Soda Syrup Recipes

Although beer brewing is the main focus of my beverage-based creativity, I also enjoy making non-alcoholic drink syrups. I’ve perfected a strawberry soda recipe I’m quite happy with, and also have a ginger beer syrup that works very well. I often get asked to pass these recipes along, so I’m going to compile them in a post here for future reference.

All of these syrups are completely non-alcoholic. “Traditional” recipes (such as ones for ginger beer) use natural carbonation, but I prefer to make a concentrated syrup and then mix it with sparkling water. This gives me a bit more control and consistency on the carbonation level, ensures there is absolutely no alcohol in the beverage, and reduces the sometimes yeasty flavor you get from natural carbonation.

Strawberry Syrup

  • Ingredients
    • 1.5 cups strawberries (cut up roughly)
    • 0.9 cups sugar (white or demerera)
    • 0.25 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    • 0.65 cups water
  • Procedure
    • Simmer all ingredients for 15 minutes, mashing strawberries as it comes to a simmer.
    • After 15 minutes, strain through a fine mesh strainer and transfer the syrup to a container. The strawberry sludge left over in the strainer makes a great ice cream topping or spread on bread.
    • Mix ~1 to 2 oz. of syrup with 6 to 8 oz. of sparkling water, or to taste.
bright red strawberries

Ginger Syrup

  • This recipe is very heavily modified from an Alton Brown recipe on The Food Network website. The original version didn’t have nearly enough ginger for my taste; it’s worth experimenting to find what works for you.
  • Just the standard “grocery store ginger” works really well, although you can try out galangal or other gingers if you like.
  • Thanks to my buddy Peter K. for turning me on to this recipe.
  • Ingredients
    • Mid-sized ginger root, peeled and grated
    • 3/4 cup sugar (white or demerera; I usually use demerera)
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Procedure
    • Bring the ginger, sugar, and water to a boil, and let sit for an hour.
    • Strain into a container, and add the lemon (or lime) juice.
    • Mix ~1.5 oz. of syrup with 6 to 8 oz. of sparkling water, or to taste.
    • This is delicious on its own, or you can use it as a mixer for other drinks.

Juniper Syrup

  • This recipe is modified off of one from Imbibe magazine. I reduced the sugar a bit, and added rosemary–that last ingredient really helped the syrup to “pop,” and brought it a bit closer to a gin-like character. This works really well in a juniper & tonic!
  • Ingredients
    • 3 tbs. dried juniper berries, crushed
    • Peel from one orange
    • 1 sprig rosemary
    • 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
  • Procedure
    • Bring the juniper berries, orange peel, rosemary, cardomom, and water to a simmer, simmering for 15 minutes.
    • Add the sugar, stir to dissolve, and then transfer the hot mixture (berries and all) to a jar.
    • Steep overnight in the refrigerator, and then strain into a jar.
    • Mix ~1.5 oz. of syrup with 6 to 8 oz. of sparkling water, or to taste.

Tonic Syrup

  • In our house, this serves primarily as a mixer for gin & tonic, although it also works really well for a non-alcoholic juniper & tonic drink.
  • For a full post on the stuff, check out my previous article.