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Refreshing Treats

By Jane Loves Local

This time of year, as spring starts preparing for summer, our taste buds crave fun, refreshing, carefree food and drink.

Fayetteville has plenty of delicious options to help you satisfy these longings.

How about a sweet, pink vodka martini made with exotic lychee fruit? Shogun Japanese Restaurant on Ramsey Street serves up these pretty and tasty drinks. Want something cool, non-alcoholic and just as unusual? Try Shogun’s delicious mochi ice cream balls – balls of ice cream covered with a thin layer of sticky rice cake and flavored with cooling green tea, creamy red bean or sweet mango.

Have you had bubble tea? If not, there’s no time like the present to take your first sip of this tasty iced milk tea. At Grilled Ginger Vietnamese Restaurant on Yadkin Road, you can get black or green bubble tea. (Green has a stronger tea flavor.) Then choose if you want your tea flavored with options such as peach, honeydew, cantaloupe, guava, taro, kiwi, strawberry, lychee coconut, peppermint, ginger, honey, yogurt or passion fruit. Add a topping – boba (tapioca balls), coffee jelly, lychee jelly, rainbow jelly or aloe vera. Then settle in for a sweet treat. Want something to nosh at the same time? Bite down on a fresh, crunchy spring roll. Mm.

What says refreshment like lemonade? Sunshine screams for it. Antonella’s, on Hay Street in downtown Fayetteville, mixes its own special basil lemonade, made with tart lemons that are muddled with basil and mint leaves. It’s spring in a glass. Have it plain or spiked. If you’d like a snack to go with it, try the bruschetta. The toasty bread is piled high with tomatoes and herbs and just enough but not too much garlic.

Have you gone loco for Locopops? These fruity frozen popsicle treats come in artisan flavors like cherry lime and cookies and cream and they’re available at downtown’s Pressed – A Creative Space. A Locopop is plenty delicious on its own but you also might consider chilling your glass of white wine with a strawberry lemonade Locopop. Or enjoy an orange mango Locopop while sipping on a bottle of Blood Orange Kolsch by Dirtbag Ales, a local brewery.

What about a sip of sangria? Luigi’s on McPherson Church Road serves its tasty version of this fruity red wine punch daily at what’s arguably Fayetteville’s prettiest bar. It’s a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring and the anticipation of summer.