Fruit Soda · GF (eight 6 ounce servings)
This is a recipe to make intense fruit soda any time of the year using freeze dried fruit. If you’ve got fresh fruit and want to make soda, check out my recipe for Fresh Fruit Soda.
Freeze dried fruit’s concentrated flavor make it perfect for soda, lending flavor without diluting the base. It’s also available year round. A brand called Just Tomatoes produces a huge array of freeze dried fruits that are widely available in America, I’ve seen them at my local coop and Whole Foods, even in the health food section of some grocery chains. You can buy them online too.
The vanilla bean is optional, but especially great with fruits like strawberry, cherry, and raspberry.
12 ounces sugar
8 ounces water*
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped or vanilla extract, to taste
2 ounces freeze dried fruit, ground into a powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp citric acid, or more to taste
24 ounces cold club soda, or more to taste (if not intending to serve all the soda at once, it’s ideal to obtain the club soda in 3, 8 ounce bottles)
Bring the sugar and water to a simmer together in a medium pot with the vanilla bean, if you’re using it. Simmer for 5 minutes. If using vanilla, shut off the heat and steep for an hour before proceeding to the next step.
After simmering for 5 minutes, whisk in the fruit powder, salt, and citric acid together into the hot syrup. Taste the mixture and use your imagination; it will be half as sweet and half as sour once you thin it down with club soda. You want it to have a good, tart punch. Stir in more citric acid if need be.
Cool in an ice bath, then store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
When ready to consume, mix together equal parts syrup and club soda, pour over ice and serve. Have extra club soda on stand by, those with less of a sweet tooth might like an extra splash, others like it strong and sweet.
Unlike commercial soda, this type won’t keep its fizz for long, so always add the club soda at the last minute.
*You can replace the water with your favorite tea, brewed at double strength. I really enjoy black tea raspberry and jasmine strawberry, but the sky’s the limit. Remember, double strength tea is made by doubling the amount of tea leaves used, not the steep time. Brewing tea twice as long will just result in a bitter mess that no amount of sugar can cure.