranates, a sprinkle of sugar, and herbs and whole spices. Once you add the last layer of apples and pomegranate, sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon.

Seal with the lid and refrigerate for at least 2-4 days before continuing with the recipe.

For the herb-infused simple syrup:

2 cup sugar
2 cup water

One or more of the following herbs:

Fresh lemon verbena
Fresh mint and/or lavender

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and sugar over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts completely, about 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool a bit. Pour into a jar. Add some fresh herbs to the simple syrup in the jar and keep refrigerated for at least 2-3 days.

To serve:

Start with the apple-pomegranate mixture: To a glass, add some of the sliced apples, some pomegranate seeds, and 2 teaspoons of the apple-pomegranate liquid from the jar. Add 2 tablespoons of the herb-infused simple syrup and top with soda water. Mix and adjust, adding more herb-infused simple syrup and/or apple-pomegranate syrup to taste.

Shulie Madnick is a food writer and photographer and author of the blog She adapted this recipe from Levinsky 41

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