I really appreciate a good mocktail, especially now that I’m pregnant. What I love about this strawberry rhubarb syrup is that it’s using seasonal ingredients and none of that high fructose corn syrup that most sodas are laden with. Not only does this make a terrific soda, but it’s phenomenal on ice cream…not that I would have experience with this or anything. Additionally, you could certainly make this beverage adult with the addition of vodka, and I’ll try to keep my pregnancy jealously at bay.
Another great thing about making your own soda syrup is that you can make your drink as sweet or not as sweet as you’d like! I found using about 3 tablespoons was to my taste, but it will all depend on your taste buds along with the size of the glass you use.
This syrup will keep in the fridge for about a month or so (and maybe even longer) so you’ll be able to whip up sodas and/or cocktails for quite a while!
Strawberry Rhubarb Soda Syrup
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 1 pound strawberries, stems removed and halved
- 1 pound rhubarb, chopped into ½” pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 lemon
- In a large saucepan (use a large one, this will bubble up a lot), combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, and vanilla bean paste (or extract). Using a peeler, remove several strips of lemon peel and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce it to a gentle simmer. Continue simmering for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want all the fruit to be completely softened so you may need to simmer longer depending on the ripeness of your berries.
- Remove from the heat and add the juice of half a lemon. Let the fruit fully cool so the flavors infuse.
- Pour the fruit mixture through a strainer, pressing the solids with the back of a spoon to get all the liquid out. The original recipe says that you can get up to 3 cups if you let it sit for a while. I ended up with about 2 ½ cups of syrup after letting it sit for a couple hours. Pour the syrup into a glass bottle and refrigerate until you want to use it. Save the solids in a separate container (minus the lemon peels) and mix into plain yogurt, dollop on top of pound cake, etc.
- Soda making instructions: in a good size glass, pour in 2 tablespoons of the syrup, fill with ice, then with sparkling water or seltzer. Stir it up, give it a taste, and see if you need more syrup.