Thinking about strawberry soda for Juneteenth made me realize I've never tasted it. Sure, orange and grape sodas were staples of my childhood, but never strawberry. Short searching brought me to use real butter who shared a strawberry syrup recipe from the food in jars cookbook. I know, so many links and layers: Like going down the rabbithole in Alice in Wonderland--all this for strawberry soda?
And so simple, too.
The recipe was 2 pints of strawberries, 3 cups of water, and 2 cups of granulated sugar. For the recipe, refer to the use real butter website.
But I had 2 quarts of strawberries. I doubled the water and sugar.
I'm not scientific. I didn't train at any culinary school. Doubling usually works for me. It worked this time. use real butter's recipe yielded a quart/liter of syrup, while mine yielded almost half a gallon (the photo below is much less than half a gallon, I've made a LOT of strawberry sodas).
I poured it into a glass gallon apple cider jar I couldn't throw out. I'm old, but not terribly old. Yet, one set of my grandparents lived through the Great Depression. I learned recycling and resiliency from the examples they modeled vis a vis their frugal lifestyle.
Confession: I hoard glass bottles, but maybe not because of why you think. When I find a framework I like, or construct one, I'll mount a bottle tree in my yard. Haven't decided whether front or back, yet. Bottle trees, if you don't know, are associated with the southern US. Empty bottles are stuck on limbs of a tree in a yard and they trap evil spirits around the perimeter so they don't enter your home. It originated in the Kongo and came to the US with slaves who were captured and sold. And, its practice spread with the African-American diaspora. It's a Hoodoo folk-magic belief.
I'll spare your eyes with my awful photos of processing the strawberries. user real butter's are better.
Once your syrup is made, it keeps in the fridge for about two weeks. To made soda, mix sparkling/carbonated water, syrup, and ice in a glass at a ratio that pleases you. I do about half syrup to sparkling water, but Ian likes more carbonation. Plus, he really liked it. Reminded me of that old Life commercial. He likes it, hey Mikey!
As for the experience of drinking this strawberry soda. Well, it's simply delightful. I can't think of a better use for strawberries when they come into season. It's the most refreshing summer drink I've ever had. Other than a fruity cocktail. Homemade strawberry soda is a sweet taste that satisfies all your senses.
Strawberry syrup opened my eyes to the possibilities of other fruit syrups and their use in drinks. Not thinking beyond drinks at this point. Mostly just sodas, cocktails, maybe a frozen-ish liquor drink, etc. I'm a thirsty woman.