Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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3 of a Kind

fdfile 3kindKate Appel's offbeat sodas quench thirst without the guilt

For almost three years, Kate Appel has been making her carbonated fruit sodas, available at the Downtown Farmers Market and Lúpulo Craft Beer House. She uses just three main ingredients—fruit juices, natural sweeteners and herbs and spices—in a variety of medleys. A bottle at the market is $8, including $5 for the bottle, which is refillable.

GT: How did you get the name 3 of a Kind?

Kate Appel: It’s a nod to my triplets, three boys. Normally my kids were drinking regular soda, so I started to make soda with fruit juice. We started making it with apple juice. I like to mix it up, so I mixed apple and limeade together and started to carbonate it: ‘Oh wow, this is really good!’ Then we started to add some spice. I like ginger, so we added some ginger.

What are some favorite spices?

I’m Thai, so I use a lot of lemongrass. I use a lot of ginger. But there’s a lot of stuff I never used before. I just experimented. Our most popular flavor is strawberry basil.

The strawberry jalapeño’s surprisingly good.

That’s very popular too. It’s a fun, exciting flavor. Everyone always asks, ‘Is it spicy?’ No, it’s just a good kick. It’s supposed to be drinkable.

What’s the best drink for summer?

Thai summer tea is really light, and it’s refreshing. Thai summer tea’s always on tap—just different infusions. Right now we have Thai summer chrysanthemum. I do have Thai summer with lemongrass.

What’s your five-year plan?

We’re about to launch Indiegogo, so we can have bottling equipment, because a lot of people ask if I sell it anywhere else. I would like to have a bottling prep man because the drink will last a lot longer. It’s lightly carbonated. I have a spring top. You can open it, but in a day or two it will be flat. With the proper bottling equipment, it will keep it longer, and I can have it at the local stores or restaurants that would like to have something unique.

INFO: Email Kate Appel at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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