When Rambling House opened last year and began serving its gourmet, craft sodas, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, I hadn't had the opportunity to hit up the Hudson Street retreat until this summer. I found excellently made sodas - far from the typical big brand stuff - ideal for commendable libations.

When Rambling House opened last year and began serving its gourmet, craft sodas, I was intrigued. Unfortunately, I hadnt had the opportunity to hit up the Hudson Street retreat until this summer. I found excellently made sodas far from the typical big brand stuff ideal for commendable libations.

As Ive stated innumerable times in this column, whiskey is my favorite beverage in the world. Sorry, water. However, what I havent probably stated is that whiskey and ginger beer (or ale as a replacement) is my go-to simple cocktail.

So upon entering Rambling House on a not-too-hot-and-muggy evening, I knew I would immediately go for the Relentless Mule (Watershed bourbon, ginger beer and a dash of honey). The cocktail was quite fantastic, bringing a spicy, tangy bite with a hint of sweetness.

I really hope [it] will be a year-round drink. Its selling really well during the summer, and its refreshing, said Rambling House owner John Lynch. But the spiciness and the warmth of the bourbon will make a good drink when the weather gets colder.

While I wouldve been more than content to sit back with another ginger concoction, I moved on to some other flavors. The sarsaparilla was also a better-than-the-norm version, but the soda-booze combo Ill head back for is the Columbus Cola and whiskey (or bourbon). Once Lynch explained the recipe, I knew I needed to try it.

I think our cola is a perfect example of a beverage that fits the trend of caring what goes into the drink, he said. Its lemon, lime, orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and a little bit of cola nut for caffeine. Its the soda we make that Im most proud of.

Getting your hands on some Rambling sodas will be easier soon, although I still recommend experiencing the cozy, minimalist speakeasy (Thursday through Sunday). Lynch said Rambling House plans to open a second, production-only facility soon to offer more sodas on tap in more bars and restaurants Seventh Son, The Crest and a handful of others already serve Rambling House and begin bottling by the end of the year.

Photo by Meghan Ralston