Vanilla Cream Soda · GF (eight 6 ounce servings)
You can count the ingredients in this soda on one hand, it’ll taste better than anything you can buy, and only gets better with time. The "cream" in vanilla cream soda is a throwback to the days of yore when cream sodas actually contained dairy (and sometimes eggs). Nowadays, the term generally indicates a soda flavored with vanilla.
Use this recipe as a spring board for almost any flavor, substituting herbs or spices for the vanilla, or using them in conjunction. Just remember, the syrup should taste quite intense because it will be diluted with club soda.
12 ounces sugar
8 ounces water*
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 tsp kosher salt
24 ounces cold club soda, or more to taste
Combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and salt in a medium pot, whisking to break up the vanilla bean seeds. Stir occasionally over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and simmer until the mixture has thickened and taken on somewhat of a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Cool the mixture in an ice bath. Store the syrup and the vanilla bean in a bottle or jar, refrigerated, for up to a month.
When ready to consume, mix together equal parts syrup and club soda to get started, pour over ice and serve. Dilute further with an extra splash of club soda, I’ve found everyone seems to prefer a different ratio, so experiment until you’re content.
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. 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.