With the Labor Day weekend upon us, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the end of summer with a versatile and easy homemade soda recipe. Soda is such an unhealthy monster; the chemicals, the calories, the sugar, shesh! If a substance can be used to tenderize meat, maybe we shouldn’t drink it? This recipe allows you to make your favorite flavor of delicious and crisp soda with no chemicals and allows control of the sugar content. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make – then relax with your soda on the porch watching the summer sunset!
|Homemade Ginger Ale|
To make homemade ginger ale, you need seltzer water, one cup of sugar, 1/4 to 1/3 cup of chopped ginger root, and fresh mint is optional. In the photo there are also ingredients for a lemon soda with watermelon, it tastes similar to sprite or 7up.
Begin by combining one cup of water with one cup of sugar in a pot to make a simple syrup. You may adjust the sugar up or down depending on your preferences. Also add the chopped ginger. If you like extra ginger add up to 1/3 cup.
Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling and the sugar dissolves, remove the pot from the heat. I also threw a couple of mint leaves in for good measure. Allow the pot to cool and then sit for a couple of hours at least. The syrup will last for a few days in the refrigerator. The longer you allow the flavors to steep together, the stronger your soda will be flavored.
|Bring the pot to a boil|
The next step is optional. If you like mint, crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of a glass.
|Crush mint leaves|
Prior to serving the ginger ale, fill glasses (with or without mint leaves) with ice.
Mix 1/8 cup of the simple syrup into the glass with ice and mint.
Fill the glass with seltzer water. The amount is up to you based on the strength of flavor that you like. Usually 8 ounces is about right. You may add more or less syrup or water at this point. Give the glass a stir.
|Add seltzer water|
For a lemon flavored soda, follow the same steps as above. Mix a simple syrup and instead of chopped ginger use lemon peel and zest in the same proportions. Allow the syrup to steep. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into your serving glass along with a lemon twist for good measure. I add watermelon chunks for added sweetness (and lycopene). Add the same proportions of syrup and seltzer water.
|Lemon soda coming up!|
It would also be great to use peaches, strawberries, blueberries, or limes. Whatever your favorite fruit flavors are – use them! Spend the weekend relaxing with family and friends over a tall glass of yummy soda. No sodium benzoate, high fructose corn syrup, or phosphoric acid here!
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