I’ll admit it – I love soda. Yes, I’m perfectly well aware of what a poor choice it is, but I just can’t help it. After trying out several recipes in The Artisan Soda Workshop book, I can happily say that although I won’t be giving up soda any time soon, at least I’ve found some new options that are lighter, made fresh and I know every single ingredient in whatever flavor I make!
The book is broken down into seventy flavors packed in six different delicious sections: Homemade Soda Copycats, Soda Adventures with Herbs and Spices, Cherries and Berries, Seasonal Suds, Agua Frescas and Scrubs and Fizzy Teas, Floats and Alcohol-Enhanced Dazzlers.
I really think that the best part about making your own soda is how easy the process really is. All you need is a pot, sugar, water, some fruit or herbs or spices, a fine mesh sieve, containers and seltzer water. Yup, that’s it! When we opted to try a few different recipes from the book, as the author states in the Introduction, we learned that the recipes can easily be adjusted to your specific taste.
The first two sodas I made were the Cream Soda Syrup and Ginger Syrup Soda. All I had to do was make a simple syrup and include a vanilla bean for the Cream Soda. Once it had boiled, cooled and I had mixed a few tablespoons of the syrup in with seltzer water – my girls declared it’s the BEST Cream Soda they’ve ever had. Honestly, I have to agree, it’s absolutely delicious, and the best part is that you can add as much or as little of the syrup as you want – it’s tailored to your taste buds! The Ginger Soda was made with a piece of peeled and sliced fresh ginger, water, sugar and ground ginger, boiled, reduced and cooled. It’s definitely got a stronger flavor that traditional ginger ale, but I love it. The girls decided that it was too much for them – all the more for me, I say. The biggest shock came when my husband, who will only drink one type of soda (and it comes in a bright red can…), tried the Cream Soda, and shocked me when he said he loved it!
Next, we tried the Strawberry Syrup Soda and Peach Syrup Soda. Both were made with fresh fruit, Sugar in the Raw and water – how simple! After boiling the fruits, sugar and water in their pots, I just mashed the fruit mixtures, and then used the sieve to strain them into their containers. Emily decided that the Strawberry Soda needed more sugar, so I’ve already put a note in the recipe book to remind me of this the next time we make it. Ellie’s favorite fruit is peaches, so I was curious to see what she thought of the soda – I was really pleased to hear that she loved it!
I’m definitely looking forward to making the Fizzy Cantaloupe Agua Fresca because being a fan of all the travel based food shows on tv, I’ve seen several hosts rave about them in Mexico. This is super easy – just fruit, agave syrup and lemon juice, pureed and mixed with seltzer water. A perfect way to beat the summer heat! The Pineapple Basil Soda sounds like a pretty odd combination, so, of course, I’m game, and the Cherry Limeade Syrup is right up my alley!
It’s great to know that there are super easy, healthy alternatives to the store bought sodas out there. Plus – the syrups would be awesome over ice cream, in salad dressings and I can’t wait to use them in my favorite cocktails!
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Erin received this book from Ulysses Press free of charge to facilitate this review. Giveaway item will be provided by sponsor. Sponsor has the right to refuse filling prize for duplicate winners from other blogs. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.