Homemade Ginger Syrup and the SodaStream Soda Maker
Over a year ago I was reading an article in the LA Times about reducing the carbon footprint of the food we eat. It occurred to me that the Pellegrino bottled water we loved to drink is shipped here all the way from Italy. Suddenly I had a vision of a giant cargo ship stacked with shipping containers filled with green glass bottles chugging its way across the ocean. I was horrified at the thought and vowed right then to stop buying it.
But there was a problem. We love our bubble water. So, we switched to buying carbonated water from Trader Joe’s which comes in plastic bottles and is manufactured locally. Still, I felt bad. We would drink almost a bottle a day, and even though we recycled the bottles, it seemed like a lot of plastic going in the bin, not to mention the cost adds up after a while.
Fast forward to a few months ago and I came across a product called the SodaStream. I was really impressed but didn’t buy it because even the least expensive model at $99 sounded like a lot of money. Then summer came and I saw how many bottles of water we were going through and I thought it was time to take another look. The more I read, the more I was impressed. I decided to order one and about a week later had it in my hot little hands. Usually, I drink my soda water with just a splash of juice, but as soon as I got this I started dreaming up all the different syrups I could create for it. See below the recipe for my review of the SodaStream Soda Maker.
I love ginger ale, and this was my first attempt at making a homemade ginger syrup to be used for a soda. Many recipes you might see for ginger ale involve adding yeast to assist in the fermentation which creates bubbles (root beer is made in a similar way). But I’m not really interested in making ginger beer here, and I’ve already got the bubbles, so all I needed was a syrup to flavor the water.
I made two batches at the same time to start. One was a simple syrup made with 1:1 ratio of 2 c. white sugar and 2 c. water and 4 oz fresh peeled ginger. The second was made with the same ratio of sugar to water, but I used half brown sugar and in addition to the ginger, I added some spices to, well, spice it up!
The second batch was the hands-down winner; not only was the flavor better, but the color was much more along the lines of what I expected.
Recipe for Homemade Ginger Syrup:
Homemade Ginger Syrup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup palm 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 each star anise pods
- In a small pot, combine the sugars with the water and add the peeled and sliced ginger. I used the palm sugar (in the photo at the top) because I had it, but you can also use 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white .
- 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 it to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat.
- Allow to steep until cool. At this point you can strain it into a clean container and store it in the refrigerator. Chill.
- For me, 2 Tbsp of syrup with 12 oz soda water and some ice makes a very refreshing glass of ginger ale.
The SodaStream Soda Maker
I’m totally thrilled with my SodaStream. There are 4 different models, ranging in price from $99 to $199. The biggest difference is in the styling and that the most expensive model ( called the Penguin) uses glass bottles instead of plastic. I ordered the least expensive model and could not be happier. It also uses a larger carbonator canister so that means less frequent changing and ordering. The other models come with smaller, slimmer canisters. I ordered the “Value Pack” which came with an extra CO2 canister, 2 extra bottles and free shipping (this is great bang for the buck). I also ordered 2 extra bottle caps because I just know one will get lost. So far we’ve made over 30 bottles of fizzy water.
2020 update: Our SodaSteam has lasted 11 years and is still going strong. However, in 2020 I purchased a new one (amazon affiliate link) because I could no longer find refills of the larger 120L CO2 canisters that the original was sent with. We could have used the smaller 60 Liter ones but I decided it was time for an upgrade on my kitchen counter. The newer machines offer the same great bubbles, but they are actually easier to use and much quieter than the older one.
- Refill the empty bottle with fresh water as soon as it’s empty so there’s always some cold and ready to be carbonated (it works best with cold water). We keep all 4 bottles filled with water in the refrigerator, 2 fizzy, 2 flat.
- I put my syrup in a squeeze bottle and keep that in the refrigerator. I just squeeze some into a glass and add some soda when I want it rather than making a full bottle of ginger ale.
- They recommend 3 “buzzes” of the machine to get the water carbonated and we’ve found that 4 work best for us (extra fizzy!)
- Don’t fill the bottles past the fill line. Trust me on this, I learned the hard way!
What I like:
- Convenient and Inexpensive; make your own soda any time at home for about .20 cents a liter.
- It’s environmentally friendly:
- It comes with reusable bottles, so no waste, no landfill and the bottles are good for 3 years.
- It does not use electricity or batteries (great for RVs and Boats too!).
- The carbonator canisters are exchanged and recharged
- No pollution caused by shipping and driving to buy cases of soda and water (hello, Pellegrino!)
- You can make your water a fizzy as you want it to be.
- You can make your own flavored soda and if you want to use their syrups (they have over 20 flavors), they don’t contain high fructose corn syrup. This means you can also control how much sugar your kids drink.
I did not receive anything from SodaStream, nor did they ask me to write this. I bought it myself and just like it so much I wanted to share. I think it’s a great product if you want to be healthy, environmentally conscious, and fiscally responsible.
If you think you’d like to order one, I’d appreciate it if you did so through this amazon affiliate link; SodaStream Soda Maker. With each order, I get a very tiny percentage which will help keep this blog otherwise ad-free but your cost is the same.
