Friday, July 25, 2008

Blueberry soda

Here is a fun way to use blueberries - make your own soda! This recipe makes a cold refreshing drink that is delicious and simple to make.

How simple? You make the juice from the berries, cook in the sugar and your syrup is done. To serve, you put carbonated water over ice, add some syrup and enjoy.

Right now, this is up there with homemade lemonade on my list of refreshing delicious drinks of summer. The recipe comes from Alton Brown, and his blueberry episode of Good Eats.

The fact that you make the soda yourself old school style and know exactly what is in the syrup makes it more appealing to me, as I have a son who LOVES carbonation. Being able to give him a cheaper but healthier option is nice. If you aren't a soda fan, I suggest a blueberry smoothie ala pioneer woman. (Also delicious! Try both!)

Club soda & tonic water will not work or taste right in this recipe. You need regular carbonated water/sparkling water because the additives in the others will mess with the flavor.

Blueberry Soda

20 ounces blueberries, about 4 cups, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 lime, juiced
Carbonated water for serving
Ice for serving

Place the blueberries and the water into a saucepan, set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Put on lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheesecloth that is set in a large bowl. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. (Wear plastic gloves so you don't stain your hands!) Discard the skin and pulp.

Return the blueberry juice to the saucepan along with the sugar and lime juice. Place over medium high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly.

Remove from the heat and carefully transfer to a heatproof glass container and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, until completely cooled.

To Serve: Combine 1/4 cup of the liquid with 8-ounces of carbonated water and serve over ice.

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