These three simple soda recipes can provide a kick to your sip at home

Some things are just better when they're made from scratch... not to mention that making something “with your own two hands” provides such great satisfaction. Truly understanding the ingredients that go into your meals offers you a little more wiggle room when it comes to dietary and taste preferences. From scratch is the way to go.

I really don’t drink pop any more. In my youth, I was pretty addicted to aspartame, and scrapped any pop featuring the ingredient when I was in university. The new solution (especially while abstaining from alcohol) is to make a fun soda-based drink.

Here are three options that allow you to control the ingredient list and the amount of sugar required...

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1. Ginger Ale

Classic and simple, ginger ale is so much better when it’s made with fresh ginger.

INGREDIENTS

  • Large piece of ginger (enough to fill ¾ of a cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Carbonated water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel ginger and slice into medallions

  2. In a small pot, bring sugar and water to a boil. Add the ginger and remove from heat

  3. Let steep for at least 30 minutes, and then strain the syrup into a container, discarding the ginger

  4. Pour approximately 1 ounce of the syrup into a tall glass and top with carbonated water. (You can use less syrup if you just want a hint, or have a smaller glass. Test out how you like it!) The syrup should last for a week in the fridge

2. Lemongrass and Lime Soda

An excellent replacement for any of the lemon-lime flavoured soft drinks out there. The lemongrass is a fun twist, but if you can’t find it, you can always sub in some lemon juice or add lemon zest as well.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • Approximately 2 limes (½ cup of juice)
  • Zest of one lime
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Carbonated water
  • Optional lime slices for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Smash lemongrass stalks–either with the back of a knife, or give them a few good whacks on the counter, then chop into 2-inch pieces (discarding the top brittle bits)
  2. In a small pot, bring the water and lime juice to a low boil, then add the sugar, and zest and stir until the sugar dissolves, and finally add in the lemongrass
  3. Turn the element down to its lowest setting and steep for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly
  4. Then strain the syrup into a container, and discard the solids
  5. To make the soda, add approximately 1 ounce of the syrup (more or less as you prefer) to a glass and top with plain carbonated water
  6. Syrup will last one week in the fridge
     

3. Spa Water Soda

Restaurants and hotel lobbies are known to toss some combination of cucumbers, fruit, mint or other herbs into the water on offer. Well, this soda will give you that fresh and relaxing feeling of being at a spa, plus, if you top it with cucumbers, you get a crunchy little treat when you’re done!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 English cucumber, cut into thin slices
  • Mint leaves (½ cup)
  • Basil leaves (½ cup)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Carbonated water
  • Optional cucumber slices, mint leaves, basil leaves for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pot, bring the water to a boil, turn down and add sugar, stirring until dissolved

  2. Remove from heat and add ½ cup of the cucumber slices, the mint and basil. And let steep for 30 minutes

  3. Strain the syrup into a container and discard the solids

  4. To make the soda, add 1 ounce of the syrup (give or take as you prefer) and top with carbonated water

  5. The syrup will last in the fridge for 1 week