Recipe for Grapefruit Syrup
Recipe for Cranberry Vanilla Bean Syrup
Recipe for Key Lime Syrup
Recipe for Tummy Tamer Syrup; Orange, Mint, Ginger and Anise
OK, cool…and looks super yummy..what is the spice that is in the upper right hand corner of the photo–palm sugar? and why haven’t you brought some to M-O-M?
My family also bought one of these home soda makers last week.
They are absolutely brilliant! Saving lots of money and helping the environment.
We bought many different flavors – so its just great when we have visitors.
Brooke @ Food Woolf
Wow, what a great idea. As someone that works at a restaurant that “makes” its own soda water (Natura) I sincerely appreciate how much energy is saved by not importing sparkling waters from other countries.
Thank you for the information on making your own soda (both flavored and otherwise) at home. Great breakdown!
Brooke-I wasn’t aware of any restaurants (in LA) which make their own soda water. I’m going to have to investigate Natura. If you know anything else about it, can you email me?
Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen
This sounds so good! I don’t drink much soda, but when I do, I really love ginger beer, or really gingery ginger ale. This is such a great idea! Love it!
Jenn-I don’t drink much soda myself either, but I do like my “bubble water.”
If you want it to be really gingery and kinda “hot”, like some of those boutique ginger ales available, I’d add a bit more ginger to my recipe and maybe steep it a little longer. You could also add in a dried red chile too if you like it really spicy.
I love your mis en place shots 🙂 just looking at them has me craving this and I can vividly imagine how great it smells. I definitely want a soda stream. I have been contemplating getting one for a couple of months now and I think we will just have fork out the dough and get it. We go through a lot of fizzy water too as well as soda. I have to applaud you for this because I didn’t even consider the fact that I could make the syrups instead of buying them. I made a wonderful boiled cider syrup the other day that would make a lovely soda and definitely would love to try the ginger ale.
Vivian- I did the same, I hesitated before ordering, but now I’m so glad I did. I feel like it’s just one more small step toward doing the right thing for the planet. Plus, it seems to stay fizzy longer too, than the stuff we used to buy. If it ever does go flat, I don’t get mad, I just make more!
Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention they also sell lemon, orange, and berry flavors to mix in which are unsweetened and clear, just like the flavored waters TJ’s sells.
Oh, we have to get one! Ross has been going through almost a bottle of the TJ fizzy water a day all summer. I love this idea!
Every time someone talks about their Sodastream, I’m very very tempted. We don’t really drink soda, but I like fizz 🙂 I’m thinking this might be a fun tool.
Keep us up on your adventures!
Go buy this product! Its absolutely brilliant! Save money, help the environment by cutting down on plastic and metals waste. Think of the convenience of not having to always drive down to the store to buy soda.
Kim - Easy French Food
Former Chef – First time commenting on your wonderful blog – I will be back for more visits. Here in France, drink syrups which you mix with water (or sparkling water) are just as popular, if not more, then sodas. They come in every flavor imaginable (well that I could imagine). I realize that your whole motivation for going with the machine is to save the world a bit of transportation insanity, so you’re probably not too interested in shipping a bottle of syrup either. But within the hexagon, these are arguably environmentally ok, because instead of lugging about 20 bottles of soda, just one bottle of syrup is needed (assuming you mix it with tap water). I am surprised that there is not a company making these syrups in the US. Thanks for the heads up on the soda maker – I’ll be having a look!
Andy - New Soda Stream owner
Is there somewhere in France that I could order syrups online, Soda stream seem to have a monopoly on them in the UK!
If so pleeeease post a link.
Good work with the ginger ale recipie, I’m going to make some on boxing day!
Hi Andy-I really don’t know. Here in the US there is a company called “Torani” which makes “Italian Style” syrups in dozens of flavors. If you can find an Italian deli, you might look there for something like that. Also try Middle Eastern markets which often have flavored syrups like pomegranite and rose.
Otherwise, experiment with making your own! There is also a recipe for Key Lime Syrup here on my blog and I will continue to post syrup recipes as I make them.
Wow, that is awesome! I’m such a researcher and analyst that everything I pick up, the entire process from plant to table goes through my mind, and each extra piece of packaging becomes another little stamp against it.
It’s the reason we stopped buying bottled water and bought reusable jugs instead.
Please post more syrups!!! This may end up on my Christmas wish list.
I was just looking on line and found these on sale JCPenney’s website http://tinyurl.com/nvvep3
They are slightly less expensive for the base model, but they don’t have the same choices available as on the SodaStearm website, either in models or colors. I still think the value package through sodastream is a better deal because of the extra bottles, extra carbonator, and free shipping. JC Penny’s shipping is $14.95.
They don’t say anything about the carbonator cartridges. Is one included or do you have to buy it separately? How much is it? How is it replaced? With sodastream, they replace and refill cartridges so they are not wasted.
The flavors in your syrup sound delicious! I made a ginger syrup for drinks the other day and mixed with the sparkling mineral water, I enjoyed it more than soda.
Wow, ive tried this myself.
I purchased a converter that allows me to use a 20-oz paintball CO2 canister with my Sodastream Classic/Jet unit.
Refills cost $4 at my local sporting goods store. (vs $25 + shipping for the official Sodastream cannisters). The 20 oz cannister just barely fits into the Sodastream housing. Bigger paintball cannisters are available, but would have to sit outside of the sodastream.
