Beet-Sumac Soda

A homemade soda that takes its dramatic color and earthy-sweet flavor from beet juice, and a refreshing tang from Vanns Sumac and lemon.

Beet-Sumac Soda

Beets may not be the first thing you'd think to make a soda out of, but who can resist that bright pop of pink they bring? You may also not think of beets being sweet, either, but they are, with an earthiness that's perfecly complimented by the tangy sourness that Vanns Sumac brings. You can make this recipe whether you have a juicer or not, and if you feel like leaning a little bit more cocktail than mocktail, feel free to add a splash of vodka! 

Spices used in this recipe


Sumac, Ground

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized beet, scrubbed
  • 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Vanns Sumac
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Soda water, for serving

Preparation

  1. If you have a juicer, get it out -- it’s the most efficient way to get beet juice. Collect the beet juice from the juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, grate the beet on the large holes of a box grater, collect the shreds in a piece of cheesecloth, and squeeze over a bowl to extract juice. Reserve 2 Tbs. beet juice and set the rest aside for another use.
  2. Combine the sugar, sumac, and water in a small, non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter set in a fine mesh strainer into a bowl or storage container if you don’t plan to use right away.
  3. Stir beet and lemon juices into syrup. To serve, put 2-3 Tbs. of juice-syrup mixture into a glass and top with chilled seltzer. Vodka would be a great addition to this if you want to make it into a cocktail.
  4. Syrup will keep in the fridge up to 1 week.

Serves 4-6. Adapted from Madcapra.

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