Ah, soda. Or pop. Or coke. Whatever you and your region call it, it remains many a human being’s guilty pleasure. Fortunately, it’s easy to make at home, where you can control the ingredients. Oh, and homemade soda has way more flavor, tastes really fresh, and isn’t full of chemicals that make you feel like you can’t stop drinking it.
I found this little gem in Joanne Chang’s cookbook, Flour, Too, and knew I had to try it once raspberry season hit. It didn’t disappoint. So richly flavorful, with strong vanilla overtones that surprisingly don’t fight the tart raspberries. I can assure you, this is a soda you will not find at your local convenience store!
And, like I said earlier, this isn’t really addictive. I mean, it’s really good, so you do want to keep enjoying it of course, but it’s so much easier to practice moderation on homemade soda than on the commercially made cans.
Oh, and Matt wanted me to be sure and tell you guys: apparently this is extremely tasty with a little vodka thrown in! So enjoy (spiked or not)!
Source: slightly adapted from Flour, Too by Joanne Chang
1 cup fresh raspberries
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
1 to 1 ¼ cups club soda for each drink
In a small saucepan, combine the raspberries, sugar, vanilla seeds and the bean itself, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour.
Pick out the vanilla beans and then transfer this mixture to a blender. Puree, then strain the mixture through a sieve placed over a small bowl or large glass measuring cup to remove most of the raspberry seeds. Add the lemon and lime juices to the raspberry puree and stir to combine. Refrigerate the syrup if not using immediately.
For each drink put 3 tbs raspberry syrup in the bottom of a drinking glass, then fill the glass with ice. Pour in the club soda. Stir gently with a long spoon until well mixed, then serve immediately.