The adapter does cost more than the sodastream unit itself ($120) but has already paid for itself after about 6 refills. Works like a charm.
Personally I would not do it as it most likely voids the warranty of the machine. Plus, for me, it would take too long to pay for itself. I’ve had it almost 3 months and haven’t had to change the cannister yet.
Another huge fan here, and I also purchased an adapter – although mine allows me to use large, standard CO2 tanks. I have a #20 tank and a #5 tank. I typically go through 3 liter bottles of soda water a day, so the proprietary little CO2 tanks weren’t economical. A local home brewing store refills them for about a tenth of what SodaSteam charges and they last much longer.
I’ve been experimenting with syrups too. A real artisan cola is my goal, but I’m also toying with peach flavors.
I have been looking into purchasing a soda stream and wondered for the few who commented about having their tanks filled elsewhere, where exactly do you have this done? & How did you find you could get refills at that place? – I have only hesitated on the purchase due to the refills of the CO2 and the cost and time to get them from the company online. Thx for any info on this. I’d really like to get it soon. Oh! & Also have looked into making my own syrups… or purchase. Wondering if Davinci syrups would be strong enough to flavor and still taste good or just making a simple syrup and adding Lorann’s flavorings in any taste imaginable. I am not an artificial sweetener gal so this would also be key for me in getting the sodastream. Thx again!
Hi-I don’t have any info on having the cartridges refilled elsewhere. I’m sure you could find it if you googled it. Personally, I don’t want to do it as it seems like more of a hassle and I’d be too worried about something going wrong. I have the sodasteam with the older, larger cartridges and only just this past weekend changed out the first one which we started using in August!
According to Soda Stream’s website, CO2 cylinders can be purchased (and/or possibly exchanged) at Bed, Bath & Beyond stores, and also a Sur La Table stores if you have those in your area.
WalMart also exchanges the canisters.
I recently was given the Penguin model as a present. I am in love with this gadget! I wanted to mention that you can take your empty sodastream carbonators to Williams Sonoma and they will exchange them for 15 dollars each. No shipping etc. We have one 15 minutes away, so I can exchange them whenever I please!
Sorry, I feel like I’ve come to this “parade” a bit late. What was it that happened in 2009 that seems to have had so many people first discovering SodaStream, a product that appears to have been around for a few years? There are a number of “Six Month Review of the SodaStream” blogposts all posted in the second half of last year.
Well, read it here first: “Shepherd Jim’s SodaStream Sixteen Hour Review.” For health reasons I drink a LOT of water! Luckily for me, our well water tastes fantastic —much better than any store-bought bottled water, flat or fizzy. We’re REALLY enjoying the SodaStream Jet we purchased just last night at our local supermarket at a nicely discounted price. On the way home we stopped at our food coop and secured enough Ginger root to make up several batches of FC’s syrup!
The only surprise to this point is that my DW Pam likes her bubbly water a bit on the less-carbonated side while I like mine to have some BITE. I’ve ordered an extra two plastic liter bottles so it will be easier for each of us to have our own supply in the fridge.
Tip! In my “googles” I came across a discount promo code that provides a 10% discount off an order through SodaStream — enter “FACE10” (without the double quotes) at checkout.
Today is a federal holiday AND we’re having a big snowstorm — result: we’re pretty much housebound ….LOTS of time to brew up some Ginger Syrup!
If you have a BJ’s Wholesale Club membership, they carry the basic model in-store and online. I bought one last night for $80 at a BJ’s (they were $90 online). Came with two 1-liter bottles and one 1/2 liter bottle, and a sample pack of soda syrups and water flavors, plus the larger-sized CO2 bottle. They had additional bottles of soda syrup (but not water flavorings), but I didn’t see any CO2 refills.
I bought it because a friend has one and he highly recommended it, although it feels kinda like a joined a cult.
I work on a game show and we had Soda Stream as a prize. Recently I got to take the demo model home. The only sodas we drink in my house is ginger ale and tonic, so your recipe is soon to go into serious rotation! Every other ginger syrup recipe I have found has been too simple for my tastes, just ginger and sugar. Can’t wait to dig into yours!
THe only place i have found to refill the co2 bottles is in canada, Soda Stream gives NO help except to sell aditional co2 bottles.
Does any one have a refill location?? i live in So California but can ship anywhere Any Ideas aND WHY IS SODA STREAM SO USLESS TO HELP GET THIS BOTTLE REFILLED????????
Carl-If you live in So Cal, why not just call for a pick up and have them bring you another bottle? They refill them. I have had no problem with the process.
Why ship bottles to be refilled? Why not just have soda stream do it? The could would probably be the same.
Bed Bath & Beyond and Williams & Sonoma will refill Soda Stream CO2 bottles
I’ve had my SodaStream since January…it’s already paid for itself! We were spending $10-$20 a week on cans of plain seltzer water (and that was the cheap grocery store brand stuff, I shudder to think what it would have been if I went for the Pelligrino or Perrier!)
I purchased mine at our local Sur La Table store, which not only sells the machines and accessories, but also handles the proprietary CO2 refills…so I just stop in the store and exchange my empties for $14 per canister. There are locations all over the country, so see if there is one near you. They also have extra bottles, syrups and “essence” flavours (which I haven’t tried, I’m just a bubble girl, myself).
