CHICAGO — If you try and pinpoint the opposite of the slow-food movement, with its simmering anti-industrialized food attitudes, you might settle on cola, as public enemy number 1. But it wasn’t always the mass-produced item it is today. And now, Harvest restaurant, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, is bringing back the old-fashioned soda-shop feel with its house-made cherry cola.

Harvest produces its cola from farm-fresh Michigan cherries cooked down to create that familiar sweet flavour. The Chicago Marriott culinary team works alongside Ron Filbert, who owns Filberts Root Beer Co., to combine carbonated water, sugar, natural cola flavour and other simple ingredients to make fresh local cherry cola.

“Personally, I drink one almost every day, usually with a slice of lime over ice. It’s also a great mixer for an adult beverage when mixed with vanilla vodka or for dessert as a killer ice-cream float,” says executive chef Myk Banas who uses the fresh cherry cola in some of Harvest’s recipes, such as its Cola-glazed ham.

“The idea behind making our pop is to take our chef-crafted, local approach with food and apply it to our beverages,“ explains Banas. “With the fruit belt of the Midwest so nearby, in southwestern Michigan, it made sense for us to use cherries, and we were confident that we could make it taste amazing.”


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