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Anyone have a recipe for ginger or other homemade syrups to mix with carbonated water to make soda?

My sister uses her Sodastream all the time for plain carbonated water. I wanted to surprise her with some ginger syrup that she can mix in, and am thinking about other possibilities.

Most recipes for root beer, etc. assume you want to combine the carbonation process and flavoring through fermentation, but I really just want to make some strongly flavored syrups that are not too sweet. Any ideas? I found a reasonable-looking ginger syrup on Epicurious, but wondered if anyone had any other recipes to share. I realize that a syrup won't last particularly long, but I don't need to make more than one at a time. If it matters, I live in an area with good access to unusual ingredients.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Kitchen Witch's Guide to Brews and Potions - By Patricia Telesco - Soda pop, sugared ginger, in Google books:

    http://tinyurl.com/7qgdvbw

    1 Reply
    1. re: Antilope

      I've simmered chopped fresh ginger for about an hour, strained, then used the liquid to make a simple syrup. However...Ginger People make(s) a nice, reasonably priced ginger syrup that I get at the health food store.

    2. Well, if you use the candied ginger recipe that has been around on the web (http://www.melindalee.com/index.php?o...), you'll have a great ginger syrup as a leftover from the candying process. We don't carbonate it, but it's a great sweetener for limeade.

      1. This recipe makes a not-too-sweet, strongly flavored ginger syrup that seems to last a long time in my fridge: http://www.eatologies.com/2009/06/11/...

        I have another recipe for citrus syrups that's more involved (takes a couple of days, mostly hands-off), that uses a lot more sugar but produces a syrup with lots of flavor (so you don't need a lot with your water), and it can be kept for up to a year in the fridge. I've made lemon, lime, and lemon-ginger syrups with this formula, and they've been delicious. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll type up the recipe.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Hi Caitlin,

          Thanks - I would love to see your recipe.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            I'm also interested in your recipe for citrus syrup. The Sodastream in my household is in heavy rotation these days and we're not fond of the syrup mixes sold by the company.

            I'd also be interested in a root beer syrup if anyone has any recipes for that.

            Thanks much.

            1. re: agoodbite

              there is a root beer recipe here:
              http://www.chow.com/food-news/53526/m...
              I haven't gotten around to sourcing any of the root things so I haven't tried it, but it's on my to-do list.

              The secret ingredient in a great ginger syrup, IMO, is lemon juice.
              I just peel/slice the ginger root , simmer it in simple syrup for a while and then let it sit overnight. Add lemon juice at the end, before bottling.

            2. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I made Caitlin's ginger syrup recipe yesterday to give to friends along with a bottle of rum for Dark and Stormy drinks. It is very VERY flavourful but quite thin and not very pretty in the glass bottles. Does anyone know if I could reboil with more sugar to tame it a bit and make it syruppier? Anything I could add to make it look less like dishwater?
              I added a spoonful to my tea and it was great, so I don't want to give up on it yet.

              1. re: waver

                There is no reason you need to use 3c. water--just reduce the amount you use or reduce the syrup further. In general, though, I am not in favor of heavily reducing a flavor-infused syrup because all that cooking changes the flavor...unless that's what you want. In this case I would add less water to begin with to preserve more of the freshness of the citrus flavor.
                Keep in mind that the viscosity of the syrup is relevant. I had a whole bunch of ginger syrup that I reduced to extra thick so it would take up less space and be more potent. It's fine, but it doesn't mix up into cold beverages as readily as thinner syrups. In sparkling water drinks, it needs quite a bit of stirring to not all just end up at the bottom of the glass.

                On another note, Caitlins recipe makes me curious to know how the heck yeast can survive to do anything in straight lemon/lime juice. That's a very hostile environment, and I almost think it's just the acid and sugar that are doing the fermenting and that the yeast dies almost immediately.

            3. Here is the recipe for lemon or lime syrups. I've also made a Meyer lemon-ginger variation, which is excellent, and I want to try a ginger-lime at some point. The fermentation step is said to intensify the fruit flavor, and these definitely have good flavor. It is the high amount of acid that makes these keepable for so long, so lower-acid juices won't work. The syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to a year. The recipe may be halved.

              Ingredients

              2 cups freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
              2 envelopes active dry yeast
              1 teaspoon sugar

              4 ½ cups granulated sugar
              3 cups water

              Method

              Put lemon or lime juice in a 2-quart nonreactive bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar over the juice, then stir them in. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature to ferment, stirring occasionally. Fermentation is achieved when the mixture no longer bubbles when stirred, and this usually takes a couple of days. The mixture will be dull and opaque and smell yeasty and not particularly like citrus; this is normal.

              Line a sieve with cheesecloth and strain the mixture into a 3-quart saucepan. Add the 4 ½ cups sugar and the water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil until reduced to about 5 cups, then cool to room temperature and pour into jars or bottles and refrigerate.

              Ginger variation: Add 4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely grated to the juice in the fermentation step, and when you strain it, press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. This one needs to be shaken up before using.

              1. I just made a spiced ginger syrup with 2 c. water, 1 c. sugar, sliced ginger, 2 allspice berries, 1 blade of mace, 1 clove and a slice of habanero. It is very flavorful and perfectly suited for bourbon cocktails along with a splash of lime juice.