I’m thrilled that you are posting these syrups! I can’t wait to try them. You know, the only flavoured soda I’ve really enjoyed is the Pelligrino Limonata…you’ve inspired me to experiment and see if I can make some myself!
Thanks for the information, I’ve been reading reviews because I’m not yet sold because my husband will ONLY drink regular pepsie but I like flavored waters and natural drinks. Do you know if there’s a link or a place online that will give me “natural” recepies or just ideas on making my own drink flavors or even syrups?
You mean besides here? 😉 I have two syrup recipes so far and will probably add more this summer. Unfortunately, no, I don’t really know of any other sites.
Oh I’ll surely be checking back for any more you come up with. Thanks!!!!
Like the above poster (Andrea), we have a Soda Stream and were only interested in Tonic water and Ginger Ale flavors (besides sparkling water). I’m going to pick up some All Spice and Palm Sugar (Jaggery) tomorrow and try your recipe. I can’t stand the artificial sweeteners in SodaStream’s syrups. Any chance you know how to make a tonic water mix? Not sure I can buy powdered quinine off the shelf…
Sorry, I don’t know how to make a tonic water flavor. That’s an interesting question though.
We go through so much ginger ale, I make the syrup in large batches.
1 kg of ginger, peeled.
500 g of dark brown sugar
A cup of maple syrup (I’m Canadian, gotta have maple syrup)
The peel of one lemon, ideally organic
The juice of six to eight lemons lemons; depending on size.
Shred the ginger in a food processor. I usually use the balde for this, process until quite small but not mushy.
Put the ginger, the lemon peel and the lemon juice into a large pot. Add three litres of water and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Simmer for 20 minutes and then pour off through a fine meshed sieve. Bottle into sterilized containers (I use glass bottles I buy at IKEA for $3.00 a pop, they come with a wire stopper) and refrigerate.
We dilute this about 1:5.
So I just bought mine today. Bought the cheaper Genesis model (99 bucks) because it came in red. I have a vintage 1953 freedom red chambers stove ( very similar to the KitchenAid red) and the color on the box matched perfectly. Got home and opened it up…. and it really was more of a metallic maroon. So initial disappointment, but shame on me for relying on the picture on the box. I have been in design long enough to know that is always a bad move. So once I got over that (and realized it had nowhere to go on my counter anyway because it was so tall) I started using it. So far I love it! We drink a ton of soda water and I think it will pay for itself within the first 3-4 months, and there is a cooks warehouse 5 minutes away where we can exchange our cylinders. So now for making homemade syrups… Don’t really drink soda, just the water, but for guests I’m thinking something pretty creative and using savory herbs or cucumber water. Maybe a lemon-rosemary (or lemon-basil?). I might start growing some mint as well. Thinking about some vanilla or almond sodas. What would be good with sage? I did a sage infused vodka a year ago that was a big hit. Funny I have gotten so geeked out over something as simple as soda water!
Great site. I also became a soda stream convert. No electricity needed! Wow. And easy. I recommend purchase at bed, bath, and beyond for $99 with 20% discount coupons everywhere. Brought it home for $80 plus tax for the combo pack. Thanks for the recipes. Looking forward to it along with looking for a great chocolate soda or black cherry. Thanks
I bought a Soda Stream about 15 years ago. We used it extensively and we didn’t have to carry cases of water up to our appartment. After maybe 7 years, the unit broke down. Something with the valves went south.
I always had some bottles of water in the fridge and found out, that i like still water even more. So i dind’t replace the Soda Stream. I have to say, that we drink the water without any flavourings most of the time.
If you are looking for a cheap universal carbonating device, that can use all sorts of CO2 tanks, look for “The Carbonator”. This has a standard PET bottle thread and is sold by homebrew stores and online shops.
This was one oft the first i googled…no affiliation with them
I started making ginger beer with a real “ginger beer plant”. This is a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria. It’s more interesting for me, than “force carbonating” the drink.
Hi FormerChef~I used to be hooked on DietCoke for several years, and now I drink just a few per day. I’m looking for an alternative healthy drink, but I don’t want to start drinking anything that has sugar in it. (also diabetes runs in my family) Would your recipes be able to be substituted with agave nectar, do you think? I’m really wanting to try SodaStream, but I see that I’m going to need to be creative. What are your thoughts on the agave? Thanks for your help?
Hi- I really don’t know about Agave. You might be able to try it, but I think you’d have to thin it out because it’s usually very thick. You might just try using the soda stream soda plain, with a splash of juice. I like it with cranberry and lime. Soda Stream also sells syrups which are sweetened with Splenda.
scully6868, I just used agave nectar in place of palm sugar in FormerChef’s ginger ale recipe. It was great. I did not use it for all the sugar. It’s worth a try, I’d say.
We just got the genesis and are anxious to try FormerChef’s ginger recipe. We found a recipe for Tonic Water at: http://www.imbibemagazine.com/Homemade-Tonic-Water-Recipe. Now we just have to find the quinine or chicona bark. Thanks for the recipes, I hope to see more in the future!
