Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.
Here's one option: http://www.food52.com/recipes.... Since you probably won't be able to find Concord grapes, you could use regular purple grapes and just decrease the sugar.
Thanks, Merill, That sounds delicious! Just finished making a variation of something else I found -- a simple syrup with satsuma zest, juice and lavender. Will let it steep overnight and try tomorrow. I'm thinking something with pears and a little cinnamon might work, too.
Simple sugar steeped with ginger slices is good. I think Amanda did a soda thread that featured that one.
I use those plastic squeeze bottle to store; like old fashion mustard/ketchup squeeze containers, but not with the colors.
hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.
You could try drinking vinegar. http://www.food52.com/recipes... You can really use any fruit, but my favorites have been berries, plums, and pears (so far.) I will sometimes add other elements like the lemongrass, or tarragon (with blueberry), or star anise (with plum), or orange blossom water (with pear.) You can sweeten to taste. Most of the time I'll end up using 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar per batch.
jwlucas, I have been lucky enough to drink HLA's shrubs. They are sublime. And I think your son will get on board, especially if he can have a say in the recipes and help make them!
I'm not a fan of fresh ginger but I do love ginger ale. I feel like the options are endless. Hope I to get my son on board. He drink too much high-sugar soda. Hoping to create some flavors he'll enjoy. Would love to capture the black cherry flavor of Dr. Brown's. Has anyone played with using stevia or Splenda?
From my reading on it I don't think that the powdered sugar substitutes play well in the soda making process. Liquid ones such as agave, honey, and brown rice syrup work, but you have to play with the amounts a bit more due to the fact that their flavor is a bit more complex then being strictly sweet like sugar.
A local restaurant to me here in the Bay Area makes delicious lemongrass soda that had some muddled mint in it. I've always wanted to experiment with it at home. I imagine you could make a lemongrass-infused simple syrup for the same results with some bruised pieces to release the essential oils. How amazing would that be?
There was a summer soda contest, last summer, with wonderful options -- including at least 2 home made ginger ales. I had several of the bases I made in my refrigerator all summer, ready to make with my bottles of plain Soda Stream that are always in the fridge. Shrubs are wonderful but might be an adult taste -- they're fruit vinegars which I love but might be a stretch for your son. Once you've made a few of the bases, you'll see the techniques and be able to adapt to different fruits and flavors. http://www.food52.com/recipes... -- this is one I make with ginger and turmeric.
If your son's old enough to be involved in the creative process and the cooking, you may create a soda genius, who can put his own recipes on FOOD52!
I like a juniper & lime syrup to go with gin. I made this recipe for my husband who is a tea and cream soda addict:
I'd recommend Meyer Lemon/Cranberry. I'd do 1/2 cup meyer lemon juice and mash up 1/2 a cup of cranberries. Mix with 3/4 to 1 cup sugar and a bit of water.
In the summer, I use the leftover syrup in soda from preserving peaches and plums.
I work with a coffee shop that does a lot of business with Jo Snow syrups, just in case you'd like something more shelf stable:
http://josnowsyrups.com/ I really like the Rose Cardamom and the Fig/Vanilla/Black Pepper.
Thanks to everyone for the creative ideas! I should clarify that my son is 20 but a big fan of sweet sodas. We'll have fun creating flaors everyone will enjoy.
I made a kumquat syrup with vanilla bean. I used a 1:1 ratio of sugar:water and a whole vanilla bean along with a half pint of kumquats. Store in a jar in the fridge. Really yummy!
I use crystal light. It works perfectly and stays fizzy.
Adapted from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea: The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery:
Lime, Grapefruit and Ginger Juice
This juice is quite strong - but invigorating! You can make it more/less sweet, to your tastes. And you can mix it with more/less water sparkling water, also to taste. You can also double the recipe if you need to use up more citrus. The juice freezes well in baggies or ice cube trays. I typically use ruby red grapefruits here.
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
2 tablespoons ginger, peeled then grated
1 cup (240 ml) water
very scant 1/2 cup (95 ml) fresh lime juice - 2 juicy limes
1 1/3 cups (310 ml) fresh grapefruit juice - 2 juicy grapefruits
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir together the sugar, ginger, and water. Simmer for 5 minutes, transfer to a glass bowl or cup, and place in the freezer for a few minutes to cool.
Strain the ginger into a pitcher along with the lime and grapefruit juices. You can either strain the citrus juices or leave them pulpy, just be sure to catch any seeds before they go in. Stir and taste, if you want a bit more sugar, go for it, but I find this plenty sweet. Serve straight in a tiny chilled glass with ice. Or use a splash to freshen up a glass of sparkling water.
Makes about 2 cups / 1 pint.
The best syrups I have made so far are strawberry mint, and blueberry with a touch of cayenne. Use raw sugar for a deeper flavor to the sweetness.
Hilarybee, I would love to have your juniper and lime syrup recipe!
Diana, I'll try to get that posted in my F52 recipes in the next week or so.
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