Anyone who’s heard my spiel on eating sustainably probably knows my Achilles heel. I’m a diet coke fiend. And this is no 2 liter bottle habit, but virgin aluminum single serve cans. The plastic ones never seem to retain their fizz. I know, I know, bad Sustainable Cook, bad.
So I was quite please when my assistant happened upon the Soda Stream folks at Green Fest. I picked up a coupon and he bought the floor model. After weeks of hearing him rave about the product, I finally broke down and ordered it.
Soda Stream makes a variety of soda makers and mixes. A single carbonator makes about 110 1 liter bottles. The Fountain Jet, the Genesis and the Pure use BPA-free plastic bottles, while the more expensive Penguin uses glass carafes.
The diet cola is actually quite a good substitute to my ordinary poison. It’s stored in the plastic bottle used to make the soda water, so like other plastic bottles, the fizz lessons, but it’s a small sacrifice for lessoning my aluminum habit. Plus, there’s a stainless steel container, which hopefully will do the trick.
My only disappointment was the full-cal flavors. The regular flavors are sweetened with a mixture of sugar and Splenda, which while reduces calories, provides that artificial flavor. Yes, yes, I know if I drink Diet Coke, aren’t I used to it? Indeed. However, when giving my son a special treat of homemade soda, I would prefer that it doesn’t include artificial sweeteners.
And then it dawned on me, I don’t need no stinkin’ mixes. With all the beautiful fruits that are coming to market these days, all I need is fruit puree, organic sugar syrup and a bit of imagination.
Thus far, I’ve made Sparkling Raspberry Lime-Aid, Minted Raspberry Lemon-Aid, Minted Raspberry Cocktail with Death’s Door Vodka and the very unusual, Chamomile-Apricot Lime-Aid.* Usually, each glass contains maybe 2 teaspoons of sugar syrup, which couldn’t be too terrible on the caloric scale. Maybe I’ll kick that awful habit just yet.
Sparkling Raspberry Lime-Aid
The Minted Sparkling Raspberry Lemon-Aid simply substitutes 1 tablespoon lemon juice for the lime juice and uses minted sugar syrup instead of plain.
1 tablespoon raspberry puree (i.e. raspberries pushed through a fine sieve)
Juice of ½ lime
2 teaspoons sugar syrup (recipe to follow) or to taste
Soda water to cover
METHOD: Mix the ingredients and enjoy
Makes approximately 2 cups
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup water
METHOD: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Cool.
Variation: Add ½ cup roughly chopped mint to the sugar and water. Strain when the sugar has dissolved.
*The Chamomile Apricot Lime-Aid was made with the leftover syrup used to poach/roast apricots (6 apricots, halved, ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup water dissolved into a syrup with ¼ cup chamomile flowers and ½ vanilla bean, roast for 20 minutes at 375° F). Two teaspoons of the resulting syrup mixed with the juice of ½ lime and covered with soda water comprises the recipe.