January 15, 2013 by Meg G.
Well, folks. We jumped on the Soda Stream bandwagon and we’re never turning back.
I haven’t been a regular soda drinker since I was in high school, but in the last few years, I started appreciating slightly carbonated, less sugary options. And since we don’t drink much alcohol around these parts, the (non-alcoholic) “spritzer” has become a favorite. Many, many summers ago, when I was a full-time babysitter for the lovely Coyne family, I got a lot of practice making these concoctions. They called it “bubble juice,” but whatever you call it, it’s fun, easy, and delicious!
After Heather did a ton of research, we chose this lovely Soda Stream model, because, umm, it looks like a penguin.
Also, the carafes are glass, which is better for the environment.
Soda Stream makes syrups that you can add to the seltzer, but I really wanted to make our own. Remembering from my From Scratch Club book club meetings that Alana Chernila has some fun beverage recipes, I turned to my copy of The Homemade Pantry for inspiration. Here goes!
Cranberry Ginger Syrup – adapted from Alana Chernila’s Berry Syrup
- 1/2 pound cranberries (frozen is fine)
- 1.5 cups water
- 3/4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/8 cup white sugar or more to taste
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, cut into slices or chunks
- Combine cranberries and water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 20 minutes. The berries should be mostly broken up and dissolved.
- Blend the mixture using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender). Pour the mixture through a sieve, into a bowl.
- Return berry juice to the pan and add the lemon juice, sugar, and ginger. Cook at a very low boil for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly reduced. Remove the ginger pieces with a slotted spoon and discard.
- Add additional sugar to taste. Allow to cool before using in seltzer, or drizzle on top of vanilla ice cream for a lovely treat.
For the Seltzer:
Pump some carbon dioxide into your water (or just open up a bottle of plain seltzer).
You’ll have to experiment with the ratios to find your perfect flavor. Our carafes are one liter each and we added about four teaspoons for a lightly flavored seltzer.
After about a day, the ginger really took over the flavor of the cranberries, so I might cut back on the ginger next time, to allow the berries to really shine. But overall, this was a very refreshing beverage. A lime on the side would probably be a nice addition, too.
This recipe makes about a cup, so you’re likely to have quite a bit of extra syrup. Alana recommends storing it in the fridge (covered) for about 10 days, but the syrup can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Thanks again to Heather’s dad and stepmom for gifting us with the Penguin this Christmas!