Making your own soda is easy, inexpensive, and fun. Best of all, you can control the sweetness level and ingredients to create a drink that suits your individual taste. In this guide to all things fizzy, Andrew Schloss presents a handful of simple techniques and recipes that will have you recreating your favorite commercial soft drinks and experimenting with new flavor combinations. Try your hand at Pomegranate Punch, Sparkling Espresso Jolt, Slightly Salty Caramel Seltzer, and more as you explore the endless bubbly possibilities.
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About the Author
Andrew Schloss is a well-known teacher, food writer, and food product developer. Schloss has authored many cookbooks and countless food articles. His first book, Fifty Ways to Cook Most Everything, was a Book-of-the-Month-Club Main Selection. The Science of Good Food (co-authored with David Joachim) won an IACP Cookbook Award, and their book Mastering the Grill was a New York Times best-seller. Schloss is also the author of Homemade Soda. He is a past president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and lives outside Philadelphia with his wife, Karen, and their incredibly well-fed dog.
Read an Excerpt
We are all used to the instant gratification of store-bought sodas, and you may have the impression that making sodas at home is overly time-consuming and technically beyond your reach. Nothing could be further from the truth. In some cases it's almost ridiculously easy, and the results will beat commercial sodas hands-down, every time.
Homemade soda always starts with a flavor base. Some flavor bases are quick and simple. Others require more preparation and ingredients. Once prepared, the base can be used right away or refrigerated for spur-of-the-moment refreshment any time. In this book, I size the recipes for simple flavor bases for a single glass to give you flexibility. For flavor bases that are more complex, or those that can be used to make a variety of sodas, I give recipes for making them in bulk.
Once you have your base, it is time to add bubbles and turn your syrup into soda. I use three different methods of carbonation in this book:
For easy homemade soda that does not require any special equipment, you can simply mix your flavor base with bottled seltzer and drink up. Carbonating soda with a siphon is also very easy, but you do need that specialized gear. Or you can brew your soda in bottles with yeast: the least expensive but most time-consuming method.
I have included with each recipe instructions for each carbonation method that is appropriate for it. Not all sodas can be carbonated by all methods. A carbonated fruit juice, for example, would be weakened by a dilution of water or seltzer, so its recipe may specify only the siphon method of carbonation. Similarly, the recipe for a flavor base that needs to be fermented for flavor as well as carbonation, such as a honey soda, will specify only the fermentation method.
In undertaking to supply you with a wide variety of soda recipes, I have at times employed ingredients that might be new to you. Use this partial list as a guide to help you understand, procure, and use your ingredients to their best advantage.
Sweetness is one of the defining characteristics of soda. Although it is easy to make soft drinks with less sugar than is found in commercial products, all sodas need some sweetness.
Granulated sugars must be dissolved in liquid before they can be added to beverages. The easiest way to do this is to make simple syrup (see below), a solution of equal parts sugar and water. Any granulated sugar can be cooked into simple syrup.
Granulated white sugar is the most common sugar, extracted from the sap of sugarcane and sugar beets (pure cane sugar uses only sugarcane sap). During refinement, the syrupy juice (molasses) is separated from the sugar crystals, leaving behind white table sugar.
Brown sugar s granulated sugar that retains some of its molasses or has had molasses added back to it. It has a slight savory character that is well suited for root beers and colas.
Raw sugar s cane sugar that has been partially refined but has not been washed of all of its molasses. Raw sugar is sold in various forms, including turbinado sugar, Demerara sugar, and muscovado sugar. It can be used in any soda in the same manner as granulated white sugar and brown sugar.
Evaporated coconut palm sugar s a pale brown sugar made from the sap of the coconut palm, with a mild honeylike flavor. Its glycemic index is just about one-third that of cane sugar. It can be used in any soda in the same manner as granulated white sugar and brown sugar.
