Some might consider me to be a rather boring grocery shopper. I get the basic grains, milk, cheese, and I buy some produce. That’s about it. Usually this works well for us, but sometimes, we just need something more.
This weekend, I decided we deserved a sweet beverage and tackled homemade orange soda. And after remembering a poor orange I had zested last week and not eaten, I was determined to give it a better life. I used half the skin from the orange and added a bit from a lemon. This substitution worked well. Lemon alone may also make a great flavor…
Simple Orange Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Peels of 1 orange
Sparkling water or bourbon
- Mix the water and sugar in a sauce pan, place over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, peel an orange. Once finished, chop the peels into thin long strands.
- Once the water, sugar mix comes to a boil, add the orange peels on top and place a plate on top of it all to hold the peels down.
- Cook for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, or when the liquid has thickened, remove the peels using a slotted spoon. Then, transfer the syrup to a jar.
- Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate.
To make soda: Remove the syrup from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature. Mix 2-3 T. (depending on your taste for sweetness) with 1 cup sparkling water and ice. Mix well. Garnish with mint.
To make something more adult-like: Remove syrup from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature. Mix 1-2 T. (depending on your taste for sweetness) with ½ cup bourbon. Mix well. Garnish with mint. Serve neat or on the rocks.
Now, keep in mind this is still soda, so it is sugar heavy. But by making it yourself, it still retains a bit of that fresh citrus flavor and you can rest a bit easier knowing you put all 5 ingredients in it. This is the first time I have chosen to tackle such a treat; however, I am sure there are more tasty flavors just waiting to be discovered.