Last month my parents bought me a SodaStream soda maker. I didn't even ask for it! But somehow my mom knew I needed one.
I absolutely ADORE this machine! Basically, it allows me to make carbonated water. Then I add flavor to the carbonated water to make a sparkling drink or soda. SodaStream makes their own syrups to make soda, but they all contain Splenda. Bleh. I love soda, but not all the fake ingredients. So now I'm working on my own homemade flavors.
My first attempt at homemade soda was cream soda, which is basically vanilla flavored soda. I'm not much of a cream soda drinker, but I had all the ingredients on hand and it looked pretty easy to put together. It was very easy and it's very good. If you don't have the SodaStream, you can purchase carbonated water and put the syrup in it.
Homemade Cream Soda
2 cups cane sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
In a medium pan, heat sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium high heat until carmelized (I had no idea how to tell when brown sugar is caramelized, so I just cooked it until it smelled like caramel). Remove pan from heat and carefully add 2 cups water and lemon juice. Add vanilla bean and seeds, return pan to heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 1 hour.
Pour syrup into an airtight container. Add syrup to taste to carbonate water.
Original recipe from Martha Stewart.
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