I love summer and I love soda, but commercial sodas are so packed with refined sugar and unnatural shit that I frankly can’t stomach it. So, I decided to make my own. I went to Berkeley Bowl and browsed the produce section to see what moved me. I spied a beautiful bounty of fresh, young ginger root and that inspired me to make ginger lime syrup. I picked up a piece of regular ginger and a piece of young ginger, which has a thinner, lighter skin and slightly sweeter, less intense flavor.
This is a standard recipe for syrup so it will work for many different flavors. I would encourage you to walk around the produce section and wait for an ingredient to speak to you. Other great flavors would be blackberry, lemon and thyme, strawberry and vanilla, lime and mint, etc. Make what moves you!
Ginger lime soda
Makes four 16 oz. sodas
What you’ll need:
zest and juice of one or two limes (I used one, but missed a little bit of that classic zing)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger root (I used a mixture of young and mature root)
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
12 ounces sparkling water
What you’ll do:
- Roughly chop your ginger, keeping the skin on. The skin will provide the lovely, dark color of the syrup.
- Put the water, sugar and ginger into a saucepan, zest and juice the lime straight into the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then turn the heat down so the syrup stays at a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes.
- Check on the syrup periodically to ensure that it isn’t boiling too rapidly and adjust the heat accordingly.
- After 30-35 minutes, your syrup should have reduced down to be much thicker than when you started. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Leave the syrup to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- To make a soda throw some ice cubes in a 12-ounce glass. Fill the glass almost completely with sparkling water then top with 1.5 ounces. of your syrup. Mix thoroughly with a spoon then enjoy!
Note: You can either discard your candied ginger after straining the syrup or use it in any number of recipes! If you really like the taste of strong ginger, you could eat it by itself for a sweet and spicy snack. It could also go in granola, muesli or any breakfast bar. You could make it into a paste and throw it into the batter for a ginger cake or ginger cookies. It would also make a great addition to any gingery cocktail, muddled into some mint leaves and lime juice.