Friday, December 19, 2008

Swamp Yankee Soda

What is Swamp Yankee soda? Well it's definitely not name brand soda because Swamp Yankees are too frugal for that. But at the same time it wouldn't be generic soda because Swamp Yankees are too self reliant and ingenious for that. I actually have no idea if there is Swamp Yankee soda and what it would be but I imagine Swamp Yankees with more adventurous palates might like some of my favorites.

We haven’t kept soda in the house for years but I have to admit, I am a sucker for carbonation. For a long time I bought the flavored cans of seltzer (which still have no sugar) but I eventually just switched to regular seltzer. It’s great to keep on hand because it is good plain (at least I think so, I’m sure there are lots of people who would disagree) but it’s also great for cocktails or homemade soda.

Lately, perhaps out of boredom (having no job will do that to you) I’ve gotten more creative with the flavors of soda I attempt. A favorite has always been seltzer mixed with a little almond syrup but an even better variation is with a drop of rose water.

I have also started to use the syrups we made like our rosehip syrup which is delicious and a source of vitamin C!

But the best and most popular discovery so far is…maple soda. I just mix a few spoonfuls of maple syrup (but it must be very good very real maple syrup) with a little bit of seltzer until the syrup is dissolved and then I top up with the rest of the seltzer. It is important not to mix all your seltzer too vigorously because you will lose the carbonation which is basically the whole point of seltzer.

With just seltzer, chocolate syrup and milk on hand you can make an authentic New York egg cream! (No egg or cream required.) Although purists and Brooklynites will demand you use Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup I won’t insist. I usually put a couple tablespoons chocolate syrup in a cup with an inch or two of milk and mix this and then top up with a couple more inches of seltzer.

Or, if you are feeling really crazy, you can make an alcoholic egg cream. Since I’d like to believe that I’m the only one who has come up with this brilliant idea I’m not going to research it so please don’t tell me if it already exists. The idea is very simple: you just substitute Creme de Cocao (chocolate liqueur) for the chocolate syrup and make the same way.

The makings of your basic egg cream.

First: just chocolate syrup and milk.

Mix well, in fact do a better job then I did.

Next: add seltzer and ignore our messy table. You may be thinking: is that a stuffed loon I see? In which case you aren't ignoring the messy table like I asked you.

The result: a very foamy egg cream. Try not to make your as foamy as mine, I got careless. And how did that Creme de Cacao get in the picture? I swear I didn't do that, I think someone was trying to send me a hint.

Any other good soda flavor ideas out there for me to try?

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