Yeah - another old post.
We carbonated today the first time at the Yas Viceroy hotel Abu Dhabi some grapefruit soda as well as peach soda; means we didn't only used carbonated club water, but used an iSi container with a CO2 cartridge. Due to the increased CO2, the sodas became a bit more sour. Overall they were more than fantastic - really tasty.
And housemade sodas become one part of my beverage strategy for the hotel.
Following the old post:
Let me tell you a secret: I am addicted to sugar and addicted to sweet sodas; first of all Coca Cola.
Unfortunately Coca Cola is really inexpensive [and mineral water quite expensive] in Dubai, so it is very hard to break through this bad habit!
Though there are very few sweet sodas, which taste great - good Tonic is great [especially if it has a good companion like gin], or Ginger Beer is great [but not so much as protagonist - ginger beer is another drink, which greatly benefits of a companion, which is now dark rum]; 7 up and Sprite are quite ok, Fanta and Mirinda drinkable but as Mountain Dew quite artificial tasting.
There are always quite some interesting things, which you can buy - but very seldom there is a killer soda, which I really love.
In contrast home-made soda can be a treat, if you are not too lazy and if you have a good recipe; I can help you with the latter.
First: what makes a soda to be a soda?
Obviously the fizz... but if you have carbonated apple juice [or a kinda apple-spritzer] it is far away of being a soda.
Sensory soda features always a sharp acidity with a high sweetness. And the mouthfeel is quite thin - and the aromas are well balanced on the discreet subtle side.
Speaking of aromas: as they should not be so concentrated as a juice or nectar, they supposed to be also quite easy acknowledgeable - hence don’t make a strawberry_passionfruit_apple_elderflower_soda - for sure it won’t work out.
Instead using a soda siphon, I would use directly club soda! Why? Well, you have to limit yourself to a respective aromas, if you have one or a couple of siphons; it is quite expensive, because you have to take one or two soda capsules per filling; and you have to chill the soda siphon before you can start - and using club soda or mineral water works out just fine [definitely not worse than with the siphon].
So ice cold club soda is the first ingredient.
Then we need aroma. You can use one of your syrups [I like Monin, from Europe for most flavors, but there are definitely also a lot of other good brands], or you can use fresh and ripe produce.
Last but not least you need sweetness and sourness. Now this will be new for you - I “developed” a sour syrup. This makes your home-made soda totally awesome - and it will taste like a commercial premium-gourmet product.
The recipe? Could not be easier:
100 g white sugar
10 g citric acid [also sold as lemon salt]
50 ml water
Prepare a rich syrup, warming up the water and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the citric acid and also dissolve it. Cool down.
Why should you use citric acid, if you could use lemon or lime juice?
Good question - but lemons and limes are not only sour, but also have a specific taste. This is fine, if you are making a lemon lime soda [but it will still taste completely different as a commercial product], but if you are doing e.g. a strawberry soda, you don’t want, that it taste like lemon; the lemon would distract from the clean strawberry aroma...
To make lemon-lime soda, I would even use only lime and lemon zest and infuse it in the sour syrup. Again you would have a drink which is bright, refreshing, superior...
So I told you here one more off my trade secrets [and something, I’ve just discovered lately].
But you were not the first one, I told - my better half Sarah usually get to know something like that first.
To demonstrate how it taste, I prepared at home a peach soda.
Peaches are rarely ripe-sweet-delicious in Dubai - but a couple days ago I found some small but succulent peaches from Lebanon.
So I muddled one, added some sour syrup and fine strained everything into a jug and just filled it up with club soda. [we are usually drinking club soda, as we think it is better for the environment, as it comes from close by and it is also cheaper than bottled mineral water].
And? It tasted wonderful - with a subtle but distinctive ripe peach aroma and the refreshing quality and the sweet- & sourness you are expecting of a soda.
We didn’t went so far... however the perfect company would be an American whiskey - either way the robust but smooth and overall fantastic Elijah Craig 12 years old or even better - Bernheim - the straight whiskey of Heaven Hill - one of the most unique experiences a whiskey drinker can have...
Do you like Southern Comfort in a refreshing highball? This is much better than that - trust me on that:
The SoCo Smasher
5 cl Bernheim
12 cl homemade peach soda
2 dash aromatic bitters
Pour Bernheim into a ice-cube filled highball glass [preferable you would prep the glass before with a large orange peel spiral].
Add bitters and fill up with peach soda.
Garnish with the large orange spiral, if you haven’t done it before.
Only thing which burns under under my nails, is phosphate soda, which Darcy O’Neal of www.artofdrinks.com described [several times on his website as well as in his book, which I still have to buy...].
But to be honest: with the Sour Syrup, it is really very easy to create über-tasty gourmet sodas and I expect phosphate soda “only as dot on the i”.
Now please try and let me know your experiences...