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Several people dropped a line saying they liked the article on making our own Ginger Ale I will add a few additional recipes. Any of them may be tweaked to your preference. We like combining 100% juice with club soda which requires absolutely no work. Our favorites are probably cranberry or white grape.

BLACKBERRY
1 to 1 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup water
2 cups frozen berries (blackberries, raspberries, elder berries, etc.)

Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer about 10 minutes, stirring if needed. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain out the solids and discard. Refrigerate the syrup.

To use: Fill a glass with ice, add syrup and fill with club soda. Start with 2 or 3 Tablespoons of syrup, and if you want the flavor stronger add more to taste.

RHUBARB
1 ½ cups chopped rhubarb
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cups water. Make as above, simmering the mixture about 15 to 20 minutes before straining it.

STRAWBERRY
2 cups hulled strawberries (or blueberries)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

VANILLA SODA
2 cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split

Combine ¼ cup of water and the sugar, heat until it caramelizes. Add 2 cups water, the lemon juice, and the vanilla bean and seeds. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes, and remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Discard the vanilla bean. Bottle and refrigerate.

ORANGE
4 tablespoons orange zest, quickly blanched in boiling water and drained. Discard the blanching water and use fresh water for the recipe.
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Strain before bottling and refrigerate.

COLA
The zest of 2 oranges, 1 lime, and 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
1 small piece of star anise pod, crushed
½ teaspoon food grade dried lavender
1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar

Combine water with zests, and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and discard the solids.

Stir the sugars together and whisk them into the syrup with the vanilla. Refrigerate.

To use: Over ice, add ¼ cup of syrup with 1 cup club soda or to taste.

FLORAL SYRUP
2 cups fresh rose or violet petals (be absolutely certain there are no pesticides or other chemicals on them)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar or 1 cup each sugar and honey

Combine, simmer 20 minutes. Strain. Cool. Refrigerate.

APPLE MINT
1 quart apple juice
1/3 cup honey or raw sugar
¼ cup mint leaves, washed, drained

Bring to a boil, simmer until reduced to about 2 cups. Remove and discard the mint. Refrigerate syrup.

VANILLA CREAM SODA SYRUP
1 oz. pure vanilla extract
3 pints simple syrup
1 pint of cream

Bring to a boil, simmer about 5 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate. For the simple syrup combine equal parts of sugar and water, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes. Refrigerate until needed.

WATERMELON (requires no cooking)
6 cups watermelon, seeded, chopped
4 Tablespoons Confectioner’s sugar
1 ½ Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt.

Puree ingredients in a blender or food processor. Strain. Refrigerate the syrup. To use: combine syrup and sparkling water to taste and serve over ice. (You can try this with cantaloupe).

Experiment with whatever flavors you like and let me know if you have a favorite. – Blissful Meals yall, THF.

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