MAKING SIMPLE SYRUP
Combine equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir just until the sugar dissolves; when the sugar granules are no longer visible, stop stirring. The syrup will continue to clear as it approaches a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Store the syrup in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to two months.
Liquid sweeteners have an advantage over granulated sweeteners in that they do not have to be dissolved in order to be used in making beverages. This allows you to make a flavor base without cooking.
Agave syrup, also known as agave nectar, is made from the boiled juice of the agave cactus. Pale gold with a thin honey like consistency, it is a less-refined alternative to simple syrup, and can be substituted for it in recipes.
Honey s a purely natural sweetener. With its bold floral fragrance, honey can be assertive in a soda and should be used only when its flavor is expressly desired. Unless you know you want a strong honey flavor, stick to pale mild honeys, like those of clover and orange blossom. Honey is sweeter than sugar syrup and should be used in a 3:4 ratio to simple syrup (three parts honey for every four parts simple syrup called for in a recipe).
Molasses s the main by-product of sugar refinement, containing all of the vitamins, minerals, and flavorful miconutrients that are filtered from sugarcane during manufacturing. It is not nearly as sweet as sugar but can be used to add color and richness to dark-colored sodas. The different grades of molasses, from palest (mildest) to darkest (strongest), are light, dark, and blackstrap.
A full discussion of the artificial sweeteners commonly found in soft drinks is on page 17. I can't recommend using any of them when making soda at home, because they all produce off flavors. Also, because they do not have calories, they cannot be used for making fermented sodas; yeasts will not feed from them. (Although our taste buds can be fooled into thinking there's energy where there is none, yeasts are not as gullible.)
Sugar by Any Other Name Doesn't Taste as Sweet
Sweeteners are substances, some naturally derived from plants (natural sweeteners) and some manufactured in laboratories (artificial sweeteners), that attempt to deliver the desirable qualities of sugar, like a sensation of sweetness, without the undesirable ones, like calories (a boon for people who have trouble metabolizing sugar, like those with diabetes). The only problem is that nothing else tastes quite like sugar, and all nonsugar sweeteners miss the flavor boat. Many have strong aftertastes, or they have a sweetness taste pattern that peaks early or finishes abruptly. In order to mitigate the deficiencies of nonsugar sweeteners, commercial soft drink manufacturers often use several in tandem. The most common sweeteners used in soda production, other than sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, are the following:
ASPARTAME, marketed under the trade names Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel, is currently included in the formula of more than 6,000 commercial foods and beverages. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than sugar and has minimal aftertaste. Its calorie content is similar to that of sugar by weight, but because it can be used in much smaller amounts, the number of calories it contributes to foods is negligible. Aspartame is synthesized from amino acids, and when it is heated it breaks down into those component parts and loses its sweetness.
CYCLAMATES, the first artificial sweeteners, were discovered in 1937 and approved for use as artificial sweeteners in 1958. They are 50 times sweeter than sugar and were originally used in conjunction with saccharin to boost sweetness in diet sodas, such as Tab. But a 1969 study linked cyclamates to cancerous tumors in rats and mice, and in October of that year they were banned in the United States. Follow-up studies have failed to duplicate the results of the 1969 research, but cyclamates are still outlawed in the United States, although they are used in place of saccharin in Canada (where saccharin is banned) and are common in European sodas.
SACCHARIN, another early artificial sweetener (it was first synthesized in 1878), is about 30 times sweeter than sugar but has a strong metallic aftertaste, which can be effectively subdued by teaming it with cyclamates. In 1977 the FDA petitioned Congress for a ban on saccharin, which was never enacted, but the publicity caused almost all soda manufacturers to switch to aspartame. In countries where cyclamates and saccharin are both legal, they are commonly used together in the manufacturing of sugar-free soft drinks.