Hi I have just bought a soda stream i have diabetes type 2 do u have any cordial based recipes or hints
that i can make drinks Thanks Pete
okay I am so gonna try this…i love my new soda machine and I am sorry I bought it at bedbathbeyond and did not know there were sites like this out there…I started thinking someone had to have some recipes as my son made one he calls lemonade snap….it is awesome and thank you for sharing can not wait to try this!!!
I love my Penguin. I will be trying your ginger syrup, thanks for posting it. Have you by chance tried to make tonic? As you point out in your post, the SodaStream product contains an artificial sweetener, which I dislike.
No, I haven’t made tonic (I don’t like the taste, but my husband does).
This review is very helpful, I am thinking of purchasing one. Also recipes sound really good.
I bought my Soda Stream value kit today at BB&B with my 20% off coupon and am having so much fun with it. I’m so glad I found your site and want more recipes for syrups! Thank you for sharing what you’ve come up with so far. I hope you’ll do more. My hubby is type 2, so I’m hoping for some syrup recipes with natural sweetness without the sugar. As I read earlier, you think that the Torani syrups will work okay? Can you suggest how to make a green tea syrup? Or should I just make an extra strong brew to add to the sparkling water. Thanks again!
Zelta- I have two other syrup recipes on the site, did you see them? I don’t know about syrups with “natural sweetness without the sugar.” Are you talking about artificial sweeteners or something else? I won’t be doing anything with artificial sweeteners and I’m not sure how you’d do it without the sugar. You could reduce orange juice to a syrup for example, but there would still be a substantial amount of natural sugar in there. Glad you like the soda stream. I still love mine!
I guess I’ll just do regular syrups with the sugar and use less to flavor the water. I saw your two other recipes and plan to use them and am looking forward to anything else you come up with. I appreciate your expertice! What suggestions do you have for the green tea idea and will the Torani flavors work? Thanks again!
For the green tea, I would brew it very strong and then sweeten it and add it in small amounts to the water to taste. Yes, the Torani syrups work fine, but are made with high fructose corn syrup?
Wow, I’m so excited! I have had a SodaStream for a few months now and have been buying the syrups at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I just thought to Google for homemade syrups -duh!!! I can’t wait to try the ginger syrup!
P.S. I get my refill canisters at BB&B for $15 as well.
Thanks for all the great ideas. I plan to purchase a Sodastream soon and look forward to trying the Ginger Ale recipe. I am a bit of a diet soda addict and would really like to get away from drinking it. But I’d love to find something “bubbly” without all the sugar in it — and something that does not involve Nutrasweet or Splenda. What about Stevia? I think it’s considered the best alternative to sugar because it’s natural. Any ideas on how your Ginger Ale recipe could be adapted with Stevia replacing the sugar?
Scott, I’m really not sure. I’ve never cooked with stevia. You could try steeping the ingredients like tea and then sweetening it with stevia, but you won’t get they “syrup” consistency you get with sugar.
What a great article you have provided about the Sodastream. I am an absolute fanatic about the Sodastream. So much so, I created my own site dedicated to the product. One of the common complaints is Sodastream’s use of artificial sweeteners in both the regular and diet flavors. I see you made the same complaint above. You might be interested to know that Sodastream now offers a line of all-natural flavors called Sparkling Naturals. If you haven’t tried them yet, you might want to give them a try. They are pretty good but don’t taste like commercial soda brands. How could they though? Regular sodas you buy at the store are loaded with artificial flavors, coloring and chemicals. Although, as a former chef, I would imagine you can create your own syrup recipes quite easily.
Ginger Ale is my favorite but the Sodastream version is just plain horrible. I have a friend that has perfected his own recipe but he has refused to share. I guess I’ll be giving your recipe a try this weekend. Although, I don’t mind Splenda and try using the Splenda version of the regular and brown sugars in a second batch to see how it turns out as a lower calorie alternative. Your Key Lime Syrup looks like another good recipe to try.
Thanks again for the recipe. I am looking forward to giving this a try.
We love the soda stream! My husband and I were really big soda drinkers. We weren’t big on letting our kids have anythough. We’ve been able to completely elliminate store bought soda for our house. I love taking fresh fruit and making syrups out of it for all of us to use. (and then with the left over fruit I make Muffins 🙂
I am trying to find a more natural caffinated syrup for it though. Any thoughts or suggestions? I don’t Love their cola but I need so much caffine a day to help control severe migranes. Would love any suggestions! I’m a Gingerale nut so I’ll definatly be trying this ASAP Thank you so much for a your wonderful ideas and recipies!!
Have you tried Sodastream’s Sparkling Naturals yet? They are an all natural syrup for the Sodastream and some flavors contain caffeine. I have not tried them personally but the feedback I’ve gotten from my readers is that they are pretty good. They report that they don’t taste like commercial sodas but are a good all-natural alternative. If you haven’t tried them yet, you might want to give them a try.
I love gingerale and i am going to give this recipe a whirl. Along the lines of the carbon footprint and better for you, do a taste test between white sugar and cane sugar a little on your tongue and you will pick up on the bitter aftertaste of processed white sugar. try florida crystals ( no affiliation and no they didn’t ask me to write either)
http://www.floridacrystals.com/content/130/about-us.aspx i think cane sugar makes all my recipes tastes better .
