Soda syrup! Have you ever worked at a restaurant where you had to change out the bags of syrup for the soda fountain? And you got it all over yourself the first two times because you didn't know how to open them? And then the third time you thought you did it right but it leaked all over the place? Me too! As revenge, let's learn how to make that at home.
Soda syrup's main purpose in life is to be mixed with seltzer water. Then you've got (wait for it!) soda! That way you don't have to hold hands with Pepsi-Cola every time you want to have a sip of something sweet; instead you'll probably be beholden to the Cott Corporation, the dreamboats who make RC Cola.
Today we're going to make a cola.
Cola might seem mysterious to you (who the hell knows what that flavor really is?), but it turns out that it's basically mulling spices plus citrus peel. Mulling spices hang out in wine or cider, and usually consist of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, maybe allspice, maybe bitter orange if you're extra fancy. The citrus peel part generally means a bit of orange and either lime or lemon.
I'll probably give a larger run-down later on in life about the Story Of Cola but for now we'll just treat it as the product we're aiming for.
When you get down to it, soda syrup is just a syrup (water + sugar) that has some extra flavors in it. You boil the flavorful bits in the water for about 10 minutes, let it cool, strain, and voila! Soda syrup. This is one I made today as a result of trying to clean out the fridge and spice boxes.
BROOKLYN BRAINERY CLEANING DAY COLA
4 cups water
2 tbl bitter orange peel (you can buy this at Brooklyn Homebrew)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 sticks of cinnamon
zest of 2 limes
3 star anise
1 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
2 tbl molasses
probably around 4 cups of sugar
Put it into a pot, simmer it for 10 minutes, then let it cool down for about 45 minutes. Strain out the solid parts and put into some sort of container. I would've used some orange peel, too, but I was all out!
Store it in the fridge, and when you're ready for soda, just mix it with some seltzer! The exact amount varies based on what sort of flavor you're looking for. It'll be a little more citrusy than you're used to, but I think that's damn fun.
Dig this kind of thing? Maybe you'd be interesting in my soda making class. It's filled up right now, but that's what the Wait List and Repeat This Class buttons are for!