Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Artisan Soda Workshop:Strawberry Syrup

The Artisan Soda Workshop:Chapter 3:Cherries & Berries 

Have you ever thought about making your own natural soda by utilizing the flavor and health benefits of berries.Well this chapter is all about this idea,to use our favorite berries to create syrups. 

So to get started it says to receive the best results in flavor is to use berries at their peak season.However when you want a fruity drink in winter, frozen can create a good result as well.So with this info, I tested out a recipe for strawberry syrup.These berries were in season at the time so I was able to use fresh and are one of my favorites.It seemed like a great fit for me.

So when I made this recipe it was pretty simple to follow.All I basically had to do was boil the ingredients,mash the berries and then strain the juices. I can see anyone being able to make this recipe and others in this chapter. However I do have to mention that their was one direction in this recipe that I disliked and that was discarding the berries.I felt that this was such a waste of food so Instead I use it for a cottage cheese parfait.So besides that one part I had no difficulties with making this syrup.

The ingredients to the recipe were also pretty basic such as strawberries, lemon juice,water,carbonated water and raw cane sugar.Some people may have a hard time finding the sugar;however I was pretty lucky to find some at a good price.The ingredients get a thumbs up for simplicity.

Now for the moment of truth, the flavor, which is the most important part.So,when I first tried out this drink with the recommended tbsps it wasn't to bad. It was a refreshing bubbly soda with a great appearance of vibrant red.However it had a very mild strawberry flavor with the lack of sweetness.I was quite surprise by this because I would of thought the berries would of created a strong flavor.In the end though I felt that it was the strawberries themselves that lacked flavor and I think for next I'll use locally grown strawberries at their peak season.They are so delicious and I betcha I'll get better results.

Lastly, I have to mention that the amount of syrup (2-3 tbsps) really wasn't enough to create a balance of flavor with the carbonated water.So when I had leftover strawberry syrup I used it all up to test out on one drink and it actually had a stronger strawberry flavor.I may of got better results this time, but I ended up using way more syrup then expected and that really isn't good when you want to make soda's for your guests. So I feel that this drink wasn't that bad and could be a good candidate for a grown up drink.Did someone say strawberry daiquiri!

My second attempt at the soda.Way more vibrant red color and more bubbly.
Overall, the drink recipe and ingredients do get a good mark from me for their basic direction and simplicity.The flavor however gets a in between mark from me.The flavor with the recommended measurements get a poor mark and the second attempt gets a good mark, but ends up using way more syrup for one drink.Its a refreshing soda, but for me I like strong berry flavors.

In the end if you like light tasting natural soda's that are healthier then try out this recipe.Its your choice anyways.The alcohol element might even work for this syrup.

Anyways, keep tuning in,I'm reviewing Dairy land in my next post! A simple recipe to use for breakfast. 

The Recipe

Strawberry Syrup

1 1/2 cups strawberries,hulled and halved
1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 water
1/4 cup raw cane sugar

Wash the strawberries. Remove stems,hull and halve. 

 Add the prepared strawberries into a medium heavy bottom pot. 

Measure and add the raw cane sugar to the strawberries.

 Halve a lemon.Squeeze 1 half of the lemon for the juice.Get about 1/2 tbsp

Sprinkle onto the sugar strawberries.

Add 1/2 cup of lukewarm water to the fruit mix.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium or low and simmer until strawberries are very soft about 10 minutes.

Once it as simmer for about 5 minutes, smash the strawberries with a masher.

Once the syrup is done cooking, remove from heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve, pressing the fruit against the strainer to get as much juice as you can.
 (My Tips)
Keep the leftover smashed strawberries, let it cool and place in an airtight container.Use it for yogurt,smoothies or fruit with cottage cheese.

Be sure to cool the syrup before use. Refrigerate in a covered container.This syrup can last up to 5 days.

First attempt with the 2-3 tbsps.Less vibrant red and lacked bubbles.Less flavor.
 When you want to make the soda the recipe ask for 2-3 tbsp of syrup to ever 10 ounce glass of club soda.I recommend a lot more, depending on how sweet the strawberries are.