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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Homemade Sodas

Sometimes serendipity strikes in your favor. Last weekend was one of those weeks.

Boyfriend loves to go to the flea market. Mostly he goes looking for toys. Old toys, new toys. Toys that remind him of his childhood. Toys that his dad sent to Goodwill before he was done playing with them. G.I. Joes, Batman figures, robotic toys from the 1980's, video game systems that are long past their prime. It's all on his radar. It's rare that I find something that I want while perusing the aisles of junk, until last Saturday.

We headed to the Meadowlands flea market bright and early Saturday morning. (You have to go early, otherwise all the good junk is gone.). Wandering through the sea of pre-owned merchandise, I spotted something that looked familiar. Stainless steel with a black cap, I first thought it was a whipped cream canister, until I got closer.

Wouldn't you know, it was a brand new soda siphon. The very one that I held back from buying because of its $70 price tag. When I asked how much the vendor wanted, he said "$10!" Color me happy, sold! What was so great about this find? Homemade sodas was on the list for the Why Bother challenge this week! Serendipity.

After a quick trip to the store to locate some CO2 cartridges, I was ready to carbonate everything! My friends told me to stop short of carbonating my milk. I was apt to agree.

I switched to drinking seltzer a few months ago and have never been much of a cola drinker, so I wanted to make something not too sweet and special for my homemade sodas. I settled on two flavorful options - a Raspberry-lime rickey and a strawberry cream soda.

I decided to carbonate the Rickey with the soda siphon and make the cream soda with seltzer water. You can make your own sodas without use of a siphon, just go out and buy some seltzer water and you'll be making your own homemade drinks in no time too!

The best thing about making your own sodas is that you control the sugar. Store bought sodas contain a ridiculous amount of sugar per serving (a 12-ounce can of soda typically has 10 and a 1/2 teaspoons of sugar). If you want a fun and fancy flavor, you're going to be paying at least $2.00 per beverage. Making your own at home, you save calories and money. Happy waistline and wallet!

Stop by here on Saturday (sorry, Sunday!  Saturday got away from me!) for the Strawberry cream soda!

One Year Ago: Peanutty Noodles
Two Years Ago: Tahini Chicken
Raspberry-lime Rickey
Adapted from Homemade Sodas

I had a lot of fun using my new soda siphon, boyfriend was afraid I was going to blow up the house. He didn't need to worry that much, the CO2 cartridge is to small, the explosion wouldn't have been that exciting.

1 pint raspberries
1/4 cup lime juice
2/3 cup sugar
Seltzer water or soda siphon

Place raspberries in a small saucepan and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add lime juice and sugar and stir until the sugar is absorbed. Heat berries over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Allow mixture to come to a boil. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour raspberry syrup through a mesh sieve and press out all the juice.

If using seltzer to carbonate your drinks, add 2/3 cup raspberry syrup to a tall glass. Top off with 1 cup seltzer water. Stir to combine.

If you are using a siphon to carbonate, add enough water to the raspberry syrup to give 1 liter (1 quart) of liquid and place in the fridge to chill. Pour raspberry drink into your siphon and carbonate according to your siphons instructions.
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