We’ve always thought that street drink has a long way to go. Apart from a few shining lights in the world of coffee and tea, where servers really understand the need for something personal and special, it’s all been a bit meh. There’s Square Root, with their traditional, naturally-fermented sodas made from seasonal ingredients served on draught from Elsie, the vintage tricycle. But it’s far too difficult to find the theatre that defines the best food on the street. The customer isn’t really privy to any ‘alchemy’. That’s all changing — but it’s taken Starbucks to show the way. They have launched a new range of “hand-crafted” carbonated drinks in the United States, looking to repeat their success in coffee. The company have launched three flavours of Fizzio soft drinks, which are made by its baristas in about a minute and a half, at more than 3,000 locations in 16 states across the southern US. The launch is timed to coincide with rising summer temperatures, so that the cool drinks make up for any decline in hot coffee sales. According to today’s Propel Info, Josh Fine, brand manager for Fizzio, told USA Today: “We are changing the game in terms of how to get a carbonated drink. Like what Starbucks did to coffee 40 years ago, we think we can do in the carbonation space.” The Fizzio drinks will be carbonated “fresh”, as opposed to combining syrup with carbonated water, as in most commercial machines. Instead, the flavours and spices are combined in a large cheesecloth and steeped in hot water, akin to how tea is made. Buyers can choose from light, standard or extra carbonation.