I stopped drinking sodas at about age 16, the year was either 1981 or 1982. I’m not sure why I decided to stop, perhaps it stemmed from discomfort after imbibing or a general sense the fizzy stuff was doing damage to my person. Like a lot of people in the 1970’s, my parents had decided we as a family were “going on a health kick” which included a moratorium on soda purchases. I don’t know what motivated my parents to ban the liquid carbonated syrup from me and my brother’s convenient grasp either (he by the way was livid). Today sugar, seemingly the devil according to countless books, studies and just general bad press, or excessive consumption of sugar is now blamed for a wide array of ailments such as cancer, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure. Yes, fruits and some very nutrient dense vegetables contain sugar – hello beets and sweet potatoes – but processed food stuffs like soda are simply empty calories.

I mention sodas because on occasion I like to enjoy a Coke Float. Of course I’m purchasing an artisanal, organic Cola or Root Beer when quenching my biennial craving – nothing but the best! A Mexican Coke, which is made with natural cane sugar in lieu of high fructose corn syrup, may be some folks fancy. If loving an ice cream float is wrong, I don’t want to be right. and I use organic vanilla. But I have digestive issues. So, I started drinking Yerba Mate which helped. I read that in Peru sometimes the Mate is served with lemon sweetener, sometimes it is prepared with milk, sweetener and spices, so I began experimenting. To my palate’s surprise, I came up with a Mate Latte recipe that mimics my enchanting Coke Float. Love will conquer all! FYI, Mate does contain caffeine so it is a great coffee substitute. Mate is also reputed to be the drug of choice for brain hackers because it optimizes mental performance.

Coke Float Mate Latte

  • 1/4 Cup strongly brewed, chilled Yerba Mate
  • 2 Cups Grass Fed Cow’s Milk or Milk Substitute (I like unsweetened Hemp Milk)
  • 1 tsp. Organic Agave or Sweetener of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Organic Ground Cardamom
  • Dash of Organic Allspice
  • Dash of Organic Nutmeg
  • Dash of Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Cloves (Optional)

I combine everything in a tall glass, stir and then serve. I brew 40- ounces of Mate in a french press in advance and store it in the refrigerator so that I have it on hand at all times.

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