Can you believe it is almost June 1st??? Ack! That little fact prompted me to post this recipe today. It’s my last rhubarb recipe for a while, and I definitely want to post it before rhubarb goes out of season, which for me will be in a few short weeks if not sooner.
Homemade soda is really kind of cool. And no, I don’t have one of those fancy schmancy soda fizz-making contraptions you see on TV. You don’t technically need one to make soda at home. Soda (or pop, or coke, or whatever you call it) is really just a flavored, sweetened syrup combined with club soda or seltzer water. Easy!
I loved rhubarb for this one since it’s in season right now, but I will certainly be playing around with the concept in the future. I see a big future for homemade sodas; you can control the ingredients, use less sugar than commercial cans (and no high-fructose corn syrup!), and you can actually use fresh ingredients. Woohoo! The types of syrups you can make are pretty much limitless, and I think it will be lots of fun.
A few weeks ago I had a pickled jalapeno soda at a restaurant in Chelsea, I would love to try and recreate that one in my kitchen. I’ll let you know! In the meantime, see what you think of this homemade soda.
Source: adapted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
½ lb. rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups water
1 tbs fresh lime juice
1 coin fresh ginger
2 tbs sugar
Sprig of fresh thyme
2 cups club soda
Combine the rhubarb and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is almost dissolving. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the rhubarb. Discard.
Add the lime juice to the rhubarb water, along with the ginger and sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high. Cook at a low boil, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened.
Remove from the heat, add the thyme, and cover. Let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and add sugar if needed (I found this step unnecessary). Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a jar or bottle and let cool completely.
To serve, fill two tall glasses with ice. Add 1/3 cup of rhubarb syrup to each glass, then top each glass with 1 cup of the club soda. Serve immediately.