The dog days of summer are finally here. The weekend was a scorcher where I live (the kind of hot weather where you feel like someone’s hugging you when you step outside only to realize that it’s just the humidity that embraces you first and then suffocates you next), and it’s going to stay that way the rest of the week. I’ve been dreading this for awhile now, but that is not all I’ve been doing. I’ve also been getting ready for it! With these super fun Homemade Fruit Soda Syrups you have all the incentive you need to make the best out of the beautiful fruit bounty that summer has to offer and maybe, just maybe even think that all is right with the world after all, while you sip on that fizzy, fruity, refreshing drink to your heart’s content! In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now! Jealous? 🙂 Well, you don’t have to be. Not with these, 5 DELICIOUS Homemade Soda Syrups that I’m going to share with you today!
Growing up, I was one of those kids that couldn’t handle too much soda. And by too much, I mean one bottle. Fanta was my favourite, and just one small bottle made me hyper like a cat on catnip. I stopped drinking Coke on a dare in 1997 and went about a decade without drinking it again. As a result, my soda consumption has become very limited over the years and apart from a couple of sips on a hot day, I don’t drink it much at all (although I do love to cook with Coke).
It’s a totally different story with these homemade fruit soda syrups though! After all, they are not loaded with artificial chemicals, dyes and sweeteners and the best thing about a simple recipe like this is that, you can experiment all you want, with whatever combination of fruit flavours you like! All you need are homemade fruit syrups and club soda and just like that, you’re spoiled for choice! PLUS, with a few labels (like I’ve done in the pictures above), you could turn these into wonderful gifts too!
Without further ado, here are the 5 different flavours/recipes that I put together! 5 easy and refreshing soda recipes!
Grapefruit and Sage Syrup – A beautiful citrus syrup with the sweet and sour notes of grapefruit and the fresh sourness of sage work together to make a really beautiful, smooth syrup – this is my favourite of all 5 I made!
Peaches and Thyme Syrup – A sweet fruity syrup with the earthiness of thyme! A slightly thicker syrup because of the peach nectar. Perfect even as an ice cream topping! (trust me, we’ve tried it, it’s fantastic!).
Strawberry and Rose Syrup – The sweet strawberry flavours and the floral sweetness of rose water make for a refreshing drink that’s beautifully bright in both colour and flavour!
Pineapple and Star Anise Syrup – Pineapple has such a unique, tropical flavour! It can be deliciously sweet and tart at the same time – something only a very few fruits can achieve. I wanted to pair this with Star Anise which in turn imparts a wonderful licorice fragrance and flavour, that you can make as subtle or as strong as you like (I preferred it a little subtle).
Lime and Lemongrass Syrup – Lime syrup is nothing new and it’s something I LOVE having at home because it makes for a perfect addition to any kind of drink. I love adding it to Vodka, tequila or just mix it with some ice and water. I decided to enhance the sour, citrus flavour with lemongrass! It adds a delicious warmth to the syrup.
And like I said, these are extremely flexible recipes. You can add more sugar to make it more syrupy, more fruit to make it more concentrated. You can even leave out the spices/herbs for a more regular fruit syrup if you prefer, but where’s the fun in that? 🙂 And don’t limit yourself to obvious flavour combinations either. This is more of a guide. So try something new, you’d never know what flavour combo you will fall in love with next until you’ve tried it!
- 1 ⅔ cup grapefruit juice (about 3-4 grapefruits)
- Peeled zest of the grapefruits
- 7 oz/ 200g white sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) water
- 10 sage leaves with stalks
- 23 oz/ 650g pineapple peeled and cut (1 pineapple)
- 7 oz/ 200g white sugar
- 2 star anise
- ½ cup water
- pinch of salt
- 18 oz / 500g peaches (seeds removed), cut to chunks
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 3.5 oz / 100 ml water
- 3.5 oz/ 100g white sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 lb strawberries, washed
- ⅓ cup rose water
- ¼ cup water
- 3.4 oz/ 100g white sugar
- pinch of salt
- ½ cup lime juice
- Zest of the lime
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- ½ cup of water
- 8.5 oz / 240g white sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan.
- Heat over medium-heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a gentle boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, till the juice has a simple syrup-like consistency.
- Pour the syrup through a sieve to remove the pulp, zest, and sage leaves. Squeeze as much of the syrup out as possible using the back of a spoon.
- Pour this syrup into a sterilized heat proof glass bottle or a mason jar.
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer until the pineapple softens.
- Turn off the heat and let the star anise steep in the pineapple juices for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the star anise and puree the pineapple.
- Place the puree on a double layer of cheesecloth to strain the liquid. Gently squeeze to get all the liquid out, then discard the pulp.
- Pour the pineapple syrup into a sterilized glass bottle or jar.
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat to dissolve the sugar. Cover with a lid and let the peaches “poach” in the liquid and soften for a few minutes. Simmer on low heat, uncovered for about 20-30 minutes till the liquid becomes syrupy.
- Remove the thyme sprigs and puree the peaches.
- Place the puree on a double layer of cheesecloth and strain the liquid out.
- Gently squeeze the pulp to get as much liquid from the puree, and pour the syrup into a sterilized bottle or jar.
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is boiling.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Puree the strawberries and pass the puree through a double cheesecloth. Squeeze gently to get as much liquid out as possible and discard the pulp.
- Pour the syrup in a sterilized glass bottle or jar.
- Bruise the lemongrass stalks (by hitting the stalk along the length of it with the blunt side of a knife). Cut the stalk into 2-3 pieces.
- Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Bring the liquid to a boil and lower the heat to simmer until it achieves a syrup-like consistency.
- Pour the liquid through a fine sieve to remove the pulp, lemongrass and zest.
- Pour syrup into a sterilized bottle or jar.
- Preheat oven to 250°F/ 120°C.
- Place the lids on the syrup filled jars loosely (don’t screw them on tightly).
- Place the bottles on a baking tray, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and keep the syrup filled jars in the oven for at least 30 minutes up to one hour.
- While wearing oven mittens, take out the baking tray and carefully screw on the lids tightly on the bottles/jars, while they are still hot (PLEASE BE VERY CAUTIOUS AS THEY WILL BE VERY HOT).
- Leave them to cool completely to room temperature and store in the fridge overnight.
- Use the syrup with Seltzer water/club soda to make homemade sodas or mix them with spirits for cocktails, or use as a cordial to mix with water and ice for a refreshing drink.
So there you have it. A beautiful, homemade, naturally-flavoured soda is just a fruit syrup and a club soda away. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking too. I like mine a little less sweet, so that the flavours of the fruits, spices and herbs come through well. And as you know if a soda is too sweet, you often end up being even more thirsty than before (because sugar in blood removes water from the cells, which the brain senses and then triggers thirst).
And for an even more celebratory idea, simply mix the fruit syrups with some spirits, for a fantastic cocktail! E.g. mix grapefruit and sage syrup with tequila for a refreshing grapefruit and sage paloma! You can even mix ANY of these syrups with tequila and cointreau (or triple sec) and make yourself a deliciously fruity Margarita!
Whether you choose to have a soda bar with these syrups or a cocktail bar for your next (girls’) night out (in), these syrups would be a resounding hit! In fact, you don’t even need a special reason to bust out the fruit syrups from your fridge. Sit back and let that summer warmth wash over you while that fizzy, refreshing, tropical soda cools you down from the inside. All is right with the world, after all.
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