I’ve never been a big soda drinker. Sure, if we grab a pizza I might partake but it’s not something I buy for home or something that I let the kids drink. Yet the other day I was thinking about homemade soda and wondering what it might take to make soda at home. This way I could be in control of how much sugar went into what we drank.
After doing a little research I came to realize there are quite a few different ways to carbonate soda at home. There is a method that involves dry ice in which you need to sport a long sleeve shirt, pants, gloves and take all your supplies outside since apparently it can get a little messy. That sounded far too complicated for me. I didn’t want making homemade soda to resemble a science project. You can also carbonate soda using yeast and the process of fermentation. Yeasted soda didn’t really appeal to me either. There are also commercial devices that you can purchase which utilize a siphon and a CO2 cartridge.
I decided to keep things simple and carbonated my soda with seltzer water. Nothing funky or complicated and that’s just the way I like it. Turns out making soda at home isn’t all that difficult. The process really just consists of making a simple syrup that is flavored. Then you combine a portion of your syrup with ice and seltzer water. Viola! Soda!
I found this fantastic orange honey ginger ale that sounded so refreshing and decided to give it a go. This soda combines freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh ginger root and a mild honey into pure bliss. However when I read on further, I came to realize that the “healthier” homemade soda I thought would be better than the sugar-laden stuff I find on the store shelves, had a whopping 41 grams of sugar per 12 ounce serving! I needed to remedy that. Now, I can’t tell you exactly how many grams of sugar my version has however, I’m almost positive it has less than 41 grams and I felt pretty good about drinking it.
Orange Honey Ginger Ale Adapted from The Washington Post
For the Syrup
1 quart of filtered water
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange blossom honey
3 ounces fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
Freshly squeezed juice of two oranges
Zest of one orange, grated
For Each Drink
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups seltzer water
– Combine the water, sugar, honey, ginger, orange juice and orange zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine.
– Stir until sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes.
– Remove from heat and allow the syrup to cool for 30 minutes.
– Strain through a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into a separate container.
– Press the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Alternately, you can gather up the sides of the cheesecloth around the solids, twist and squeeze the liquid from the solids. Discard the solids. Allow the syrup to fully cool.
– Pour 1/4 cup of syrup into each glass. Squeeze in two tablespoons of fresh orange juice into each glass. Add ice. Pour seltzer over each and give a gentle stir to combine.