SUCRALOSE, sold under the trade name Splenda, has very little aftertaste, which has made it very popular. Since its initial launch in 1991 in Canada, and 1998 in the States, sucralose has captured a large part of the sugar-free beverage market, and it is now used in more than 4,500 food and beverage products. It is twice as sweet as saccharin, four times as sweet as aspartame, and 600 times sweeter than sugar. Sucralose has 83 percent of the calories of sugar, but because it is used in such small quantities, most products sweetened with sucralose are permitted to say they have 0 calories.
ACESULFAME POTASSIUM, marketed as Sunett, is about 200 times sweeter than sugar and about 25 percent as sweet as sucralose. It is usually blended with aspartame or sucralose.
Soft drink flavors come from the fruits, roots, barks, leaves, and other parts of aromatic plants. In some cases recipes call for the plant parts themselves: burdock root, for example, or mint leaf. In other cases recipes may call for an extract, in which the aromatic components of a plant are extracted, concentrated, and suspended in alcohol. Still other recipes may call for essential oils, the volatile oils that give plants their characteristic scents and are potent flavoring agents.
Hundreds of plants fall into the flavoring category. Here's some information on the most common ones: Birch bark lends a mild wintergreen flavor to brewed sodas. Birch beer, flavored with sassafras and birch, is a classic American brew. Birch bark is usually sold in homebrew stores.
Bitter Orange (Bergamot) s highly aromatic, and its dried peel is an essential part of cola flavor. The dried peel and its extract are usually available in spice shops, or any store with a good spice selection. They can be pricey.
Burdock root s a traditional ingredient in American root beers. It has a mild sweet flavor similar to that of artichoke. Dried burdock root is available in most Asian groceries and homebrew stores.
Cinnamon has several species, but they all fall into two types. Ceylon cinnamon is thin and mild, with a faint fragrance of allspice. Southeast Asian cinnamon, also called cassia, is both stronger and more common. The best grade comes from Vietnam and is sold as Saigon cinnamon. Use it in sticks, rather than ground. The sticks can be found in most grocery stores.
Ginger, a common soda ingredient, is very aromatic, at once spicy and cooling. It is widely available fresh in the produce section of grocery stores, and it can be found whole and dried in most spice shops.
Lemongrass, a perennial herb from central Asia, contains high levels of citral, the pungent aromatic component of lemon oil. It yields a rich lemon flavor without the acid of lemon juice, which can disrupt the fermentation of yeasted sodas. Lemon zest is similar in flavor and can be substituted. Lemongrass is available in most Asian markets and in the produce section of well-stocked grocery stores.
Licorice root provides the well-known strong and sweet flavor of black licorice candy. Dried licorice root is sold in natural food stores and homebrew stores. Anise seed and dried star anise are suitable substitutes.
Sarsaparilla s similar in flavor to sassafras, but a little milder. Many plants go by the name sarsaparilla. Southern-clime sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.) is the traditional root-beer flavoring. Most of the supply we get in North America comes from Mexico; it's commonly sold in homebrew stores. Wild sarsaparilla (Aralia spp.) is more common in North America and is sometimes used as a substitute for true sarsaparilla. Small young sarsaparilla roots, known as "root bark" are less pungent and are usually preferred for soda making, although fully mature roots give fine results.
Sassafras s the most common flavoring for root beers of all types. Its root bark is very strong and should be used with caution, especially if combined with other flavors. It is easily overpowering. Dried sassafras is available in homebrew stores.
Star anise, the dried fruit of an Asian evergreen, tastes like licorice, with hints of clove and cinnamon. The flavor is strong, so use star anise with caution. It is available dried in the spice section of most grocery stores but can be found much more cheaply at Asian markets.
Fermentation and Mouthfeel
The sensual charm of many sodas can be augmented by fermenting them with yeast and/or thickening the flavor base with a complex sugar (polysaccharide). Yeasts produce carbonation as they improve the flavor of a soda base in myriad ways, metabolizing some of the sugar in the base into acidic and savory flavors. Not all sodas benefit from fermentation. The subtle but complex aromas in a cola, for instance, are flattened by exposure to yeast, whereas the more overt pungent flavor of root beer is tamed and mellowed through fermentation. On the other hand, both root beer and cola benefit from the small amount of viscosity they get from the addition of a polysaccharide, like maltodextrin or gum arabic.
