In this day and age of endless chemical laden sodas, one begins to dream of a simpler time. A time when soda was made with real sugar. A time when flavors of soda actually tasted like something nature made. I remember my parents had purchased a home soda maker from Schwan's when I was a child. I loved the idea of making my own soda. Even today, I collect recipes for all natural homebrewed sodas but brewing my own is intimidating. I could make it, it's not that hard but I always feel like I need someone to hold my hand through the process.
Enter Andy Schloss and his new book Homemade Sodas. The book starts out with clear instructions for making and brewing your own sodas. He talks about the history of soda and how ingredients have changed. The pictures call to the reader to remember the better times. Times when drinking coke was a treat not a necessity.
Andy Schloss then moves into the drinks, slowly, starting with sparkling waters. Easy to create mixes that combine with sparkling water to make a refreshing spa-like drink. He moves onto fruit based drinks some mixed with seltzer, others carbonated with a soda siphon and eventually to brewing.
What I loved about this book is he gives you all three options most of the time. You can make the soda with seltzer, through a soda siphon or brew it. For me, that gives me the chance to work my way up to brewing. If we like the flavor with the seltzer then we know we'll like the brewed variety. And it gives me the chance to chicken out if I still can't talk myself into homebrewing.
Some of the soda concoctions sound highbrow - like honey cardamon or fizzy honeydew. They can be off putting for your average soda drinker but those with a sense of adventure can only see the beginning of possibilities.
Don't worry Andy Schloss has offered a few "normal" recipes from Orange Crush to Cola to Very Cherry Cola to several types of root beer.
This book has recipes for everyone from the soda drinker to the organic concoction drinker. I will definitely be making some cola extract and see if I can wean my boys off the canned stuff and to the homemade varieties. Now all I need is a recipe for Mellow Yellow and we just may give up store-bought soda all together.