Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...
Homemade soda is as simple as making your own deliciously flavored syrups
Last week I brought home some pomegranate molasses for a recipe. On a whim, I put some ice in a tall glass, poured in a tablespoon or so of the pomegranate molasses, then poured some cold seltzer over it. Instant homemade soda. Not only was it a beautiful color, it was delicious — and healthier than regular pop.
How to make homemade soda
One of the great things about making soda in this way is that you can control the intensity of the flavor and the relative sweetness of the resulting beverage. You can experiment with flavors and even use real fruit to make the syrups.
Making syrup for soda is as easy as making a simple syrup (sugar and water) and adding flavoring. To use fresh fruit, choose fruits that are very ripe and juicy and either put them through a juicer or puree them and press through a strainer. If you use canned or bottled juices, look for juices that have very high natural juice content, and a very low sugar content. Now you've gotten the idea, here's the easy way to make homemade soda.
Basic soda syrup
Makes about 1/2 cup
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh fruit juice or concentrated fruit juice (the more concentrated the juice, the more intense the final flavor)
Combine the ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer until the mixture is reduced by half. (To intensify the flavor, you can add a dash of an appropriately flavored extract.)
Store the finished syrup in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator for instant access.
To make homemade soda, simply add syrup to a glass of ice and top off with seltzer water or club soda.
Suggestions for flavors
Quick tip: The syrups are also tasty drizzled over ice cream or other desserts.