Monday, June 11, 2012

Cold Strawberry Soda on a Hot Summer Day

Michele and I are still mid-remodel, so this easy, breezy, strawberry syrup recipe was a welcomed addition to the video schedule. I have my friend Jen Yu from Use Real Butter to thank for that, since it was her gorgeous post that inspired this answer to all those “summer drink” food wishes I’ve been receiving lately.

Jen publishes one of the best blogs around, and if you want to see how this beautiful beverage should really be photographed, check out her original post. Jen's fine food blogging prowess is only eclipsed by her photography skills. Speaking of which, don’t miss her photos of the recent eclipse!

I can’t think of many summer drinks this wouldn’t be great in, but for me it doesn’t get any better than a simple strawberry soda. Give me a big icy pitcher of this blush brew, an Adirondack chair, a little SPF 100 for my bald spot, and I’m ready to happily take on any heat wave. Of course this is only going to be as great as the strawberries you use, so bide your time until you come across those perfect pints.

By the way, the long-lasting aroma that will envelop your home is so enticing, so heady that the syrup almost seems like an added bonus. Michele walked in just as the berries had finished simmering, and couldn’t believe how wonderful the flat smelled. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!



Strawberry Syrup (makes about 1 quart)
Original recipe from Marisa McClellan’s highly regarded Food in Jars.

2 lbs very ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 cups cold water
2 cups white granulated sugar

57 comments:

Nick said...

Chef John! Can we use Raspberries with this method? I have access to tones of sweet raspberries but not many sweet strawberries.

Chef John said...

I'm sure you could!

Sharon said...

Mmm... Oregon strawberries are just beginning to be in season. I'm excited to try this!

Kai said...

Chef John, how long does the syrup last if its left in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

What about possible sustitue for strawberry? Cause all the strawberry in my coutry is just aweful, lacks even a slightest hit of sweetness...

miyuki embree said...

Wow! I am going to be a soda jurk too : )
What would you do with used strawberries?

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, in Switzerland, I use to pick up wild strawberries with my grandmother near Lake Constance. They were small, deep red, and very sweet. Now living in the US, all we can find in grocery stores are these humongous, genetically modified, waxy strawberries, with sad white flesh and a strange cavity in the center. For me, this is the real meaning of nostalgia: a small hole in the center of a strawberry.

Anonymous said...

How long will this keep?

Catpunchers said...

Chef John your recipes are always amazing. Whenever I cook them people always tell me that it's on the same level as the fancier restaurants. It's a nice feeling seeing as I used to only be able to cook chicken fingers and fries just a few years ago.

I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm an absolute soda junkie and wouldn't mind stocking up something a little tastier for the hotter days.

Laura said...

Chef John,
Im sure this stuff will go fast, but I have a ton of strawberries that I picked (in Phelps, NY) and I want to make a lot of syrup. How long will this keep and how do I store it?

BennuBird said...

Hi chef John,
How long will this last if you are some kind of freak who wouldn't have it all gone just after it cools?

Claudine said...

Ooooh. Now I know what I'll be doing this afternoon!
And I'll cut those medium large strawberries into seven sections, in honor of yet another great Food Wishes video.
Love the little spoon.
Thank you to your friend Jen, too!

Claudine said...

Ooooh. Now I know what I'll be doing this afternoon!
And I'll cut those medium large strawberries into seven sections, in honor of yet another great Food Wishes video.
Love the little spoon.
Thank you to your friend Jen, too!

Anonymous said...

Chef John...looks fabulous! How long does the syrup stay good refrigerated?

Chef John said...

re: shelf life... Sorry, not sure! It would turn sour. You would know.

Raccoon with Spoon said...

Hello^^
Wow~ it sounds really tasty and fresh. Thanks for the recipe.
Greetings

ThisDameCooks said...

Wild black berries and huckleberries will work too. In fact you can make syrup from just about any sweet fruit. Also you can add a little of the syrup to the pulp for ice-cream topping or smoothies. Waste not and all that!

ThisDameCooks said...

There's enough sugar in the syrup that it won't freeze solid so if you haven't used all the fresh syrup in 2 weeks, freeze it in containers or make sorbet.

Vinny from NH said...

FREAKISHLY SMALL SPOON!

Firyuza said...

Hi Chef John,
Question:
what if I add some gelatin to this syrup and let it cool, do you think it will taste like marmalade, so I could spread it over toast?

Warren said...

