Patrick Decker

3 New Ways to Spruce Up Your Seltzer

At New York City’s Chelsea Market, a really delicious change is happening on the menus of the restaurants that fill the ground floor – they’re making their own sodas. It’s not crazy difficult; it’s just a syrup base mixed with bubbly water. But since they’re making their own, delicious flavors like cherry-vanilla and Thai basil are trumping traditional cola.

You’ve probably got seltzer on-demand on your countertop, right? You can make a simple syrup, too, right? Then you, my friend, are on your way to making soda of your very own.

The three simple recipes below will walk you through how to make your own soda syrup. Generally speaking, 2 tablespoons of syrup stirred into 8 ounces of seltzer is a good ratio to follow. If you like things sweeter, just stir in a bit more. Keep these cooled syrups in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and, whether you’re at home or at the office, you’ll have on-demand soda that you can feel good about drinking at the ready, 24/7.

Of course, should these syrups find their way into a flute of champagne or delicious cocktail, that wouldn’t be the worst thing either. Just sayin’.

3 New Ways to Spruce Up Your Seltzer Blackberry-Vanilla

BLACKBERRY-VANILLA
In a small pot combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 cups blackberries, and 4 peels of lemon zest. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and let cool. Strain the syrup (pressing the liquid out of the solids caught in the sieve), refrigerate, and use as desired. Makes about 2/3 cup.

 

3 New Ways to Spruce Up Your Seltzer Strawberry-Basil

STRAWBERRY-BASIL
In a small pot combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 cups of cleaned strawberries, and 20 torn leaves of basil. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup (pressing the liquid out of the solids caught in the sieve), refrigerate, and use as desired. Makes about 1 cup.

 

3 New Ways to Spruce Up Your Seltzer Pineapple-Jalapeno

PINEAPPLE-JALAPENO
In a small pot combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 cups of crushed pineapple and 1 small sliced jalapeno. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup (pressing the liquid out of the solids caught in the sieve), refrigerate, and use as desired. Makes about 1 cup.


Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione, Bobby Deen and Paula Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.


One Response to “3 New Ways to Spruce Up Your Seltzer”

  1. […] Check out my newest post to Rachael Ray’s blog for 3 all-new ideas for homemade sodas (or spru… […]

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