Last week I made a lovely blackberry and peach pie. I probably could have stuffed the thing to overflowing, but instead I decided to swipe a cup of the filling to turn into a base for a soda syrup.
My family loves sodas of all kinds. I am a tea gal, myself, but I can understand the appeal of having something interesting to drink. I like to make my own syrup base and add soda water to it. Some weeks I have used Meyers lemons, others I have used rhubarb. It really depends on what is in season and, therefore, the cheapest. Sometimes, though, I splurge and get something just because I think it will be interesting.
I have never actually done the math on this, but I like to tell myself that it is more economical. If not economical, then at least I can say that I know what is in it.
Be brave! Experiment with different flavors and combinations of things. The worst that could happen is that you have something that you don’t want to drink or may have to use in another application (did someone say vinaigrette?).
Simple Syrup Base
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 cup of fruit or fruit juice, plus some zest if using citrus
Add all ingredients into a pan. Heat of medium high until it comes to a boil. Boil 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar*. Remove the pan from the heat and let steep for about 30 minutes. Strain out anything you don’t want to drink (ex. hunks of lemon grass). Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.
*You will want to taste the syrup at this point to make sure that the flavors are where you want them to be. Add more sugar or juice to adjust the flavors to your liking.