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Author Notes: This recipe is inspired by a great soda company from Seattle called Dry Soda. They make not overly sweet sodas with interesting flavors like lavender, juniper, and rhubarb. I decided to see how celery soda might work, and was pleasantly surprised by the result. I've added a bit of lemon, black pepper, and cardamon to enhance and complement the fresh, herbaceous flavor of the celery. This is a grown-up soda that would be perfectly refreshing on a sultry summer day. —hardlikearmour
Food52 Review: Hardlikearmour has created a very cool way to use celery. This is different than every other soda. It's not overly sweet, rather it's a little spicy with a strong undercurrent of celery. It packs jsut the right amount of spice to be interesting, but still refreshing and light. I liked mine in a dilution of 6:1, but feel free to play with it to find what you like the best. —Stephanie Bourgeois
Makes about 2 cups of syrup
- 7 - 8 large stalks celery (about 3/4 lb) (plus inner stalks for garnish)
- large lemon
- 1 tablespoon black pepper corns
- 8 green cardamom pods
- 1 1/4 cups water (12 oz)
- 1 cup sugar (7 oz)
- seltzer water (about 2 quarts for the entire batch of syrup)
- Clean then thinly slice the celery. It should measure about 3 cups when firmly packed into a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
- Remove the zest in strips from half of the lemon. Lightly crush the pepper corns and cardamom pods. Set aside.
- Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Once it reaches a boil, add the sliced celery and return it to a boil for about 1 minute. Stir once or twice in the process. Remove from the heat.
- Add the lemon zest, pepper, and cardamom to the celery mixture. Stir to combine, then cover the pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Strain the celery syrup through a fine mesh strainer into a jar or other suitable storage container. Press the celery to extract as much syrup as possible. Feel free to nibble on some of the candied celery - it's surprisingly tasty! (and if you think of any good uses for it, pass them on! I send most of it to the compost heap.)
- Juice the lemon, and add 3 tablespoons of the juice to the syrup. Stir to combine. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Mix syrup with seltzer water. A 1 to 4 dilution is a good starting point; adjust to your taste. Serve over ice with a tender inner celery stalk as garnish if desired.
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