Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dandelion and Burdock Root Soda - May 24, 2011

Has anyone else seen this soda flavor at the store?  I found it by the fancy soda/drink mixers at my co-op and made a mental note to attempt a home-made version the next time dandelions were in season, which is pretty much anytime we don't have snow here at our house.  Since we got burdock root in our last CSA delivery, I thought I'd give it a try.  I did a quick internet search and found that this flavor originates from across the pond and is categorized with other 'root' beverages, such as root beer and sarsaparilla. 

I decided to use my standard simple syrup infusion method and I chopped up our three small burdock roots into thin coins.  Next I picked and thoroughly washed a good handful of dandelion flowers, removing as much of the stems, and as many ants as I could. I tossed both of these into my sugar and water mixture.  I boiled for five minutes and then let everything steep, covered and off the heat for about an hour.  Then, I strained out the roots and flowers.  Now, try not to be alarmed that the syrup looks like a jar full of urine.  I know it's a bit startling, but keep calm and carry on (this is a British soft drink, after all). 

To make the soda, I added a quarter cup of the flavored syrup to a glass and topped it off with charged water (that's my Dad's charmingly retro term for carbonated water that I'm trying to adopt because I love the sound of it).  The verdict?  Well, it's subtle and slightly vegetal, but certainly refreshing.  Reading the ingredients from the mass produced versions, I found that ginger and anise are sometimes mixed in, no doubt to increase the flavor profile, but this first time around I wanted to keep things unadulterated so that I could truly taste the burdock and dandelions.  I'm glad I tried it.  Maybe I'll have to purchase some from the co-op and see how mine compares.  Also, we may have to start experimenting for a new Homemade Happy Hour concoction.

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