Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Homemade Soda Flavors

 It's a rainy day here, so I'm knocking around in the kitchen trying my hand at something I've been mulling over for a while, now: homemade soda flavors.

As I've mentioned before, we got a SodaStream back in October for my birthday.  I love plain seltzer water, but Jack really prefers to have some sort of flavoring in his.

The SodaStream brand of soda syrup is pretty pricey, so I got a few bottles of flavored syrup like they use in coffee shops.  With the SodaStream right there, we go through a LOT of homemade seltzer and soda, so we burn through those bottles of flavored syrup.

To get a new C02 cartridge is $30 since we have the large size, and each bottle of flavored syrup costs around $10.  Suddenly homemade soda isn't such a frugal option anymore!  The main problem is spending $10 for the flavored syrup.  Surely it would be cheaper to make our own?  That way we can also control what ingredients get used, too.

I've already toyed around with this a little bit when I made my own 'Orangina' flavor.  So today I made another batch of that, and also tried something new.

Cinnamon Apple Soda Syrup

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 small apple, cored and sliced
Small dash cinnamon

I added all of the ingredients into my VitaMix and let it run for a few minutes to really break down the apple into apple juice.  It turned into this lovely light brown syrup!

When I added it to a glass of seltzer water, it tasted a lot like sparkling apple cider.  Yum!

I do think it could be improved.  The apple flavor could be deeper - next time I want to try to chop up the apple and lightly sear it in a frying pan with the cinnamon to caramelize some of the natural sugar in the apple.  Mm'mm... maybe it would taste more like a caramel apple?  I can hope!

When summer rolls around I plan on trying other seasons fruits.  Raspberries and honey!  Blackberries and vanilla!  Melon and mint!  Maybe even cucumber and lime?  

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