One of them main things I took away from my stint at Ballymaloe last summer was their ability to make such wonderfully, herbaceous and floral lemonades and soft drinks. This is the time of the year where schoolwork takes over your life for two weeks, causes you to go into a total panic mode and then everything is finally done. My way of coping with this stress is to make the most lavish and refreshing dishes and drinks I can nibble and sip on while I write about my favorite topic; US History. The other day I went to a food store and bought plenty of lemons, limes and various herbs and fruits. I decided that it was time for me to play around with some homemade sodas. The first was a lovely peach, saffron and ginger soda which had me sold by the first sip. The peach adds a sweetness while the saffron adds a unique fruitiness and finally, the ginger hits you add the end with its wonderfully crisp spice. The next was a thyme, black cherry and lime soda which was just sweet enough but then complimented very nicely with the incredibly herbaceous thyme and sour lime. For my first attempt, I was pleasantly surprised with how well these sodas worked out and they certainly did help me write my paper! Once you’ve made your base, you can really add any herbs, fruits, spices, etc. to it and make so many different kinds of drinks.
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
Boil the water + sugar on medium heat until it has reduced in size and formed a syrup. Take off heat and cool.
Thyme + Cherry Soda with Lime:
- 1 cup black cherries pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 8 thyme sprigs
- Simple Syrup
Once your simple syrup begins to boil add thyme + cherries and cook for about 7 minutes until all of the flavors have infused. Remove thyme sprigs and set aside to let cool. Once cooled place in blender with lime juice and pulse until everything is combined and smooth. Place a desired amount of syrup in a glass with crushed ice and pour sparkling water over, add an extra squeeze of lime and garnish with thyme.
Peach + Saffron Soda with Ginger:
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 saffron threads
- 2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
- Simple Syrup
Once your simple syrup begins to boil add peaches, ginger, and saffron. Cook for about 7 minutes, until all of the flavors, have infused.
Let cool then place in blender with lemon juice and pulse until everything is combined and smooth. Place the desired amount of syrup in a glass with crushed ice and pour sparkling water over. Garnish with mint spring and a squeeze of lemon.