Mix Up Your Own Fizzy Drinks With This Sweet Addition

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From boba tea to Dirty Soda, foodies have made their love for out-of-the-box beverages pretty clear. That's why we're deep-diving into another, perhaps less-explored sipper. Yuzu citron tea (aka "yuja cha" in Korean) isn't made from tea leaves; it's made from fruit preserves. The popular traditional Korean beverage tastes like a mandarin-orange-grapefruit hybrid. 

Sadly for stateside foodies, yuzu fruit is illegal to import into the U.S. However, foodies in America can still taste the fruit in jam form, where it's often stirred into water and honey to create an instant sweet, tart, jammy tea. Citron tea marmalade (aka "yuja chung") can be found at most Asian grocery stores  — and it's the inspiration behind our latest fizzy drink tip.

If you want to really amp up the looks and taste of your bevy, mix your favorite fruit jam or preserves into a glass of seltzer on ice. It's perfect for pool parties, backyard barbecues, N.A. cocktail fans, and even kiddos. Here's how to make it happen.

Jammin' all day long

To make your fizzy jammy beverage, simply add a few spoonfuls of the preserves of your choice to the bottom of a glass. Muddle with a spoon to break it up, then pour in sparkling water like tonic or soda, stirring until dissolved. Pop in a few ice cubes and have a fun ready-to-drink sipper. Most recipes recommend using 2 to 3 teaspoons of preserves per 1 cup of water. But, of course, you can always add more or less to suit your taste.

If you want to get as close to the taste of yuzu fruit as possible, we recommend OTTOGI Honey Citron Tea preserves, which are offered in a 35-ounce jar. Or jam made from Meyer lemon or pomelo would also make flavor-fitting substitutes — the only real limit here is the scope of your imagination. 

Stir a spoonful of orange marmalade into a glass of sparkling Limonata Sanpellegrino, and garnish with fresh basil. You could even spike it with Absolut Citron to make a refreshing cocktail. Try adding blueberry preserves to a glass of ginger ale with a few fresh mint leaves or pair raspberry jam with Pamplemousse LaCroix. Even apricot cardamom preserves would add an earthy, spicy kick to a glass of plain seltzer, along with a dash of Angostura bitters.