Iced coffee soda offers refreshing alternative to yet another glass of wine

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      Last week, I sampled a delicious soft drink that I had never tasted before in Vancouver.

      Brasilena's refreshing coffee soda is on the menu at Pepino's Spaghetti House on Commercial Drive.

      In light of the North American coffee craze, it's surprising that Coca-Cola and Pepsi aren't marketing something like this.

      This benita al caffè was first produced and marketed in 1982 in Calabria, which is where many Italian Canadians in Vancouver trace their family histories.

      The shape of the small Brasilena bottles are deceptive. They actually contain quite a lot of beverage—more than enough to go with my healthy serving of Spaghetti Alfredo.

      Gourmet diners often talk about pairing wines with certain meals. In this case, however, I'll recommend this coffee soda with pasta.

      Alternatively, you can try it with Pepino's rather stunning Tiramisu "Bombalona", which comes in a large parfait glass.

      Pepino's dishes up a gorgeous tiramisu.

      It's not a bad substitute for those of us who are pining to travel to Italy but can't do so because of the pandemic.