V, there is no way white sugar can possibly have a bitter aftertaste. Sugar, white or otherwise, is never ‘processed’ it is always just cleaned from raw sugar. No processing, in the sense of being treated with chemicals or bleaching, takes place.
If you search how to make sugar white there are several proccesses
And additives other than water to make it white ,whether it (the sugar)comes from cane or sugar beets . here is one link. http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/73/1/White-sugar-vs-raw-sugar.html .In my own little taste test I preferred the taste of cane sugar it is a suggestion and hey check this out, here is a carbon free environmentally aware U.S. sugar company.
For those of us who only drink diet soda (my husband is a Type I diabetic, so that’s all we keep on hand), what would you recommend adding to get the flavor of the palm sugar without the sugar itself?
I really look forward to trying this. We used to get diet Vernor’s ginger ale when we lived back in the States, and nothing else is as spicy or as heavily carbonated.
TW- I don’t know. A lot of people have asked this, but I don’t like artificial sweeteners so I don’t use them. I can’t think of anything which would give you the flavor (and color) of brown or palm sugar without actually being sugar. Otherwise, just experiment with the ginger and spices, then use what ever artifical sweetener you prefer. You just won’t get the same “syrup” texture without actual sugar.
Liquid stevia is a good sugar substitute for diabetics
You might try Xylitol for your sweetener. It is supposed to be OK for diabetics. Do your research. It is expensive and if you decide to use it you might consider purchasing it in bulk –cuts the cost way down! You can find that online from GlobalSweet.com . Hope that helps.
I would love it if folks can share some of their recipes
I love the detail and I love my sodastream – I have the pengiuin. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I like using Lime Juice OJ and simple syrup together. Also use Stevia at time with just OJ.
O.k I am personally Laughing my butt off at you people buying something for over $100 plus the cost of refills of the co2 cartridge when you can just mix vinegar and baking soda and use this cheap little kit and do it yourself and you have a nice 2 liter bottle of carbonated water that you can add your syrup to. No little cartridges wasted and no expensive little bottles to buy. Just a couple of old washed out 2 liters. And yes it works, I bought one for my daughter to use as a science project to show how carbonation works. We still use it to make soda water.
Guess I’ll add my own 2 cents too. I haven’t yet, but will be getting a Sodastream and after finding this site, I am WAY excited about the recipes. I am a major animal loving tree hugging dirt worshipper, have been for many years and it has always been a chore to find anything to eat or drink without chemicals or being heavily processed. I am also addicted to Ginger Ale after making a career out of researching and trying out all the different brands. The only one I now drink is Reeds EXTRA GINGER Ginger Beer (no affiliation) because it seems to have the right amount of bite and carbonation. This leads me to my question for FC: Since I have no skill whatsoever in creating my own recipes, would you be able to make something similar to this particular brand/version? They use pineapple juice which I found interesting and Reeds seems to be in a class all its own. Don’t know if it’s because of the pineapple juice or not but would love to make something similar with the Sodastream instead of having to buy so much of it.
Terri-I can’t duplicate the Reeds Ginger Beer because I don’t really know what it tastes like. I’m surprised they use pineapple juice, but I suspect they do that for sweetness. Why don’t you try my ginger recipe, and see if you like it. If it’s not strong enough, add some extra ginger, and some reduced pineapple juice and see how it comes out.
Wow … love this recipe. I made it with the anise then left it out of the 2nd batch – I used agave nector with the second batch. This really has a kick. I appreciate the time you take to post these. I quit drinking all soda and stuff in a bottle 2.5 years ago and find that these carbonated drinks are a nice change from just water.
Hi! I was wondering how long the syrup can be kept?
I honestly don’t know, it’s never lasted that long in my house. 😉 I would say at least a couple weeks in the refrigerator. There’s not much in it to “go bad” but I can’t say for sure.
Takes me back to my youth when we had a Sodastream 🙂 ah the memories lol
Might be time to invest in one so I can experiment with your recipe ready for the summer, nothing beat ginger beer in the summer 🙂
Amazing. Just bought the Penguin two days ago; and I’ve been really excited to make my own syrups. I’m definitely going to try out this recipe first! Thanks 🙂
I love my sodastream fountain jet. I have already saved money since I am a soda junkie. Thanks for sharing this way of making the ginger syrup!
It appears I am a late comer to the Sodastream. I’ve had it for about 1 1/2 months.
I feel most of the official flavors are just so-so but most can be improved a bit by adding a drop or two of vanilla to the bottle.
Occasionally I like strong carbonation. The best way I have found to do this is to have the water as low temperature as possible, then carbonate to the three “braap!” level, leave the bottle attached to the machine for about 20 minutes and then carbonate to 2 or 3 “braaps!” again, then leave the bottle on the maching for about half an hour. Leaving the bottle attached seems to give the water time to absorb more of the gas.
I haven’t got into making my own flavoring yet but I do like Crystal Light carbonated. And this gives you the chance to adjust the flavor amount to your personal taste.
I absolutely can not wait to try all of your syrups. Thank you so much for posting them. We are so hooked on Sodastream! I actually like plain with no flavouring probably because I haven’t found a flavor refreshing enough. We tried flavourings from Williams Sonoma with mixed results. Your the best! Thanks again.
