Easy Tea Sodas
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Easy Tea Sodas

If you're as addicted to carbonation as I am, and can easily down can after can of sparkling water every day, you probably have the same nagging guilt about single serve containers that I do. The truth is, I almost never drink plain old water anymore (except during exercise), and the oh-so-refreshing snap of CO2 is pretty hard to beat.

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Since I always seem to have a seasonal syrup in the fridge (hazard of the trade!), I've started to make my own tinctures and sodas at home, so I'm not filling my recycling each week with tons of bottles and cans.

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And because I know not everyone has an entire shelf of their refrigerator devoted to homemade rhubarb, ginger, and honey lavender syrups, I feel duty bound to share the blueprints for the easiest ones to make and keep at home: herbal tea syrups.

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Whenever a recipe calls for a homemade syrup, people seem to run in the other direction. While this is a bit of a head scratcher to me (most syrups are faster and easier to make than boiling spaghetti), I totally get that breaking out a sauce pan to make a beverage can seem like unwanted labor.

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So I'm here to tell you that tea syrups don't require any chopping or simmering. The basic gist is as simple as it gets: make a cup of tea, add a cup of sugar, and stir. That's it! Since the tea is already hot, the sugar will dissolve easily, and you have a homemade seasonal syrup on your hands without any extra pans or labor.

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Any tea, you're wondering? I like to stick to herbal teas, because the tannins in black teas can go wonky when added to CO2 or alcohol. There's no harm in trying, of course, especially if you love that astringent tannin mouthfeel.

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But if you stick with herbal teas, you're left with an enormous range of florals and herbs to choose from. Some of my favorites are hibiscus, rose, butterfly pea flower (such a fun indigo color!), chamomile, lemongrass, and lavender.

Once you've made your syrup, store it in the fridge, then use a splash to zhuzh up your daily seltzer or evening cocktail. I carbonate a bottle of water each morning with my SodaStream One Touch, so I can enjoy lavender or hibiscus sodas all day without having to chuck multitudes of cans and bottles.

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In the time is takes me to brew a cup of tea, I'm reducing my waste output significantly for the week!

Easy Tea Sodas

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INGREDIENTS

For the Tea Syrup:

  • 1 cup herbal tea of choice, brewed according to package instructions
  • 1 cup of sugar

For the Tea Soda:

  • .5 to 1 oz tea syrup, to taste
  • 1 cup chilled carbonated water

DIRECTIONS

For the Tea Syrup:

  1. Stir to combine while the tea is still hot, then store in the fridge. Use within two weeks.

Note: the best way to make any syrup is by weight, so if you have a kitchen scale, use it to measure equal parts tea and sugar by weight, not volume.

For the Tea Soda:

  1. Pour the syrup into a chilled glass, and top carefully with the chilled carbonated water. No need to stir -- the syrup should self-mix as you pour the seltzer in, and stirring will reduce the carbonation.
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