Thursday, July 10, 2014

Italian Sodas at home




I had never had an Italian soda before today, but my 15 year son loves them. and goes to the local coffee shop a few times a week to buy this delicious summertime treat. My wallet needed a break :) As I was putting together a compiled list of the best summertime drinks, I stumbled across the recipe from Sugar and Charm for their version of flavored Italian sodas. They looked so good I new I just had to try to make them at home.

So that is exactly what we did !

Today we made strawberry flavored Italian Soda. We plan on trying other flavors like blueberry and vanilla very soon. But for now, here is how we made our version of the strawberry Italian Soda!

Simple syrup is the base for your flavor. You can add many herbs, fruits and even vegetables to flavor this sweet syrup. The base for your unflavored simple syrup is 1 part water to 1 part sugar. Then you can add what ever you like for flavors.

We did :
1  C water
1  C sugar

bring to a gentle boil. Boil until all your sugar is melted (the water will become clear)
Add in your flavoring:
2 cups strawberries - cut in half (1 C would probably do but I like a stronger fruit flavor if I can get it)



Boil the strawberries in the syrup for about 10 minutes. and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Strain your syrup and discard the strawberries. You have taken all their flavor now.
Let cool and store in an air tight container for up to 10 days in the fridge.

You now have a delicious strawberry flavored sweetener to add to your Italian sodas, mixed drinks, ice cream... Use your imagination :)

To make the Italian Soda:

You will need:
Glass filled with ice
Strawberry syrup
Club soda
Cream or half & half (Almond milk also works great if you have dietary needs)


Fill your glass with ice.
Add 1/4 part flavored syrup, add your club soda and top with a little cream. Give it a stir and see how you like it. Adjust the ratios to your taste. Yummmmm! Perfect summertime drink! Rich and delicious and so refreshing too!


Here are a few other simple syrup recipes that you may enjoy in your Italian soda  and/or mixed drinks ...

The recipes below are using the simple syrup recipe and ratios above (1 C sugar and 1 C water)

Classic Vanilla - Always YUM
split one vanilla bean in half and put it in a heat proof bottle. Pour your hot simple syrup over the vanilla bean and let it "marinate" for 8 - 10 hours. Remove the bean pod before using.

Blueberry - Our next flavor to try!
1 1/2 C. Blueberries

Lemon & Mint - perfect for Ice tea!
Generous handful of fresh mint leaves
Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Rhubarb Syrup -More Italian sodas!!
1 stalk of fresh rhubarb chopped

Blackberry Syrup -
1 1/2 C fresh blackberries

Basil & Lime - Maybe not for Italian sodas but would be great in a margarita or a martini
Generous handful of fresh basil
Juice & zest of 3 limes

Strawberry & Balsamic - Different but sounds good!
Roast 1 pint of quartered strawberries tossed with 1 tablespoon of white balsamic vinegar in a 350-degree oven until very soft, about 15 minutes. Infuse the fruit mixture in your warm syrup for about 20 minutes. Strain and chill until ready to use.

There really is no limit to what you can infuse into your simple syrup. If it sounds good to you .. Try it! Let us know what you think and if you try any new flavor combos.. We're always looking for some good summertime drink ideas!

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