Recipe: honey soda 

PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON


Though I've lost the taste for drinking soda on the reg, every once in a while I get a craving for something sweet and bubbly. I try to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, and I've found that even colas made with cane sugar are too much for me. But I'm also not a fan of the popular unsweetened seltzers — I think most of them taste like I'm drinking hint-of-fruit hairspray. So, finding myself in a sort of Goldilocks situation, I decided to make my own soda.

A few summers ago a friend taught me how to make soda using soda water and a simple syrup we created from sugar and violets we had picked ourselves. The result was interesting, but still involved cane sugar. But inspiration struck last weekend at the Rochester Public Market, as I was picking up the local raw honey that I use in tea and pour over yogurt and fruit. Why not just mix nature's versatile golden nectar with soda water? Then my years of bartending kicked in and I got playful with it.

Friends, I give you two refreshing late-summer beverages (with options to make them boozy). Depending on how sweet you want your soda, you can tweak the amount of honey you use.

Our chosen ingredients. - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Our chosen ingredients.

Honey Lemon Fizz

Ingredients: Raw honey, soda water, berries (we used blackberries), lemon.

Directions: Muddle five blackberries and two tablespoons of honey in a glass. Add soda water, stir gently. Squeeze a couple of lemon wedges over the drink, and garnish with a fresh wedge. Pop in a paper straw (because plastic is out, have ya heard?) and enjoy!

Spike it: Before you get started, sprinkle a couple tablespoons of raw sugar and bee pollen on a plate and stir it around to mix it. Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a glass, then dab the rim on the sugar and bee pollen mixture. Follow the directions above, but add one or two ounces of your favorite bourbon or a dash of Sambuca before the soda water.


Honey Ginger Ale

Ingredients: Raw honey, soda water, a small piece of fresh raw ginger root, lime.

Directions: Shred the ginger using a cheese grater. Fresh ginger is strong and has a bite to it, so you'll only need about half a teaspoon of it (but tweak it according to your taste). Muddle the ginger and two tablespoons of honey in a glass. Add soda water, stir gently. Squeeze a couple of lime wedges over the drink, and garnish with a fresh wedge. Paper straw it, sip and smile!

Spike it: Follow the directions above, but add one or two ounces of your favorite dark rum before adding the soda water. Voilà! A homemade version of the Dark 'n Stormy.

Make soda at home: the Honey Lemon Fizz (or create a variation of your own). - PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • PHOTO BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Make soda at home: the Honey Lemon Fizz (or create a variation of your own).
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