I REALLY appreciate the strawberry recipes! I just planted a dozen strawberry plants outside, and I'm looking forward to trying out every strawberry recipe I can find!

truthspew said...

A little pectin and you'll have strawberry jelly!

Rita said...

how about blending raspberries and blackberries? since i'm allergic to strawberries :(

Anonymous said...

where's the cayenne?

Connie T. said...

Wow, who knew you could make your own strawberry soda. I am going to make some. It looks great.

Chef John said...

Yes those berries will work! Btw, Jen tells me it keeps about 2 weeks in fridge. thanks!

Bobby said...

Followed this to Jennifer's amazing photo site, and found her incredible French Crullers recipe... which I then post on my fellow foodie Facebook friend Kelly's page, with the teaser of "make me these"...

And it turns out Kelly KNOWS Jennifer, who then showed up on the post. Of which I told her, I found this through Chef John, who I follow religiously. And she said,

"John is a great fellow - seriously funny. He and his wife are the nicest folks. I hope you love that strawberry syrup, it is HEAVENLY! "

And yes it was... about to have another glass now, thanks Chef John! You rock...

Chef John said...

No, thank you for sharing that! :)

Anonymous said...

If one were to use all the syrup how much soda could they make? (for a party)

Kir said...

Best used with nice dry champagne :)

Steve said...

Chef:

Have you ever tried making strawberry "drinking vinegar?" Yeah, it sounds strange but it's really nice.

Just macerate strawberries in enough vinegar to cover -- I generally use either plain old white vinegar or maybe a cider vinegar -- for about a week.

Then drain into a saucepan, add sugar, and cook down till a nice syrup consistency. Then use in the same way as your recipe.

They did a segment on "drinking vinegars" on the public radio program "Splendid Table" a couple of months ago, which is where I picked up the idea.

Anna Y. said...

Hey Chef John! Saw that there's a place in Cole Valley called The Ice Cream Bar that opened recently. And they have soda jerks!

Chef John said...

Thanks for the ideas!

Anonymous said...

Can you use Stevia instead of sugar?

Chef John said...

Sorry never used it.

Jim said...

hahAHha!...."I'm just a regular jerk'. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

Strawberry syrup was a big hit!! I have many blueberry bushes in my yard so I decided to try that also. They were frozen from last year and needed to be used. Awesome again. I will try with fresh berries in a few weeks. I did use only 1 1/2 cups sugar for both and it was outstanding. Thanks John!!

Matt said...

So I have tried the strawberry variation and found it very good. I used the full two pounds and it lasted about two weeks or so. Definitely prefer mixing with just water rather than the club soda. Strawberries werent that sweet though, so it wasnt amazing. After that was done, I decided to try raspberries, because the first commenter brought them up and I love them and can get sweet ones even in Alberta. I did a pound this time, so it makes less. Tastes great. Definitely less sugar next time, but I now know how the sweetness and sugar correlate, so next time I get some nice sweet ones, I know to only use a 3/4 cup of sugar per pound. Again, prefer with water. Even prefer mineral water to club soda. Going to try some lemonade or even ice tea mixes. BTW, mixing this with water and freezing gives you a great sort of slushy effect. The sugar stops proper freezing so it defrosts quicker and youve got a great slushy going. Oh, the "pulp" from the raspberries make great fake brains! Next up, saskatoon berries.

MJ said...

So I have tried the strawberry variation and found it very good. I used the full two pounds and it lasted about two weeks or so. Definitely prefer mixing with just water rather than the club soda. Strawberries werent that sweet though, so it wasnt amazing. After that was done, I decided to try raspberries, because the first commenter brought them up and I love them and can get sweet ones even in Alberta. I did a pound this time, so it makes less. Tastes great. Definitely less sugar next time, but I now know how the sweetness and sugar correlate, so next time I get some nice sweet ones, I know to only use a 3/4 cup of sugar per pound. Again, prefer with water. Even prefer mineral water to club soda. Going to try some lemonade or even ice tea mixes. BTW, mixing this with water and freezing gives you a great sort of slushy effect. The sugar stops proper freezing so it defrosts quicker and youve got a great slushy going. Oh, the "pulp" from the raspberries make great fake brains! Next up, saskatoon berries.


BTW, I also have a small spoon like that... it is sort of red now.

Sam said...