There are hundreds of species of wild yeasts and several dozen cultivated strains. Each one will give you slightly different results in the time required to ferment sodas, in the degree of carbonation, and in the flavor of the finished sodas.
Bread yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is the most commonly available, and though you can use it for brewing soda, the finished flavors of the soft drinks can be coarse and perceptibly yeasty. Bread yeast works rapidly, so the fermentation may take only half as long as when you're using other yeasts, and the soda will not store as long without becoming overly carbonated.
Beer yeast s better. You can get both granulated ale and lager yeasts through homebrewing supply houses. Ale yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) are more readily available and are bit more aggressive than lager yeasts, so you will need less of them. Lager yeasts (Saccharomyces uvarum) work more slowly and produce cleaner-tasting sodas.
Champagne or wine yeast (Saccharomyces bayanus) is the one I most prefer. This strain of yeast is very delicate. It works slowly, so the carbonation builds gradually and your sodas are less likely to overcarbonate during storage. Most importantly, the residual flavors of this yeast are imperceptible, allowing you to make the most subtle sodas without worrying about the development of a yeasty aftertaste.
Polysaccharides are complex sugars that provide the soft creamy mouthfeel that is an essential part of the flavor profile of some sodas, particularly root beers and colas. Two polysaccharides — maltodextrin and gum arabic — are of particular value. Both are available wherever nutritional supplements are sold and in many brewing supply houses.
Maltodextrin s made by breaking large starch molecules into smaller sugar chains. Because it is chemically between starch and sugar, maltodextrin thickens liquids subtly, and it helps give sodas a creamy consistency. In addition, by causing soda to linger on the tongue, a little maltodextrin gives our taste buds more time to perceive all of the soda's flavors, enhancing our experience.
Gum arabic (also known as gum acacia) is extracted from the sap of various subSaharan acacia trees. Like other gums, gum arabic has the ability to absorb liquid in an amount that is many times its volume, so a little bit thickens the consistency of a soda, giving it a velvety mouth-feel and causing the liquid to pass over the tongue more slowly so that our perception of the soda's flavor increases.
It's not the intention of this book to give you directions for setting up a soda-production facility. I know it is possible to equip your soda setup with far more than what I list here, but for making soda for yourself, your family, and your close circle of friends, this collection should suffice.
Pots: Use stainless-steel or enamel-clad cookware for brewing flavor bases and mixing sodas. For small batches to consume at home, all you should need is a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and a 2- to 3-gallon stockpot.
Plastic pail: A 5-gallon food-grade plastic pail is helpful for sanitizing bottles and mixing up large batches of soda.
Funnels: A funnel made of stainless steel or food-grade plastic is needed to fill soda bottles.
Strainer: A fine-mesh stainless-steel strainer is helpful for straining out solid ingredients from the flavor base.
Soda siphon: A quart-size soda siphon allows you to carbonate juices and flavor bases mechanically, without diluting them with seltzer. A sealed siphon will keep soda fresh for about five days. (See below for more about siphons.)
Bottles: If you plan to brew sodas, you will want to store your sodas in bottles to capture the gas of the fermentation process. (See here for more about bottling.)
Thermometer: An instant-read thermometer is helpful for determining the temperature of liquids for fermentation.
Excerpted from "Homemade Soda"
Copyright © 2011 Andrew Schloss.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Sweet, Cold & Bubbling,
PART 1: Getting Started,
PART 2: Recipes for Soda Drinks,
1. Sparkling Waters,
2. Fruit Sodas,
3. Root Beers & Cola Brews,
4. Herbal Sodas & Healing Waters,
5. Fizzy Juices,
6. Sparkling Teas, Coffees & Chocolates,
7. Cream Sodas, Egg Creams & Floats,
8. Shrubs, Switchels & Other Vinegar Drinks,
PART 3: Recipes for Soda Food,
9. Savory Mains and Sides,
10. Sweet Desserts,
Other Storey Titles You Will Enjoy,
Share Your Experience!,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You might call it soda, pop, or coke but whatever part of the world you are from you've most likely had a soda. Using beautifully illustrated and easy to understand recipes you will learn everything there is to know about soda from it's history to how it is made. The 200 recipes in this book rate from beginner to advanced, but there is most definitely something for everyone. Whether you want to make an egg cream or try your hand at birch beer or cola there's a recipe for you in this book. Some are classics and some are a little more exotic, but no matter the recipe each is easy to understand.. Throughout the book there are nice little tidbits relating to certain recipes. If you love soda. If you want to try and make your own, or even just want a better understanding about this world renowned drink then this is definitely the book for you.
At the heart of Homemade Soda is the 200 recipes for making (and using) an incredible variety of sodas and sparkling drinks of all kinds. The recipes are both startlingly inventive -- and refreshingly delicious. The book starts off with a fairly in-depth description of different ways that you can make these sodas at home, and each recipe includes the appropriate variants, along with an alcoholic "mixology" section for each recipe. However, the quickest and easiest way will surely be to use the SodaStream, which works excellent for making any of these specialities. In the recipe section, the first chapter is Sparkling Waters, which includes seltzers with flavors like caramel, goji, honey, cardamom, honeydew, mint, and chile, as well as vitamin-infused sparkling waters. The second chapter is all about fruit sodas. The recipes often bring different flavors together, like orange-honey-ginger ale, or strawberry pomegranate. Next is Root Beers & Cola Brews, which includes a variety of root beers, as well as what is thought to be the original Coca-cola recipe, in addition to their own cola recipes, ginger ales, and other naturally fermented drinks, like kambucha. Chapter four is Herbal Sodas & Healing Waters, which includes superfood ingredients like acai, licorice, basil, and lavender. After that is Tizzy Juices, which includes fruit juices of all types -- with a twist -- like fermented apple, vanilla pear, pomegranate cranberry, cucumber mint, and a recipe with papaya, orange, lime and vanilla. There is nothing like a fresh fruit soda on a hot summer's day... so refreshing! Sparkling Teas, Coffees & Chocolates offers many more recipes that you won't find in stores, like coconut green tea, hazelnut coffee, and cocoa chile. At the start of the chapter, Cream Sodas, Egg Creams & Floats (as for all the chapters), there is a brief history, which in this case explains why there is generally no cream or eggs in these. Yet the book offers some with milk, and even a sparkling egg nog,alongside recipes for strawberry, almond-honey and banana cream sodas, dulce de leche, and mango lassi effervescent drinks as well. Then there is a chapter devoted to exotic Shrubs, Switchels & Other Vinegar Drinks, with recipes like watermelon mint cordial. Given how healthy apple cider vinegar is said to be, we will definitely be trying some of these, like the sweet and sour apple cider. The last two chapters of Homemade Soda involve cooking with sodas, and includes delicious recipes like cola chili and root beer baked beans, as well as desserts, like lemon-lime cheesecake and ginger ale gingerbread. The 336-page book finishes up with an excellent index and recommended places to get obscure ingredients. Homemade Soda is a perfect accompaniment to the SodaStream machine, to assist you in making all kinds of delicious beverages at home!
These are just too good and most of them are so easy to make at home! I'll never be able to drink plain old coke again. Make sure you try the honey jasmine tea soda -- yum!
