by Dion Wan 

“Assume Nothing!” A mantra for The Crown as we worked towards opening our doors in March of 2019, the phrase became a Menu section, encouraging our visitors to drop their preconceptions and be open to new and delicious experiences. And now it’s the title of a recipe series, for you to recreate at home. Here’s to a year of assuming nothing!

When I was little, my grandma would take me to the mall during the Colorado winters and buy me comic books while she did her holiday shopping. To go along with the comics I’d get a cherry coke and then disappear into my own world. Twenty years later, illustration and drawing have become my life’s passions and I still have a weekly pickup at the local comic shop. Every time the holidays come around I get nostalgic for the taste of cherry cola. 

For the holidays, I’ve tapped into that nostalgia and brought to life Judge Master 3000, inspired by the comics and cherry coke of my childhood. This holiday coffee soda is made with sparkling water, a housemade “cherry cola” syrup featuring coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, and citrus zest, a double shot of espresso, and topped with our housemade vegan whipped cream.  

Is it naughty? Is it nice?  Only Judge Master 3000 can be the judge of that.  

To make the “cherry coke” syrup, you’ll need:

  • 24 oz  frozen cherries 
  • 2 qt water 
  • 2 qt sugar 
  • 1 lime zest/ ½ lime juice 
  • 1 lemon zest/ ½ lemon juice 
  • 2 oranges zest 
  • 10 grams cinnamon sticks (3 sticks) 
  • 8 grams of coriander seed 
  • 5 grams of grated nutmeg 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

Place the cherries and 2 qts of water into a pot and boil for 20 minutes. Strain the cherries and pour the cherry juice back into the pot.  Add the sugar, cinnamon sticks, coriander, and nutmeg, and bring to a boil. Let the syrup simmer for 15 minutes, then add in the citrus zest and juice and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Strain and let cool.  

To make the vegan whipped cream, you’ll need: 

  • 1 can of coconut milk 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, gently melted 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup 

For our whipped cream we use the ISI whipped cream canisters.  Whisk together all contents and let the mixture chill.  Add to the canister and pressurize. The mixture will be good for up to a week.  

To bring the drink altogether, use 3 ounces of sparkling water, 30 grams of cherry syrup, and 2 ounces of espresso.  Pour over ice and stir. Top with whipped cream.  

Check out the Assume Nothing series, and if you are in the Bay Area, stop by The Crown to taste the seasonal signature beverage.