I've been talking to a couple of members via PM about homemade soda, etc.. and while doing so found another book to add to my collection (I do love books ) so figured I'd do a quick review and talk a little about how I handle making soda at home.
First up the two books I have are:
This book is somewhat interesting as it has some older recipes and history on some of the home soda recipes. As the title suggests it has more root-beer recipes than the other book so if you're into mostly rootbeer this would be the book to get.
This is a much newer book and the subject material reflects it. Its somewhat of a "hipster soda" book, but in kind of a good way. There are some more avant-garde recipes and a lot more fruit syrups, etc.. Also has some interesting recipes for egg cremes and egg shakes as well as a few interesting cocktails and a couple of adjunct recipes (has a couple of ice cream recipes for example). It also has some more discussion of tuning the characteristics of your soda with adjuncts (various acids - lactic, acetic, phosphate; different sweeteners like stevia; etc..). Overall quite interesting.
For use the simplest, most flexible, easiest to clean and generally best way (imho) is to:
- Carbonate some water. If your water is really soft you can improve the flavor somewhat (imho) by adding some minerals to it - personally I use a pinch of "burton salts" in a 5g batch to make it a little more minerally. I like to keep the pressure on my water keg around 20PSI which is quite a bit higher than you'd normally put beer at.
- Mix the syrup with the cabonated water.
A nice alternative to the syrups is using various fruit juices to make aqua fresca (and maybe have a little simple syrup - 1:1 sugar+water - on the side to sweeten it up if you need to;
And the bonus recipe. This is the best lemon lime soda I've ever had and is loosely based on some of the recipes from the root beer/soda pop book.
Lemon Lime Soda:
- 6 lemons
- 6 limes
- 1 shy qt of simple syrup (2C sugar + 2C water roughly)
- Make a qt of simple syrup by mixing the sugar+water and heating until dissolved and then hold at around 170F.
- While the syrup is heating Zest all the citrus.
- Citrus zest into the simple syrup hold at 160-170F for ~30-60m (closer to the longer side will extract more flavor == better)
- Strain the zest out of the simple syrup into a jar/bottle a bit bigger than a quart
- Juice 3 lemons and 3 limes and add juice to the flavored syrup and mix
Optionally you can add a bit of fresh crushed ginger to get a little heat into it but try it without once just to get the amazing lemon/lime goodness!
Add a good splash to a glass and top with sparkling water, adjust juice levels to taste.
Keeps best refrigerated