Recipe: Cherry-Almond Syrup + Making All-Natural Soda Without A Soda Machine!

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 {Review brought to you by Kim.}

When I first found out about the opportunity to write a review for a recipe book filled with recipes for all-natural sodas, I was really excited. I’ve been trying to cut back on the sodas because they are filled with things like artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and other chemicals that we all know are not good for your health.

At first I was a little concerned that I might need to purchase a soda maker. That’s an awfully big expense for someone who is just experimenting in the world of homemade sodas. I was relieved to hear that you can just mix the soda syrups with seltzer water. Easy peasy! Anyone can do that! I was also concerned that most of the recipes would be filled with things that I’ve never heard of, or would be really hard to find in my area. This was not true. Most of the recipes are very simple, with few ingredients. Being a beginner soda maker, I chose to opt for trying super simple recipes first.

The Artisan Soda Workshop features 70 recipes. I’ve already got little post it notes all over my copy, marking pages of soda recipes that I want to try. There are classic recipes such as Cherry Cola, Cream Soda, and Root Beer, and also some more unique flavors such as Rhubarb-Basil(this sounds so good!) and Lemon-Thyme. The book is organized into chapters by category, which is great for browsing recipes. In each chapter there is a friendly introduction and beautiful photographs peppered throughout. In the back of the book there is an index sorted for seasonal soda making.

The recipes that I chose to make for this review are Green Tea Syrup, Chocolate Syrup, Kiwi-Strawberry Syrup and Cherry-Almond Syrup. Before I get into the reviews I want to mention that many of these syrups are very versatile. Aside from the obvious uses, like drizzled over ice cream or french toast, they also suggest other great uses like to flavor oatmeal, or… wait for it… combined with oil and vinegar to make a salad dressing!! How delicious would that be? Just imagine it… Cranberry, Orange and Ginger salad dressing… I bet it would be a show stopper at any pot luck or family gathering!  Each recipe can be altered to your tastes so that you can make your soda exactly how you’d like it.

This is the Green Tea Soda.  I’m no photographer, and never mind the fact that my deck railing is slanted, but I did want to show you the sodas that I made.  It’s an incredibly refreshing alternative to a powdered iced tea mix.  It would be just perfect if I had a lemon wedge to garnish with.  I would say this is a pretty healthy beverage choice as it has honey in it, which is a natural remedy for a sore throat, and green tea is a powerful antioxidant.

This is a Chocolate Soda Float that I made using the Chocolate Syrup.  The syrup itself was very good over ice cream, or stirred into milk, but when mixed into soda it seemed to have a strange flavor to it.  It just tasted like it was missing something.  I had some leftover Cherry-Almond Syrup, so I added a bit of that into it and that did the trick.  You can’t go wrong with chocolate and cherries.  I think a chocolate, cherry and almond milkshake would be a great combination.  I’ll definitely have to try that in the future. 

This is the Strawberry-Kiwi Soda.  It made a pretty good soda, but the strained fruit made the best milkshake ever! Yum!  I didn’t get a picture of my milkshake because I was halfway through it by the time I thought of it. 

This is the beautiful soda that the Cherry-Almond Syrup produced. The recipe for this syrup was very simple, and yet it made such an amazing tasting soda.  If you are a fan of amaretto, you will definitely enjoy Cherry-Almond soda.  And when you’re done making your soda syrup, the cherries make a delicious snack.  Better than candy.  Did I mention that I absolutely love this recipe?  And Guess what?  I’ve been given permission to share the recipe with you all!

Cherry-Almond Syrup
2 cups sweet cherries
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
In a medium pot, combine the cherries, water, and sugar.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so that the liquid is simmering.  Let cook until the cherries are soft, about 12 minutes.  Remove from the heat and mash the cherries.  When cool, use a fine mesh sieve to strain the liquid from the cherries, making sure to press the cherries against the strainer to remove as much liquid as possible.  Discard the cherries, or save them for another use.  Add the almond extract to the syrup, stirring to combine.  Refrigerate the syrup in a covered container for up to 5 days.
To make Cherry-Almond Soda: Stir 1-2 tablespoons Cherry-Almond Syrup, or to taste, into 10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) seltzer.
I made 2 batches of syrup using the same cherries.  Just put a bit less sugar in the second batch (or don’t, I wont judge!) then mix them together so they have a consistent flavor.  Also, they recommend leaving the cherries whole, and when they’re soft use a potato masher and mash them.  That’s right, you don’t have to pit the cherries!  How easy is that?
Want more recipes? You can snag your own copy of The Artisan Soda Workshop from Ulysses Press, or on Amazon.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored review. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions.


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