With summer here, I have been playing around with some fun drinks to help us stay cool. Last month I made a frozen coconut limeade and next I tried homemade soda. Soda is a drink that you might not think to make yourself. It sounds intimidating, but it’s really easy and no special equipment is needed. It’s as simple as making a flavored syrup and adding club soda to it.
You can make any flavor that you like, and the great thing is, you control the ingredients and quantity of sugar.
For this recipe, I made a raspberry vanilla flavored syrup. Raspberries add fresh flavor and color and a vanilla bean adds a touch of sweetness that really takes these over the top. When you bring the glass up to your mouth you can immediately smell the vanilla and it is divine! Since I used a fresh vanilla bean, the little black vanilla bean specks are visible throughout the soda, which gives it a slightly fancy feel.
You can make these a little indulgent by adding a splash of half and half to make them into an Italian soda. Either way, I can’t imagine that you won’t love them. Once you try homemade soda, you won’t want to go back to the store bought stuff.
Raspberry Vanilla Soda
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 12 oz bag frozen raspberries
- 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- Club soda
- Half and half optional
- Additional raspberries for garnish optional
- In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, frozen raspberries, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Syrup will darken in color and thicken slightly.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing lightly on the solids with a rubber spatula. Discard the solids and place the syrup in the refrigerator until chilled.
- Pour desired amount of syrup into a glass and top with club soda. I like a 1:3 syrup to club soda ratio. If desired, add a splash of half and half. Serve immediately.