Make Ahead

Celery Soda

March 11, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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)
In This Recipe
  1. Clean then thinly slice the celery. It should measure about 3 cups when firmly packed into a liquid measuring cup. Set aside.
  2. Remove the zest in strips from half of the lemon. Lightly crush the pepper corns and cardamom pods. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.
  7. 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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I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.