I was gifted a SodaStream last Christmas and have been happily making bubbly water ever since. Previously, I had been spending a lot of money buying bottles of sparkling water. I love that I can now make my own at home for much cheaper (about $0.20 per liter). About a month ago I finally started experimenting with homemade syrups for making my own flavored sodas. So far I’ve tried two different flavors, Ginger and Grapefruit, and just love how they turned out. They have definitely become one of my favorite summertime drinks! My 28th birthday is coming up and I can’t wait to serve homemade sodas at my backyard party.

I’m known amongst my friends for throwing parties that are complete with decorations, desserts, games and favors. My mom and I collect all sorts of party supplies and getting it out for a special occasion is something we look forward to every year. This year, not only will I be serving homemade sodas (and cocktails), but I will be handing out small syrup bottles for people to take home.

Ginger Syrup (for Ginger Ale):
Adapted from Former Chef
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup white sugar
• 2 cups water
• 4 oz peeled and sliced ginger (I started with 6-7 oz whole fresh ginger)
• 2 tsp cardamom pods
• 1 tsp whole allspice
• 1 tsp peppercorns
• 3 ea. star anise pods

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In a small pot, combine sugars with the water and add the ginger. Toast the whole spices in a saute pan until they just begin to brown and become fragrant. Add them to the sugar and water mixture and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat. Allow to steep until cool. Strain into a clean container and store in the refrigerator. Chill.

Mix about 2 tbsp of syrup with 12oz soda water and ice (add more or less syrup to fit your taste).

Grapefruit Syrup:
from Martha Stewart
• 2 cups sugar
• Zest of 2 pink grapefruits
• Juice of 1 pink grapefruit
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• pinch of salt
• 2 cups water

In a small sauce pan combine sugar, grapefruit zest and juice, lemon juice, and salt along with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and let steep for one hour. Strain and discard solids and transfer syrup to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use, up to 2 weeks.

Mix about 2 tbsp of syrup with 12oz soda water and ice (add more or less syrup to fit your taste).

To package my syrups for favors I used recycled tapatio bottles. You can also order bottles in an assortment of sizes from Specialty Bottle. I personalized them for party favors using the Kashmir style labels and tags in Coral and Marigold.

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More homemade ideas from Rachel…

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Rachel (160 Posts)

Rachel Beyer is an artist, designer and creative maker based in Portland, OR. She loves crafting, party planning and illustration. Rachel runs her own creative blog, Adventures In Making and also has a line of greeting cards, art prints and handmade goodies called Camp Smartypants.


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