I finished making this recipe and it was a pleasant, multidimensional syrup that I believe reaches beyond soda, it makes a wonderful Manhattan substituting bitters for this. I cooked the recipe as suggested and the only difference I might make due to preference is to first double the steep time and if that doesn’t bring out more ginger, I’m just going at add a few more ounces of ginger and an extra sprinkle of all spice. Cheers for opening up what will eventually be Pandora’s box of making syrups.
Scott HomeBrewing Beer
I have been learning to make homebrewed beer for awhile. I love the various options for flavor when making it yourself.
LOVE this idea and recipe.
Thank you for sharing it!
Got any recipes for root beer!!??
To get past the proprietary (bastard threaded valve) buy a freedom valve and an adapter so as your c02 tank can be re-filled any gas providing location (paint ball re-fillers)
p.s. that is the real name for threads that are nonconventional
I love this recipe so much! I doubled the ginger and no one can stop drinking it. I also took the ginger from the pan and covered it in sugar and it is sitting drying right now. (I’m not sure it won’t get eaten before it gets dry!)
Thanks again for such a spectacular recipe. I’m sure I’ll keep modifying but the spices really take it up a notch.
As a ginger ale alone, for me, the star anise is a bit too forward. But mix it 50/50 with a lemonade syrup (lemon juice mixed with some simple syrup) and add carbonated water, and it’s amazing. And add to that about 1.5 oz of gin, and … OH MAN! Stupendous!
Great post and recipes. I also buy DaVinci Syrups in the 750 ml size direct from DaVinci’s website (cheaper than Amazon.com), and they have great flavors which are more cost-effective than SodaStream’s. I want to try the home-made ginger syrup and lime one from this website, thanks for the recipes!!!!!
Thank you! I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I have a SodaStream soda maker, and I love it. But since I eliminated Splenda from my diet (because of migraines and concern Splenda is unhealthy), I have long wished that I had a pre-made soda mix that did not contain Splenda. I am not a chef, but I am going to try to make this syrup using stevia instead of sugar.
I may also try the lime syrup you posted. Anyway, I like your site, have bookmarked it & will check back for more interesting posts.
After reading the reviews on Amazon, I went out yesterday and bought the Primo flavor station. The Primo is at Tuesday Morning where I live (Frisco, TX) for $30 and I understand you can exchange the CO2 cannister at Dick’s Sporting Goods as well as WalMart. Primo has gone out of business, hence, the closeout pricing, but so little can go wrong with it I am not the least concerned.
I have been making mine with a coconut mix (for the potassium) and I love that I can instantly have any flavor I want. I am looking forward to trying this ginger recipe, but wish I had one for root beer. Has anyone seen one for root beer?
I’m adding you to my pinterest board so I can find you easily. Thanks for your hard work.
I’ve had mine for nearly three years. If you live near a Shopko, they refill the large canisters for $13, also Walmart and some Target stores have them here in Wisconsin. Thanks for the ginger ale recipe, sounds great! I’d love to find a recipe for the diet green tea, they want $9 for that one on Soda Stream, plus shipping, in the diet version and we can’t get it in stores around here. It’s like lipton sparkling green tea. Thanks to everyone posting about the paint ball CO2 cannisters – great idea!
Carlotta-Why not just make your own green tea concentrate and add a non-sugar sweetener? Then add the carbonated water as needed?
While I appreciate why people would want a SodaStream, it is a much better investment to get standard gas equipment than to buy in to SodaStream’s overpriced and proprietary stuff.
For approximately the same price as a midrange SodaStream system, you could buy a standard reconditioned CO2 tank (anywhere from 2-10lbs for ~$60) that holds WAY more gas than a SodaStream cannister, plus the regulator (~$40), tubing + ball lock ($10) and adapter for standard 1-3 liter bottles ($15).
Considering that a single lb. of CO2 will carbonate about 80 liters to 3.5 volumes, and that you can refill (or simply exchange for a full tank) even a huge 20lb tank for $10-20 at any gas supply store, fire extinguisher testing facility, welding supply, and many home brewing stores. With charges for CO2 sometimes as low as $1/lb on refills, it becomes obvious what a racket SodaStream is running with their tiny “large” canisters for $15 or $20, and which can’t easily be refilled except by purchasing from SodaStream themselves.
Sodastream is a great company, but their product has one major flaw: you make a litre of soda at a time so it goes flat by the time you finish the bottle unless you drink it all at once. I use the ISI Soda Siphon, $60 from Amazon. This keeps the soda under pressure the whole time so the last drop is a fizzy as the first. Cheaper than Sodastream and less mechanical. It’s the old-time seltzer bottle that the Three Stooges shot at each other. Uses the same CO2 cartridges, which you can get for 35 cents each in bulk online.
I love your post, and am a soda drinker, although not so much recently as I’m trying to lose some weight. I hate sweeteners as I believe they are linked to brain cancers. I LOVE gingerale and will definitely be trying your recipe as soon as I figure out what Palm sugar is. But my main question is do you have a recipe for Cola? .
Palm sugar is used a lot in South East Asian cooking. If you can’t find it, you can substitute brown sugar. No, I don’t have a recipe for cola. But I recently posted a new grapefruit syrup recipe (it’s here:https://www.formerchef.com/2014/06/14/the-sacred-valley-a-pisco-cocktail/ ) and it tastes just like Squirt soda to me.
your pic shows green cardamom pods, would you recommend those over black or white, or doesn’t it matter? luckily I have a Penzey’s close by so I’ll be trying this recipe soon 🙂
I’m not sure it really matters. I had green, so that’s what I used. Buy what you prefer, and what you’ll possibly use for other recipes.
