Author Notes: I love fruity flavors spiced up a bit. This refreshing homemade soda gets its zinginess from a dried chipotle, cinnamon and mint. If dried chipotles are unavailable, substitute a canned chipotle in adobo, but remove the seeds before using. Feel free to dress it up with a splash of flavored vodka; orange, lemon or pepper flavors would be great. - gr8chefmb - gr8chefmb
Food52 Review: This is a delicious alternative to a summer lemonade. The amount lends itself nicely to an entire pitcher. Just bruise about a cup of mint, and add it to a pitcher filled halfway with ice. Pour in the syrup and fill the rest of the way with club soda. It's pretty in color and even the kids will like it! For a more adult variation, although gr8chefmb recommends a flavored vodka, we liked it with a splash of gin -- in a martini glass, of course! - GirlPlusFire - GirlPlusFire
- 1-1/2 cup demerara sugar [raw sugar]
- 1-1/2 cup water
- 1 pint raspberries
- 1 dried chipotle pepper, seeds removed
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 liter club soda
- crushed ice
- 1 cup orange, lemon or pepper-flavored vodka [optional]
- thin orange slices for garnish
- Place sugar and water in a 3-quart saucepan and place over medium high heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium. Add raspberries, chipotle pepper, and cinnamon stick; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Strain syrup, pressing on solids to extract syrup; discard solids. Store syrup in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up 1 week.
- To make sodas, add 1/4 cup of spicy raspberry syrup to glass along with a few mint leaves and use a muddler to bruise mint. Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and top off with club soda. If desired, add a splash of flavored vodka to glass before topping with club soda. Garnish with thin slice of orange and a couple of mint leaves.