Blackberry Lavender Soda
I love the idea of making homemade anything a little out of the ordinary. I'll be honest, soda isn't something I drink much (or any) of. It's always super sweet and the flavors always seem strange, and even rather gross, to me. But since anything homemade is always millions of times better than store bought, I accepted the offer to review the book The Artisan Soda Workshop.
The Artisan Soda Workshop is a cute, little (read: perfect for stocking stuffers!) book on everything to do with making sodas. With over 70 different recipes you'll definitely be able to find many you'd like to make. There are recipes for copycat sodas, berry based sodas, sodas made with herbs and spices as well as recipes for aqua fresca and shrubs (a delicious fruity/vinegary beverage.) There's also a small section of cocktail recipes (yes!) All of the recipes involve you making a syrup and then adding the syrup to carbonated water. If you don't have a SodaStream you can always use store-bought seltzer instead. Or if you want to order one online you can do that and then I'll get a small commission which would be really darn awesome. 🙂
Some of the recipes I can't wait to make are:
- Mango Chile Syrup
- Lemon Thyme Syrup
- Sea Salt Lime Syrup
- Riesling Raspberry Syrup
- Strawberry Balsamic Shrub
- Rhubarb Basil Syrup
- Cinnamon Syrup
The lavender adds a light botanical flavor to the richness of blackberries. Not only is this a twist on a regular berry soda, but the syrup can also be drizzled on desserts like pound cake or angel food cake.
- 2 cups blackberries
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup raw cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
- In a medium pot, combine the blackberries, water, sugar, and lavender. Bring to a boil over high heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, and simmer until the berries are completely softened, about 10 minutes. After about 5 minutes, smash the blackberries with a masher.
- When finished cooking, remove from the heat and let cool. Use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the berries and lavender from the syrup, making sure to press the berries against the strainer to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the blueberries and lavender.
- Refrigerate the syrup in a covered container for up to 5 days.
This mild tasting soda has just a hint of lavender in the background; it is very subtle. The syrup is not very sweet so if you like sweeter soda I could suggest adding more sugar. Use any leftovers to drizzle on ice cream, make a cocktail or add to a sauce for pork tenderloin or duck. Or just eat it straight from the spoon 🙂