Sometime a couple of years ago my sister gifted me with a Soda Stream soda maker. I didn’t use it much, partly because I didn’t really know what to do with it, and partly because my kids both hate fizzy drinks. While the latter fact works out for me in that I don’t have to work to keep them away from pop, it also means that my plans to make fizzy orange juice as an exciting treat haven’t panned out.
Recently, however, I was offered the chance to review The Artisan Soda Workshop, a book that offers 70 recipes to help you make your own pop at home. Some of them are fountain classics, some of them are very exotic, and some are even alcoholic. Unlike store bought, all the recipes use natural ingredients like fruits, herbs, and actual sugar. Thinking that I would finally have a chance to figure out what to do with the Soda Stream, I seized the opportunity.
- Sparkling Rosemary Lemonade
- Blackberry Lavender
- Cream Soda
- Concord Grape
- Egg Cream
On the whole, the syrups were easy to make, and they kept well in my fridge. It takes a little bit of planning because you have to cook and cool them before you use them, but it’s something you can easily do in the afternoon to have pop with dinner. I also found that the homemade sodas were, by and large, less sweet than store-bought. This could be good or bad depending on your point of view, and you could always adjust the sugar to taste.
As for the sodas themselves, I was a big fan of the cream soda (so easy, so tasty), the blackberry lavender and the concord grape. I was sort of mixed on the sparkling rosemary lemonade, but once I added a little bit of gin it was quite delightful. As for the chocolate soda and the egg cream, which are quite similar, I was not a fan. However, this is really a matter of personal taste, and your mileage may vary, for sure.
I do enjoy sharing the love, as you know, so I thought I’d give you a chance to try making your own homemade soda. If you don’t have a Soda Stream, you can either see if my sister is willing to give you one too (unlikely) or you can just buy seltzer water to mix it up with. I’m giving away my copy of the book, as soon as I finish writing down a few of my favourite recipes. I’m also throwing in a copy of Mommy Mixology: A Cocktail for Every Calamity. You can find out more about that book by listening to my podcast with author Janet Frongillo.
If you’d like to win The Artisan Soda Workshop and Mommy Mixology, leave a comment on this post on or before September 30, 2012. I’ll draw a name at random and pop the books in the mail.