I just bought a "SodaStream" drinkmaker and i didnt want to use any of the artificial flavorings that come to flavor the soda . I cant keep my fingers out of the syrup, sooo good :b its on the stove right now, cant wait to try some ! im also making a watermellon syrup later on today, mmmmmm . Thanks for the recipe ! Great video !

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
My ? is, is there a difference in the sugars, like C&H, G&H, and so on; do they change the consistence of the item being cooked? I found that when using an off brand for my strawberry jam, the taste is different...Steven

Chef John said...

Sorry, but never noticed any differences in taste between brands of sugar!

Natalie said...

This looks so delicious and your picture is so pretty! Could I use frozen strawberries to make this?

Chef John said...

Never tried but theoretically yes.

Natalie said...

I did it with frozen strawberries - thawed and sliced them. The syrup is delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

-- said...

Hi Chef J,

Assuming I want to make a larger or smaller portion of this syrup, could I just halve/double/triple the ingredients as they are called for?


Thanks in advance!

cookinmom said...

I KNOW this would not last long in my house!!!!

TheRobin611 said...

If my strawberry is not so sweet I can add more sugar right?

Chef John said...

Yes!

oiacob said...

chef john if i wanted to make this using 1 pound of strawberries do i cut the cooking time or keep it the same? thanks

Chef John said...

The same!

Megan Coates said...

I love this recipe and use it all the time during the spring and summer! My question is: if I were to sterilize and seal my jars would it be shelf stable? We pick a ton of strawberries and I'd like to be able to take some to my family as we travel throughout the summer. Thoughts?

Labute Rabe said...

Chef John. Holy amazing.

I bought Perrier instead club soda, which I later realized was lime flavored. I thought it would ruin the recipe. I took a sip and I kid you not it tasted like a strawberry Lifesaver. Delicious!

The issue I have is the amount of sugar. If there was a way to do this with a stevia or something else, it would become an instant summer staple. Thanks again and Happy July 4th from Canada.

Wren said...

Made it; loved it, just like everything I try from you Chef John.

That said, if it's too much sugar, play with the ratio of soda to water! I found 2/3 syrup way too sweet. I like mine at a bit less syrup than soda. "You're the Tidal Bore of your soda-syrup pour." The chef John in my head needs a better rhyming dictionary.

Scion said...

John, I would love to see you do videos on:

blueberry soda
blackberry soda
black cherry soda

and - seriously -

a lime soda - Mt. Dew had a lime-flavoured "trial" soda called Distortion that was great, but, the public went with "White Out" (boring) instead.

:-)

Scion said...

Grrr. this one's not submitting right
=============

I would love to see you do videos for:

blueberry soda
blackberry soda
black cherry soda

and a lime soda! not that lemon-lime stuff like Mt. Dew and so on - the real green-only lime soda - like Kool-Aid used to make a lime flavoured Kool-Aid - but not any more.
I want a deep green like the old Mt. Dew "Distortion" drink. :-)

Lindsay said...

Great post! LOVE your website.

This is exactly the type of cordial made like forever in England. For those wishing to use different fruit, here's a recipe for Family 'Beena (like Ribeena) from the River Cottage Preserves book (an AWESOME book by the way) that is very flexible for whatever fruit and quantity you want. I've made raspberry last year (pretty good) and strawberry this year (great!).

Makes about 1.5L (but you can halve, double whatever - just get out your calculator!)

2kg of fruit
granulated sugar (use raw or white)

Put fruit into saucepan - no need to peel or core. For hard fruit (apples) add 1.2L water; for stone fruit (plums) add 600ml of water; for rhubarb and berries add 200ml of water. Bring slowly to boil, crushing the fruit when it gets soft. May take up to an hour.

Pour through a scalded muslin or jelly bag and leave to drip overnight. Squeeze out more juice if you want.

Measure the juice and for each litre of juice, add 700g sugar (or to taste). Dissolve sugar, bring briefly to boil, pour into sterilized jars/bottles. You can add a spoonful or 2 of brandy to each bottle at this point if you like.

The book says Beenas will keep for several month if stored in a cool place. Mine keep all winter in my cool garage. You can try a hot water bath or storing in the fridge if you want to keep them for longer.

By the way, strawberries also make the best liqueur because they keep the flavour! Just hull and dump a load of whole strawberries into vodka in a large jar. Leave 2 weeks, remove berries (freeze and use as icecubes in your summer drinks!), repeat. Add sugar to taste and put into little bottles for gifts! It's like summer in a bottle!