Making Homemade Soda


Making your own soda at home is easy and lets you avoid problematic ingredients in commercially prepared sodas, such as high fructose corn sugar, chemically produced flavors, perservatives, stabilizers, bottles and cans.  Simply add 3 tablespoons of one of these syrups to 8 ounces of cold carbonated water.  You can use a soda stream or a bottle of seltzer.

Blueberry-Raspberry Shrub

A shrub is a soda where the water from a simple syrup is replaced with vinegar.  It is a bracing, yet refreshing treat our early American ancestors enjoyed.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
  • 1 cup organic cider vinegar

Instructions

Add the fruit, 1/2 cup sugar, and vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat and simmer until the fruit is soft and the sugar has dissolved.

Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if needed, stirring to dissolve.  Remove from heat.

Once cooled, mash or puree the fruit and strain the syrup into a jar.  Discard the solids.

Stir 3 tablespoons of the syrup into 8 ounces of cold carbonated water.

Keeps 2 weeks refrigerated.

Grapefruit Soda

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

Use a vegetable peeler to remove half the peel from the grapefruit.  Cut the fruit in half and juice with a reamer or juice squeezer.  Add enough water to equal 1 cup juice.

In a small saucepan, heat zest, juice, and sugar to a boil over heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Strain out solids and discard.

Stir 3 tablespoons of the syrup into 8 ounces cold carbonated water.

Variation:  Use 2 limes, 2 lemons, or 2 oranges.  Use all the peel and proceed as above.

Stores 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Hibiscus Ginger Ale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh organic ibiscus flowers or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 1/4 cup roughly grated fresh gingerroot (no need to peel)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon (juice only)
  • pinch of salt, optional

Instructions

Heat hibiscus, gingerrot, sugar, salt and 1 cup water to a boil over high heat.  Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and let steep 20 minutes.  Strain syrup, squeezing solids, then discard solids.

Stir 3 tablespoons of the syrup into 8 ounces of cold carbonated water.

Syrup keeps for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Each recipe makes 6 to 8 glasses of soda.

Some more syrups from Martha Stewart Living:

Cranberry Soda

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Instructions

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain and discard solids.

Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces of carbonated water or seltzer, and stir.

Stores 1 month in the refrigerator.

Grapefruit Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pink or ruby red grapefruits

Instructions

Peel the rind from the grapefruits and place in a saucepan.  Add the juice from the grapefruits as well (just the white pith is discarded).  Add sugar and water and  bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain and discard solids.

Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces of carbonated water or seltzer, and stir.

Stores 1 month in the refrigerator.

Espresso Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup instant espresso powder

Instructions

Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces of carbonated water or seltzer, and stir.

Stores 1 month in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vanilla beans

Instructions

Split the pods and scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and place everything into a saucepan.  Add sugar and water, then bring all the ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool to room temperature, then strain and discard solids.

Use 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 ounces of carbonated water or seltzer, and stir.

Stores 1 month in the refrigerator.