Soda contains all sorts of mystery ingredients and chemically-processed additives, like high-fructose corn syrup, caramel color and chemical preservatives. So read on for how to make homemade soda instead. Your waistline and dental health will thank you.
- carbonated water, club soda or sparkling mineral water (I like Perrier, but I have an affinity for all things French)
- a flavoring agent such as root beer extract or fresh/frozen fruit
- organic granulated sugar (or even coconut sugar or honey)
A good formula is 1 tablespoon of simple syrup or fruit purée for every 6 ounces of club soda. For a basic simple syrup, bring one cup of sugar and one cup of water just to a boil, then let it cool. Honey or coconut sugar work well, too (and are better than bleached white sugar). Better yet, smash or blend fresh fruit for natural sweetness.
From there you can add vanilla extract, vanilla beans, whole spices, or even citrus peel. A little root beer extract lends all those retro feels without all the sugar. Blended or mashed fresh fruit mixed with a little honey makes for a deliciously sweet soda syrup. Simply simmer the sweetened fruit over medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
This is a great activity to do with kids (my littlest one is constantly stealing my bottle of Perrier, so he was game). And rafting your own fizzy drinks at home gives you control over the sugar content (and resulting sugar crash) of each cup.
For us big kids, homemade soda is refreshing, guilt-free and satisfying. And you didn't hear it from me, but on a Friday night you could easily trade in the club soda for a little bubbly. Or simply add a shot of vodka, or both. You just made homemade soda. You deserve a little reward.Print
For Fresh Fruit Syrup
- 1 cup of fresh fruit, blended
- 2 to 4 teaspoons of granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
For Basic Simple Syrup
- 1 cup of granulated or coconut sugar
- 1 cup of water
For Fruit Syrup
- Blend fruit with the lemon juice until smooth.
- Strain it through a fine sieve/mesh strainer for a smooth syrup.
- Combine the fruit purée and sugar in a small saucepan, and bring it just to a boil. Simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Cool completely, spoon into glasses and pour in club soda or sparkling mineral water.
For Basic Simple Syrup
- Combine the sugar or honey in a small pot.
- Bring the mixture just to a boil, then remove it from the heat.
- If you're making a lemon/lime/grapefruit/orange/ginger syrup, add your flavorings and steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain out or remove the fresh flavorings and chill the syrup.
- If using a concentrated extract such as vanilla or root beer, add 1-2 tablespoons depending on how strong a flavor you'd like. Taste and see is the best method.
*Honey is about twice as sweet as table sugar.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Drinks
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: simple syrup, homemade soda, berry simple syrup, lemon simple syrup, homemade cream soda, gluten free, paleo, GAPS