I have a small obsession with a little local shop that makes all natural house made sodas. Their drinks are bubbly, colorful, and interesting flavors are written on their chalkboard for me to salivate over while waiting in line. I’ll find any excuse to go, but it’s never as often as I’d like. I hope to share more about this special place soon, but in the meantime I’ve found a way to create these fizzy drinks at home.
Oftentimes, when I create pastries, I find that I can end up with left over ingredients. Particularly, fruit. If the fruit is especially ripe and flavorful, I will gladly snack on them for days until they are gone. Simply enjoying them for what they are. Perfect morsels. However, in the times that this is not the case, I try and find ways to put them to use by testing out new recipes. This week was no exception.
Creating my own soda has been on my to-do list for many months now. I wanted to have a way to enjoy them at home, when I wasn’t able to visit the little soda shop of my dreams. Finding myself with left over strawberries, a handful of cherries, and some basil, I decided now was the time. The results were sparkling. This recipe calls for only strawberries, but you can add in any other fruits or herbs to mix and match your flavors. It’s a great base recipe for testing out new ideas, so experiment until your heart’s content.
If you happen to have any ice cream on hand, such as last week’s Strawberry Basil ice cream, you can make it even more special by adding a small scoop to your soda. Now, you can have sodas and an ice cream float.
Makes about six (8oz) drinks
1 lb strawberries, or a mix of berries and fruits of your choice, rinsed and hulled
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
1 cup sugar Club soda or carbonated water of your choice
Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pushing juice through with a spatula. Toss the leftover solids. Pour strawberry juice into a liquid measuring cup and measure to 1 cup. Add water to reach 1 cup if needed.
Pour into a small saucepan with lemon juice, basil, and sugar. Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and strain syrup into a clean container and toss the leftover solids.
Once cool, cover, and refrigerate syrup up to 1 week. To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons of syrup into an 8-ounce glass, top with club soda, and whisk together until fully combined. Taste and add more syrup, if desired. Add a slice of lemon, ice, and some more berries to soak up all the bubbly goodness.
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.