Earlier this week I spoke on Skype with New York-based food writer and recipe developer Andrea Lynn about homemade pop, the subject of her new book The Artisan Soda Workshop. It features 70 recipes for making your own soft drinks using natural ingredients – many of the recipes rely on the natural fructose in juice and require no extra sugar. When my nine year old son saw a review copy on my desk, he goaded me into helping make one of the drinks on a Sunday afternoon. I was so impressed with how easy it was to make the pineapple-basil pop (just add fizzy water) that I featured it in my last National Post column and I wanted to know more about the author and what led her to write the book. The Artisan Soda Workshop seemed to be one of those ideas that are simultaneously strikingly original and completely obvious.
Lynn laughed when I asked her what inspired her to write the book, explaining that since she dutifully drank the 8 cups of water a day we’re all supposed to, she figured she could make them a little more interesting. Her goal was “lots of flavour, without a lot of pots and pans.”
Most of the recipes involve creating a syrup from fruit juice, and Lynn admitted that she was surprised how many of them really didn’t need extra sugar. Among her favourite flavour combinations are the classic lemon-lime and any drink featuring ginger: “I can’t have enough ginger.”
Lynn sees the book as part of the zeitgeist: “I think we’re in a Do-It-Yourself moment and soft drinks haven’t been utilized – there’s just wasn’t a lot of choice for non-alcoholic drinks.” I told her I thought she was right, citing the egg cream at 11 Madison Park.
Of course, Lynn added, there’s nothing stopping anyone from adding a little vodka, gin or rum into one of her Artisan Soda recipes!