Greg and I have a serious addiction to club soda. Drinking more than two cases a week our neighbours are starting to suspect we have a drinking problem. Greg honestly hates the taste of water, so the only way he doesn’t die of dehydration is consuming copious amounts of sparkling water. I think water is generally taste free, but I am hooked on the bubbles! This is why I also try to stay away from champagne…
Like most addictions, our soda water consumption has become quite pricey. After countless afternoons spent coupon cutting and sorting recycling I decided I’d had enough. A soda stream had to be purchased and with luck Greg’s birthday coincided with my soda breakdown.
Now if you too are a club soda junkie, you need to put down the bottle, get in your car, and go buy yourself one of these gadgets! Not only does it end up costing less than half the price of buying soda at the store, it also eliminates cans from your household! Gone are the days of hunting for empty cans scattered throughout the house on garbage day! That in itself is a birthday gift for Greg!
The other great thing is the ability to make your own flavoured sodas! Commercial sodas are full of sugar and preservatives. When you make it yourself you can decide on the flavour combination’s, the sugar content and completely forgo chemicals and preservatives.
If you don’t have a soda maker but you want to make home made soda too, you can simply use store bought club soda. I warn you though, this may result in a serious addiction!!
¼ cup dry hibiscus flowers
3 guavas, finely sliced
2 cups cane sugar
½ Tsp. salt
juice from 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeded
1 Tsp. rose water
In a large non reactive saucepan combine 12 cups of cold water with ¼ cup of dried hibiscus flowers. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard flowers and set liquid aside.
In saucepan combine chopped guava with 3 ½ cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes.
In a sieve strain the fruit, pressing the pulp to extract juice. Discard pulp and return liquid to the saucepan.
Over medium high heat, stir in sugar and salt. Bring to a rapid boil stirring often until thickened and dime size bubbles surface to the top.
Carefully add 2 cups of reserved hibiscus tea, lemon juice, rose water, vanilla bean and seeds. Bring liquid to a boil and remove from heat. Let stand for 1 hour.
Store syrup in a sealed bottle in the fridge. Lasts up to 2 weeks.
To make soda, fill a glass with ice cubes and pour 1 ½ tablespoons of the syrup on top. Fill the glass with fresh seltzer water and stir to combine.