Blueberry Lemon Verbena Spritzer with Candied Ginger Ice Cream

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Spritzer

Where did all the ice cream parlors and drug store soda fountains go?

I don’t recall the name, but when I was a kid, there was the loveliest ice cream café across the street from the now long gone Frederick and Nelson in downtown Seattle. Mom and I always concluded our school shopping expeditions there. To me, it was pure elegance and a special treat.

For a brief while, I could forget that Mom had insisted on a magenta mohair sweater with matching plaid skirt (pleated!) and angora socks. Oh yes, and these shoes because my high arches demanded solid support. (OK, so those are the shoes I WISH she had bought me.)

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Spritzer Ingredients

Now, lest you think outfits of this sort sound like something only an ungrateful daughter would fail to appreciate, I must add here that I was 5’8″ tall in the 7th grade and so thin that some of the bolder boys claimed I didn’t cast a shadow.

Now add that HERE-I-AM cowl neck sweater and KICKY-SKIRT that were supposed to mask that I was excruciatingly, embarrassingly THIN. Plus the real shoes. Plus the walk down the LONG hall from math class to science class, with boys lined up on both sides, hooting and sniping as the girls walked by.

Now you see why I needed ice cream. And not just any ice cream but something very special and totally absorbing.

Lemon Verbena

I always ordered the same thing–a chocolate ice cream soda with vanilla ice cream. It came in a tall parfait glass set on a lace doily clad plate, complete with a wafer cookie. Mom ordered a chocolate malted with extra malt. We sipped slowly, spoons clanking the glasses occasionally. I told her how much I loved my new clothes, and she replied with a conspiratorial smile, “Just don’t tell your father how much we spent.”

Many years later, I say that exact same thing to my own daughter every time we go shopping. “Just don’t tell your father how much we spent.” In the absence of an ice cream parlor, I plan to make her this memorable concoction after our fall college shopping spree.

I will try not to balk if she wants these shoes. I mean really, how do you ride a bike and get from one class to the next in these babies?

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Spritzer with Candied Ginger Ice Cream

Blueberry Lemon Verbena Spritzer with Candied Ginger Ice Cream

Here we have a new fangled play on an old fashioned ice cream soda. It’s the bees knees. Be sure to make the blueberry sauce before beginning this recipe.

small handful lemon verbena leaves

½ lime, cut into 4 wedges, then each wedge cut in half (8 pieces)

2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¾ cup ginger beer (non alcoholic; preferably Bundaberg Ginger Beer, available at World Market)

2 tablespoons Fresh Blueberry Lime Sauce

1 scoop Candied Ginger Gelato (or Haagen Dazs Ginger Ice Cream)


several fresh blueberries

sprig of lemon verbena

  1. In a cocktail shaker or heavy mixing glass, add 4 ice cubes, lemon verbena, and lime wedges. Using a wooden cocktail muddler, muddle vigorously, crushing the ice, leaves and lime.
  2. Add the lime juice, cover, and shake vigorously.
  3. Add the ginger beer, stir, and then strain into a tall serving glass.
  4. Slowly and gently pour 1½ tablespoons of the blueberry sauce into the ginger beer so as not to disturb or color the soda. The sauce is heavier than the soda and should sink neatly to the bottom of the glass.
  5. Add a scoop of ice cream, the remaining ½ tablespoon blueberry sauce, a few blueberries and a sprig of lemon verbena.
  6. Serve immediately with a long handled spoon.

Makes 1 drink.

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    • sms bradley says

      How VERY strange. I planted lemon VERBENA (according to the nursery) many years ago and it fills one end of the garden lavishly every summer. I use it’s lovely lemon flavor and aroma in many dishes. I have always thought that it’s lemon verbena. However, now that I am comparing pics on the web between the two plants, what I have definitely resembles lemon BALM. Thanks for pointing this out. I will get over to the nutsery tomorrow and give them a piece of my mind. :-) : Seriously, I’ll buy REAL lemon verbena this time.

    • sms bradley says

      Thanks so much Cucinista! :-) I’m with you on this. Blueberries are wonder-food, the soda has no calories, and it’s only one teensy-weesy scoop of ice cream. :-)

  1. says

    Holy Cow!!! That Spritzer looks down right sinful! (I always ordered a “Black Cow when I went to the soda fountain)

    Now I know what to do with that smidgen of leftover blueberry lime sauce. Thanks for sharing Susan and Happy National Ice Cream Month!!!
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..The Literary Gourmet =-.

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