In this day and age of endless chemical laden sodas, one begins to dream of a simpler time. A time when soda was made with real sugar. A time when flavors of soda actually tasted like something nature made. I remember my parents had purchased a home soda maker from Schwan's when I was a child. I loved the idea of making my own soda. Even today, I collect recipes for all natural homebrewed sodas but brewing my own is intimidating. I could make it, it's not that hard but I always feel like I need someone to hold my hand through the process.Enter Andy Schloss and his new book Homemade Sodas. The book starts out with clear instructions for making and brewing your own sodas. He talks about the history of soda and how ingredients have changed. The pictures call to the reader to remember the better times. Times when drinking coke was a treat not a necessity. Andy Schloss then moves into the drinks, slowly, starting with sparkling waters. Easy to create mixes that combine with sparkling water to make a refreshing spa-like drink. He moves onto fruit based drinks some mixed with seltzer, others carbonated with a soda siphon and eventually to brewing.What I loved about this book is he gives you all three options most of the time. You can make the soda with seltzer, through a soda siphon or brew it. For me, that gives me the chance to work my way up to brewing. If we like the flavor with the seltzer then we know we'll like the brewed variety. And it gives me the chance to chicken out if I still can't talk myself into homebrewing.Some of the soda concoctions sound highbrow - like honey cardamon or fizzy honeydew. They can be off putting for your average soda drinker but those with a sense of adventure can only see the beginning of possibilities.Don't worry Andy Schloss has offered a few "normal" recipes from Orange Crush to Cola to Very Cherry Cola to several types of root beer.This book has recipes for everyone from the soda drinker to the organic concoction drinker. I will definitely be making some cola extract and see if I can wean my boys off the canned stuff and to the homemade varieties. Now all I need is a recipe for Mellow Yellow and we just may give up store-bought soda all together.
This one's definitely on my to-buy list, as a print book. Perfect for summer especially; make your beverage after hitting the farmers market for the freshest fruit or other ingredients. From the colorful, slightly retro fun illustrations and photos to the wildly varied recipes, it's very enticing. The book begins with the highlights of the history of carbonation and soda and the history bits mixed in are pretty interesting. Then it covers three kinds of soda making: 1.) make your syrup with your fruits, herbs, honey or sugar etc., and simply combine the syrup with a bottle of store-bought seltzer water; 2.) do the same but use a carbonation charger such as Sodastream; 3.) or ferment your own beverage (the most complicated). Recipe types that really caught my interest were the sparkling waters (lightly flavored), fruit sodas, herbal sodas, sparkling coffees and chocolate, and vinegar/fruit drinks like shrubs and switchels. These are the kind of specfic recipes that totally intrigued me: sparkling rose water, chocolate mint sparkling water, blueberry cinnamon soda, orange crush soda with actual oranges, coffee chocolate stout bee (nonalcoholic), orange rosemary crush herbal soda, vanilla pear shrub, etc etc! It covers more typical sodas too, like cola, root beer, cream soda, kombucha, etc., and at the end, recipes for cooking with soda, including desserts. I received the ebook courtesy of the publisher (Storey) and Netgalley.
This is such a fun book! It’s full of history and trivia and all sorts of fascinating recipes. It is fun to read and dream over, but I can’t seem to bring myself to actually make anything out of it. The colas and root beers tend to call for ingredients that are definitely in the hard to find category and the fruit sodas (which I was most looking forward to) are–for my taste buds–odd combinations that hold no appeal for my family. Are you determined to make your own sodas not matter what? This is definitely the book for you. Do you love the history and interesting tidbits about things like this? You’ll love this book! If you’re a busy mom that would like to make a healthier soda for your child but don’t have time to track down hard to find items or if you don’t like funkier flavor combinations, this might not be the right book for you. Over all, I enjoyed the book. I just didn’t get the use out of I thought I would. I received a copy of this book from Storey Publishing for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This soda is amazing!
Auctually she is just like the last one... XD
No. I think we are still together.
Hailey did u pick someone?
Well her name was tori....thats all i really ever cared to know...XD
Who was the last Tori?