When I was offered a chance to review the artisan soda workshop cookbook by Andrea Lynn.I was so excited to finally be able to make my own homemade soda's with healthier ingredients.It may be a cookbook a little off topic for my blog, but I just couldn't let go of this offer.
When the book arrived, my first impression was that it was full of creative ideas.I have rarely seen homemade soda cookbooks and was very interested.I found that this little book reviews the history of soda,healthier ingredients,pop culture names and all the basics.Andrea gives you all that you need to know before starting any recipe.So in your very own kitchen you can experiment by making your own soda's with this very book.Follow her recipes or bring your own ideas to life.I found her words quite helpful,inspiring and direct.
So after learning everything that needs to be known. I set off to choose my first tester and it had to be a copycat soda. Which is exactly what this first chapter is about, called homemade Soda Copycats.So looking through the recipes I chose the simplest one to start out with.Its called Cream Soda syrup,can you guess what drink that is for? It has to be for the infamous cream soda.My favorite!
For this recipe its actually one of the easiest syrups you can make.All you need is vanilla bean, water and granulated sugar,that's it! So lets see how it all came together.
So to start with you will need 1 1/2 vanilla beans.I found mine at Thrifty foods and the one that is the most popular in Canada are Tosca vanilla beans that are sold in a tube of two.I bought these for about 4 to 5 bucks and are no where cheap.So use them wisely and makes sure to never throw them away.I let you know why later.This can be also found in Safeway and health food stores. Secondly you will need 1 cup of water and 1 1/4 cups of granulated sugar.For equipment, you will need a medium pot,paring knife,plate,liquid measure and a container with a lid.
First you will need 1 whole vanilla bean and 1 half of another.Split them in half length wise leaving a small part of the end intact. Use a paring knife
Scrap the insides of the beans with the flat side of the blade.
You will get about 1 tsp of seeds inside.Do not throw away the beans you will use this for the recipe and for later use.
Now add the 1 cup of water to the medium pot.
Pour in the 1 cup of granulated sugar.
Then lastly,Add the vanilla beans and seeds to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat,and boil,stir gently until sugar dissolves at about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat.Result will be a slightly thick syrup that has a yellowish color to it.Be sure to let cool and keep the vanilla beans in the syrup.Placing it in a new container may quicken the process, since a pot takes longer to cool down.
For me, I placed the syrup in the container I would use to preserve the syrup.I let it cool without a lid.Once it was completely cool, I put a lid on the container and place it in the fridge till ready to use.This syrup can last in the fridge for up to 1 month.Be sure to keep the beans in the syrup, she says it continues to add flavor overtime.Once you use up the syrup, let the beans dry out at room temp for a day and then you can add them to granulated sugar to make a vanilla flavor sugar.The author even mentions you can add these pods to a food processor along with a few cups of sugar to create a strong vanilla sweeter.Isn't that a great idea!
So when ready to use this syrup,add about 1 1/2 tbsp of syrup or to taste to 1 1/4 cup of carbonated water.Stirring to combine flavors.Its that easy!
In the end result, I found that 1 1/2 tbsp of syrup wasn't enough for the amount of carbonated water.It was actually quite blend in flavor and I began adding more syrup till it hit the right spot. Once I reach the flavor I wanted, it tasted exactly like Cream soda,maybe even better. The appearance however wasn't exactly pleasing to look at with speckles of black seeds floating about. If your someone that wants to impress other you can easily fix this appearance issue by simply adding a few drops of red few coloring and ice cubes.Looking below, doesn't that just dress up this copycat soda so much more.Delicious!
For this recipe, I was thoroughly impress by its simplicity and flavor.I also have to mention how I love that you can use this syrup and others in this book to enhance other foods.Even when I made this specific syrup I use it for a syrup on the Buttermilk pancakes I reviewed in a previous post.In the end, I have to give this syrup a big thumbs up!
Be sure to tune in for my next syrup review!