Collection of Favorite Drink Recipes – Food Stories from New York & Beyond

Almond Seltzer Drink

By Rainey Conguista

In the summertime, my family always used to make a very refreshing drink with almond syrup. You just buy a bottle of almond syrup and mix it with seltzer. You can put any kind of fruit you want into it, such as Maraschino Cherries, pineapple pieces, or peaches. You then mix all the ingredients together in a pitcher with ice. It’s a really refreshing, delicious drink from the 50’s or 60’s that has gone out of fashion in recent years. 

Most Italian pastry shops or Italian specialty shops sell concentrated almond syrup. I used to get mine at Faicco’s Italian Specialties on Bleecker Street. I hope it’s still there.  When I was growing up in Brooklyn, we used to call places like that “pork stores.” Now, some people might be turned off by that name, but pork stores are places that sell Italian specialties. They have a butcher as well as cooked and prepared Italian specialty foods. We get a lot of our Christmas stuff there, a specialty plate for Christmas Day or Easter, and Pizza Rustica. As I was growing up, we used to get meat for our Sunday dinner from there. 

When I moved to the Village, there was another Faicco’s down the block from me, so I started going there all the time. At some point, I found out that the owners of the two places are cousins, but they haven’t spoken to each other in 40 years. 


Pepsi and Wine
By Rainey Conguista

When I was young I remember, whenever the family drank red wine, they would always mix it at the table with Pepsi. I rarely drink alcohol, but to this day, if I do drink red wine, I mix it with Pepsi. To me, it tastes like a Manhattan. It’s the only way I drink wine.


Italian Sangria

By Rainey Conguista

We used to always cut up peaches and put them in red wine. We would have jars of that in the refrigerator and it would keep for days. That’s a very Italian thing.


Iced Espresso/Cappuccino Coffee 

By Susan

I’ve had some health issues for the past couple of years so I’ve had to pay very close attention and avoid carbs. But then after a while, you go nuts. So one of the things I wanted to have was coffee. So here’s a recipe for an espresso/cappuccino type coffee you can make at home very easily. And you can even make it iced.

Start with a few ounces of cold-from-refrigerator water in a tall glass and put in three-quarters or a full teaspoon of Café Bustelo espresso. It’s instant and fabulous. Because I have to stay away from sugar, I’ve moved over to almond milk. I use Unsweetened Vanilla Breeze Almond Milk which is very creamy. After adding the espresso to the glass, add the almond milk, and then fill with very cold water and ice if you like. 

What makes it even a greater treat is Jordan’s Skinny Syrups mocha-flavored keto syrup that I get from skinnymixes.com. Start with a capful, add more to taste, stir, and enjoy.

It is so delicious, it’s like going out to the restaurant à la coronavirus style. And it’s satisfying.


Black-Cherry Coke

By Susan

I love soda, and I know it’s not too good for me either. The caffeine is also not good. So, to cut down on the caffeine, I pour about a third of a glass of Diet Coke and two-thirds of a glass of diet black cherry seltzer. So, what you end up with is a black-cherry Coke.

Not too much caffeine, but delicious.

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