Summer is barreling its way towards us, friends. This past weekend, I spent as much time as possible sitting outside and enjoying others’ company and good vibes. I reconnected with old friends and put off some work for evenings this week. Why? Because the start of warm weather is always the reminder to enjoy other people, to stop focusing on your weekly check-list and venture outside. Whether it was sitting and reading in my apartment’s courtyard or walking among the cherry blossom tourists, summer is communal and begs to be shared.
Here is a tasty little recipe to share with others this coming summer- homemade soda syrups. This recipe only serves as one idea, but there are countless combinations I am already brainstorming for my next try: honey + ginger root, rhubarb + herbal tea, green tea + mango. I went with my love for brown sugar, fruit, and mint flavors and wasn’t disappointed (Perhaps you can use this as simple syrup for a mojito? Best idea ever?).
Brown Sugar Soda Syrup (makes 2 cups)
- 2 and 1/2 cups water
- 2 fruity tea bags
- 1 mint tea bag
- 1 c light brown sugar
- For mixing: club soda, ice cubes, mint garnish
Heat water in a small pot until boiling. Take it off the heat and add your fruit tea bags (I picked passionfruit and raspberry), covering the pot to allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the fruit tea bags and replace them with the mint tea bag. Steep the tea for no more than another 5 minutes, covered (this will avoid overpowering mint-flavored syrup).
Return your pot to the heat and stir in the brown sugar. Bring the mixture to a light boil and simmer until a simple sugar syrup is beginning to form (15-20 minutes). Pour the syrup into a glass jar and cool in the fridge. The syrup reflects the color of brown sugar, but if you use white sugar the tea color will show through.
Mix one ounce of syrup with six ounces of club soda or seltzer to start, and adjust to your taste. Enjoy outside, and don’t forget sunscreen.