Homemade Sodas – Strawberry and Rhubarb

June 23, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I am declaring this the summer of homemade sodas!  It started with our post for homemade Spicy Ginger sodas.  Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for sodas to make that can be good with or without alcohol.  The rhubarb soda idea was posted by the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market recently when rhubarb was their featured “item of the week”.  And just this week I bought a bunch of strawberries with another use in mind, but they were not very sweet due to the cool and rainy conditions of late.  So I decided to search for a recipe for strawberry soda to use them up.  They are both delicious, but  the rhubarb is my (current) favorite – it has a delicate and unusual flavor and a stunning color!

Rhubarb Sodas

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons vodka

Place all ingredients, except vodka, in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Turn down the heat and simmer about 15 minutes.

Strain out the fruit using a fine mesh strainer.  Pour into a jar and add the vodka once the syrup cools.  (I read yesterday that adding a little vodka will stretch the refrigerator shelf life of the simple syrup to 3 months.) These quantities make 2 cups of syrup.

Rhubarb Soda

So pretty!  I used 3 tablespoons of the rhubarb syrup with 12 ounces of sparkling water.  You can play around with proportions to get to your desired sweetness.  I tried it with and without a squeeze of lime – delicious both ways.  For a cocktail, I will add vodka and serve on the rocks with a twist of lemon or lime.

Strawberry Sodas

Strawberry Simple Syrup

4 cups strawberries, washed and halved

1 heaping cup sugar (adjust downward if strawberries are sweet)

2 cups water

1 tablespoon vodka

Place all ingredients, except vodka, in a saucepan.  Use a muddler or potato masher to press the berries to release some of their juice.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Turn down the heat and simmer about 10 minutes.  Strain out the fruit using a fine mesh strainer.  Pour into a jar and add the vodka once the syrup cools.  (I read yesterday that adding a little vodka will stretch the refrigerator shelf life of the simple syrup to 3 months.)  These quantities make 3 1/2 cups of syrup.

Strawberry Soda


Also pretty!  I used 3 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup and juice of half a lemon with 12 ounces of sparkling water.  I also tried this without the lemon – also good, but I preferred it with the lemon.  You can play around with proportions to get to your desired sweetness.  For a cocktail, I will add vodka to the strawberry-lemon concoction and serve on the rocks.  I think the strawberry would also lend itself to herbs like mint and basil.  Many possibilities!

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