New to the soda stream machine. so my question may appear naïve. the homemade syrup is mixed with carbonated the same way as the purchased/bottled syrup??? or do I have to carbonate the water first/separately then mix the syrup with water in a glass??? thanks for the help. really would like a soda stream.
You have to carbonate the water plain and then mix in the syrup, regardless if it is purchased or homemade. Then mix it into the bottle or a glass.
Yeah!!!!! thanks. very good to know. will be investing in a soda stream post haste. thanks for the help. please keep the syrup recipes coming!!!
Been looking for a home made ginger ale syrup, thanks for sharing.
Would like to stay away from processed sugars, can raw honey be used in place of the white sugar?
I haven’t done it, so I can’t give you the amount to use in place of white sugar, but I don’t see why it would not work. The flavor will be a little different however.
I cut down on sugar wherever I can. Has anyone tried making this with Trivia? I don’t like using Splenda however I do use the brown sugar Splenda blend in small quantities for some things and would try that with this recipe. Truvia also has a real sugar/Trivia blend for baking which is another possibility. Please let me know if you have experimented with this, or any of the other simple syrup recipes using this sugar substitute. It is my favorite of everything I’ve tried, & I think I’ve tried everything! Thank you so much.
I’ve never tried this with a sugar substitute because I personally don’t care for them. However, I’m also not sure that you would get the same texture “syrup” either with a sugar substitute. It’s a different chemistry.
Thanks for the great recipe! I don’t particularly care for soda, but my kids love it! I’ll have to see if they like this recipe. My question is, how long do the CO2 canisters last for the soda maker? Also, can you have the CO2 canisters refilled, or do you need to buy replacements? Thanks.
How long they last depends on how much you use them. Mine last about 6 months, but I don’t use it every day. You need to turn them in when empty and get new ones. There are people who tout setting up your own co2 systems but frankly, I won’t promote that here. There’s plenty of info online if you want it. But it seems like a hassle to me.
I really enjoyed your article on the recipe for the Ginger Ale Syrup. I would very much like to make this but I am diabetic with very low kidney function so the sugar that this recipe concerns me greatly. Is there a way to make this without the sugar but get it sweetened?
I do drink some Diet Ginger Ale and I don’t mind the artificial sweeteners in it at all.
Thank you for any help with this.
The problem with artificial sweeteners is that because they aren’t sugar and don’t all behave in the same way that sugar does (ie melt into a syrup). You could try essentially making a strong “tea” of the ingredients minus the sugar and then adding a sweetener, but I don’t know if that would work. I don’t have any experience with artificial sweeteners, sorry.
We use pure stevia extract to make our Ginger syrup and it works well. I am not a doctor, so I can’t say if stevia is on your diet or not concerning diabetes, but from a taste point of view it works for us. Be very careful in purchasing the stevia to be sure to get PURE stevia extract with NO fillers. Most stevia on the market is mixed with some form of sugar (maltose, etc) to bulk it out to the same measurements as pure sugar would use, that is because stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. So, find the pure stuff double and triple check there is nothing but stevia – the sugar equivalent should be 1/4 teaspoon of stevia to 1 cup of sugar.
Frank, thanks for the info. What is the texture of the syrup made with stevia like? Is it thick like syrup made with sugar, or is it watery, but sweet?
I haven’t made it with sugar so I can’t compare, ours is more on the watery side. We use a 1 liter bottle (keep refrigerated) with a pump that puts out 1 oz per stroke and use 4 strokes to make a 1/2 liter soda – ie. a glass large enough to hold ice, “syrup” and 1/2 soda water – about a 18 – 20 oz glass. We use 1/2 liter sodastream (and Pepsi) bottles to make a single serving and 1 liter bottles to make 2 servings. Your recipe calls for 2 oz for a 12 oz soda, and ours runs 4 oz for a 20 oz soda, so it appears about the same sweetness.
I’ve used various concentrated juices and mixes before, but never thought to cook up my own batch of syrup. Can’t wait to try this, plus I’m getting all sorts of ideas for other recipes!
Correct me if I’m wrong (I’m no gourmet in the kitchen), but it seems like this might be an ideal use of a slow cooker. After toasting the spices, I could just put the ingredients in my crock pot and let it cook all day. Do you think that would be overkill and give it too much flavor, or maybe turn it to mush? I would hate to waste a batch trying it out, although I’m sure it would fill the house with a nice aroma at least.
It might be overkill. It doesn’t take that long to make syrup, and I’m not sure it would benefit from longer cooking. OTOH, it can’t hurt to give it a try, right?
The syrups for coffee work well. In Europe – Monin syrups are the best! I have gone to a Keto diet and don’t use those syrups any more. But I will say that these syrups are awesome – Huckleberry (my favorite), Strawberry, Raspberry, and Peach. I have tried and absolutely LOVED every one of these. They are better than ANY soda out there and you can control the mix for your own liking. Try them – if you are not on a sugar restricted diet – you will NOT regret it!