Carbonation is one of the greatest inventions. There’s nothing like a few bubbles to make a humdrum drink more interesting.
Soda companies have, of course, mastered fizzy beverages, but maybe you want to try something more unique than what you can find in the supermarket. So why not try making your own? While concocting your own soda may not be as easy as infusing your own vodka
, it’s still plenty doable. The best part is you know exactly what’s going into the mix, so you don’t need to worry about sipping too many calories. Pretty sweet—especially because it’s not too sugary.
Almost all soda starts with water that’s spiked with carbon dioxide. While you can start with a seltzer base for homemade beverages, buying it beforehand ruins part of the fun. There are plenty of at-home carbonation machines that are reasonably priced and let you add the fizz from the comfort of your own kitchen. Look up companies like SodaStream
for an affordable solution to put bubbles in your beverage.
One Batch at a Time
Unlike infused spirits, you really can’t make a gigantic stock of your own soda and save it up. If you put fresh ingredients in water and stick it in your fridge, it will go bad before you can sip it all up. So, carbonate that water and mix up the ingredients at one time. If you want more than a glass, just make a bottle all at once—it will last through a dinner or cocktail party, and everyone will be impressed that you didn’t just pop open a bottle of pop to pour into the glasses.
Muddle, Muddle, Muddle
Once you’re ready to add some flavor into your drink, what do you reach for? In this case, you only need one tool—the muddler. Homemade soda is all about smashed up fruit. Grab whatever you like—strawberries, blueberries, lime, lemon, peaches. Throw your favorite fruits into a glass and go to town. Muddling releases the juices and the flavors in the fruit, which will really add flavor to your soda when you drop it in. Don’t just stick with one—mash up a mix of ingredients in the glass for a more complex flavor. When you throw that mix into your carbonated beverage, you’re also getting your daily serving of fruit! It also adds a lot of natural sugars, so you don’t have to drink down something that’s artificially saccharine.
Sweeten it Up
If those natural fruits aren’t sweet enough to give you a sugar fix, you can add a little hit to the soda. Just don’t try to stir in a spoonful of sugar. It won’t dissolve evenly and stirring will take too long. Try a liquid version of the sweet stuff instead. You can use a little simple syrup
, which you can easily make at home, or you can drop in some agave nectar
, which is a natural sweetening agent that comes in liquid form and isn't sickeningly sweet. Squeeze some in, stir it up a little, and enjoy your homemade soda fix!
Mix a Cocktail
Now that you're a soda-making master, add your homemade concoction to a shot of vodka over ice or mix up one of these cocktails: